Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani on Sunday were taken down on injury as Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain demolished Toulouse 4-0 at the Parc des Princes.
Brazilian Neymar was absent from the PSG squad amid continued uncertainty over his future at the club and Thomas Tuchel lost striker Cavani 14 minutes into a goalless first half.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting came on for the Uruguayan and opened the scoring in the 50th minute with a superb solo strike, before defender Mathieu Goncalves turned in an own goal.
The result was completely overshadowed, though, as Mbappe appeared to pull his hamstring when chasing down a pass, with the France forward heading straight off the pitch before Choupo-Moting and Marquinhos added further goals.
PSG, beaten 2-1 at Rennes last week, quickly cranked into gear and Toulouse goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet made a pair of smart saves from Mbappe in the opening four minutes.
But their strong start faded fast and PSG were dealt a blow when Tuchel saw Cavani hobble off after an attempted volley, with Choupo-Moting introduced as his replacement.
Choupo-Moting was acrobatically denied by Reynet in the first minute after the restart but the keeper could do nothing about the Cameroon international’s next effort.
After collecting the ball in a packed penalty box, Choupo-Moting superbly span into space and thumped a low drive in off the left post.
PSG’s second goal came five minutes later, Pablo Sarabia’s attempt deflecting in off Goncalves, who then gave away a 71st-minute penalty for handball after Mbappe pulled up on his 100th Ligue 1 appearance.
Reynet dived to his right to deny Angel Di Maria from the spot, but PSG added a third goal four minutes later as a sweeping move ended with Juan Bernat teeing up Choupo-Moting for a first-time finish.
Reynet rejected Choupo-Moting a hat-trick before Marquinhos ‘ header finished scoring on his 250th appearance for the club, but PSG is hoping for excellent news on Cavani and Mbappe.
The European transfer window closes on September 2 and it remains uncertain whether Neymar will remain at PSG, but the problems for Cavani and Mbappe might force the club to maintain him.
It would be unfortunate to lose one striker to injury, but two were a terrible stroke of poor luck that in the coming weeks will probably leave PSG progressively dependent on Choupo-Moting.
When PSG signed Choupo-Moting last year on a free transfer, the forward was released by Stoke City, eyebrows were raised. He only scored three times last term in 22 Ligue 1 matches.
But perhaps the 2019-20 season will be the making of the 30-year-old. Choupo-Moting took his goals very well indeed and if Mbappe and Cavani are out for an extended time he will get more chances to shine.
Toulouse coach Alain Casanova threw Goncalves to the wolves somewhat by asking the 18-year-old to make his debut against the Ligue 1 champions and the teenager crumbled under the pressure, scoring an own goal and giving away a penalty before being replaced by Wesley Said.
PSG will be back to action on Friday, taking on Metz before the international break in their last match. A day later, Toulouse is at Amiens ‘ home.