Lyon, with former France manager Laurent Blanc in charge, had lost their opening two games but fought out a bruising and tempestuous stalemate to get off the mark.
It was a mediocre match that did little to suggest Lyon have turned a corner but avoiding a third successive defeat will come as a relief.
Lorient raced into a 2-0 lead and went on to outclass Lille 4-1, winning for the first time this season.
Captain Laurent Abergel pounced on a reckless pass out by Lille goalkeeper Lucas Chevalier to score and within 90 seconds the lead was doubled as Julien Ponceau hammered a superb strike into the roof of the net.
Jonathan David pulled one back early in the second half but Romain Faivre soon restored the two-goal advantage, with a chip over the goalkeeper, and Vincent Le Goff added the fourth not long after.
Reims’ new signing Teddy Teuma scored two superb goals, the first a direct free kick and the second a thumping half-volley, as they beat Montpellier 3-1 away, winning for a second successive week.
Reims are up to third spot on six points, one behind early leaders Monaco and Olympique de Marseille.
Patrick Vieira won a second successive home game in charge of his new club Racing Strasbourg as they beat Toulouse 2-0 in an easy assignment where they were rarely threatened.
Striker Emanuel Emegha, recently signed from Sturm Graz in Austria, opened his Ligue 1 account with a header in the 51st minute with Jean-Ricner Bellegarde adding a late second as they moved onto six points.
Georges Mikautadze scored to give promoted Metz a 1-0 win away at Clermont Foot for their first victory of the season, relegating their hosts to bottom of the standings. Clermont have lost all three of their matches this term.
The other promoted club Le Havre drew 2-2 at Stade Rennais earlier on Sunday, coming from 2-0 down after 24 minutes.
Ludovic Blas and Christopher Wooh put Rennes well on their way, but Nabil Alioui reduced the deficit before halftime and then grabbed a 70th-minute equaliser, not long after his side had been reduced to 10 men when Samuel Grandsir was sent off.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Davis)