Werder Bremen made light of the loss of German World Cup star Mesut Ozil, who joined Real Madrid on Wednesday, to beat ten-man Sampdoria 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League play-off.
Thomas Schaaf's Bundesliga side breezed into three-goal lead in the second-half through a long-range strike from Clemens Fritz, a Torsten Frings penalty and a goal from Claudio Pizarro.
But after Sampdoria defender Stefano Lucchini was shown a second yellow card for the foul that lead to the penalty, Giampaolo Pazzini headed in from substitute Marius Stankevicius' cross in injury time to restore hope for the visitors ahead of next Tuesday's return in Genoa.
Fresh from knocking out Scottish giants Celtic, Portuguese side Braga handed Spaniards Sevilla a 1-0 first leg defeat. The Primera Division side must overturn the deficit at home next week after Matheus' goal separated the sides at the Estadio Municipal de Braga.
Partizan Belgrade and Anderlecht are locked at 2-2 after the first leg in Serbia saw four goals in 13 minutes at the start of the second half. After Cleo's strike and defender Jan Lecjaks' own goal, Guillaume Gillet and Roland Juhasz secured the away goals for the Belgians to take home with them.
Hapoel Tel Aviv left Austria with a commendable 3-2 win over SV Salzburg. Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama gave Hapoel the lead before Nikola Pokrivac levelled for the Austrians.
Ben Sahar and Etay Shechter then scored either side of the break and while Roman Wallner reduced the arrears, Hapoel are in a strong position for next week.
In Switzerland, Valentin Stocker's 54th-minute strike gave Basle a 1-0 lead over minnows FC Sheriff of Moldova.