Former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll came off the bench to save a penalty as Olympiakos clung on for a 1-0 win at Rubin Kazan, thanks to David Fuster's 71st minute strike.
Watch Roy Carroll make penalty save on debut
In freezing conditions at the Luzhniki Stadium, Fuster bundled the ball into the back of the net from an Olympiakos corner, in a moment that sparked an otherwise dreary Europa League tie into life.
Five minutes later, Olympiakos goalkeeper Balazs Megyeri gave away a penalty for a foul on Gokdeniz Karadeniz and was sent off. His replacement, Carroll, saved the resulting spot kick from Bibras Natcho with the first touch of his debut for the Greeks.
The ten-men of Olympiakos then held out for the final 17 minutes to record a victory which put them in pole position to progress to the last-16 of the competition.
Later in the day, Besiktas claimed a 2-0 victory at Braga.
Braga's hopes of repeating last year's run to the Europa League final were hanging by a thread after goals from Tomas Sivok and Simao gave Besiktas victory in the first leg in Portugal.