Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City succeeded where storied rivals failed in their opening Champions League football games.
Even with their star forwards absent, PSG eased to a 3-0 win yesterday over 13-time European champions Real Madrid, who missed the influence of suspended defender Sergio Ramos.
The French champions relied instead on Angel Di Maria, the former Madrid winger, who scored twice with smart, first-half shots that quickly settled the outcome.
Man City were also ruthless and efficient in winning 3-0 against Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.
Wins for two wealthy clubs with burning ambition to get a first European title came as the traditional Champions League powers struggled this week.
Of the nine clubs to have played in the final since 2011, only Bayern Munich won this week — also by 3-0 yesterday against a Red Star Belgrade team which had to come through four qualifying rounds.
Juventus and Tottenham both let two-goal leads slip away from home, before drawing 2-2 against Atlético Madrid and Olympiakos, respectively.
The biggest stars at the Parc des Princes were watching from expensive seats in the stands.
Neymar, who was suspended, and injured teammate Kylian Mbappe were captured by television cameras whooping and giggling at the sight of fullbacks Juan Bernat and Thomas Meunier marching through Real's defence in stoppage time to create and score a deserved third goal.
The third PSG star striker, Edinson Cavani, was also out injured yet the French champion's victory was never in doubt.
"People say we're not favourites and it can take the pressure off," PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said.
PSG have flattered to deceive too often in recent Champions Leagues, although this looked like a statement win for Tuchel over Zinedine Zidane, who lifted the trophy in each of the three seasons he first coached Real Madrid from 2016-18.
Real's biggest offseason signing Eden Hazard rarely connected with his teammates, while club veterans Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema had goals disallowed.
"Normally, with the players we have, we create a lot of chances and today it wasn't possible," Zidane said.
It's been a tough week for the big three of Spanish football.
Real failed to score on the road, like Barcelona who were lucky to take a 0-0 draw from Borussia Dortmund. Atlético's 2-2 draw at home showed more resolve and fight, and stopped long-time nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo — who was booed throughout by home fans — from scoring for Juventus.
Goals from Juan Cuadrado and Blaise Matuidi had Juve dominating deep into the second half.
Atlético Madrid fought back through Stefan Savic in the 70th and Mexico midfielder Héctor Herrera levelled in the 90th with a header from Kieran Trippier's cross.