France soared to the joint top of Group B with a 5-0 win at home to Faroe Islands, while Italy moved right back into contention with a 3-1 win away in Georgia.
Louis Saha and Thierry Henry started up front for Les Bleus and it did not take long for the Manchester United man to continue his prolific start to the season with the game's opening goal after just 37 seconds.
His Premiership rival Henry doubled the lead on 22 minutes as it seemed the floodgates might open in Paris.
But that was not to be the case thanks to a stoic fightback from the visitors and some poor finishing from the World Cup finalists.
Raymond Domenech eventually bit the bullet, substituting his goal-scoring front two for Nicolas Anelka and David Trezeguet on the hour mark.
And it turned out to be an inspired substitution, as Bolton Wanderers' frontman Anelka scored the third on 77 minutes.
Not to be outdone, Trezeguet bagged a brace with strikes in the 78th and 84th minute, as Faroe Islands remain bottom, with just one point to show from five games so far.
In Georgia meanwhile, Daniele De Rossi's low drive from 25 yards had fired Roberto Donadoni's side ahead on 18 minutes, in a lively opening at the Lokomotivi Stadium.
But the home side struck back just eight minutes later through a beautiful curving strike from Giorgi Shashiashvili in the 26th minute.
It finished 1-1 at the interval and the World Cup holders had struggled to break down an inspired Georgian defence before Jaba Kankava was dismissed for a second bookable offence 15 minutes into the second half.
The Azzurri took control from that point on and Juventus midfielder Mauro Camoranesi's 63rd minute header gave them a vital lead, from Antonio Di Natale's fine cross.
Simone Perrotta's close-range strike sealed the result on 71 minutes, as Italy claimed a well earned three points to take them into a clear third position in the group.
Georgia's hopes of qualification now look bleak, with just three points to show from their opening four games so far.