Francesco Molinari (Getty Images)
Continental Europe made a strong start to the Friday fourballs as they looked to build on their overnight two-point lead on the second day of the Seve Trophy by Golf+ at St Nom La Breteche.
Francesco Molinari's glorious tee shot on the third helped him and Italian teammate Matteo Manassero establish a one-hole lead over Great Britain & Ireland pair David Lynn and Scott Jamieson after four.
And there was more blue on the early scoreboard with Joost Luiten and Gregory Bourdy two-up on Tommy Fleetwood and Chris Wood after three, and Nicolas Colsaerts and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño also edging ahead of Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher.
But Sam Torrance's team were slowly coming back into it with Paul Casey and Simon Khan moving two up against Mikko Ilonen and Thorbjørn Olesen after five, and Jamie Donaldson and Marc Warren one up on Thomas Björn and Miguel Angel Jiménez.
Fernandez-Castaño and Colsaerts were once again stealing the show in the anchor game, birdies at the eighth, tenth and 11th taking them six clear.
The opening game looked set to go the other way, as Casey and Khan went dormie three, while Lynn birdied the 14th to leave Molinari and Manassero one up.
Luiten and Bourdy led by the same margin with six holes to go, while an inspired performance from Donaldson saw him and Warren enter the closing stretch three up.