Champions League veterans Werder Bremen handed Sampdoria a wake-up call in Germany with a 3-1 win in the first leg of their play-off.
Thomas Schaaf's impressive side breezed into a 3-0 lead. Clemens Fritz fired an impressive opener six minutes into the second half before Torsten Frings' penalty (67) - which saw Stefano Lucchini dismissed for a second booking - and Claudio Pizarro's slick third two minutes later.
However, Giampaolo Pazzini's excellent header in injury-time gives Samp hope of clawing their way back in the second leg on home turf.
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.
Partizan Belgrade and Anderlecht are locked at 2-2 after Wednesday night's 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 Red Bull 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.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms