Good wins for Werder Bremen and Hapoel Tel Aviv
German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen and Hapoel Tel Aviv were the big winners in Wednesday's first leg Champions League play-off matches, dpa reported.
Bremen won 3-1 against Serie A club Sampdoria Genua, while the Israeli club won 3-2 at Red Bull Salzburg.
In other matches Sporting Braga beat Sevilla 1-0, while Partizan Belgrade drew 2-2 at home against Anderlecht and Basel won 1-0 against FC Sheriff.
In Bremen the home team was in breath-taking form in the second half as they came out of the change-rooms a different side after a disappointing first half against Sampdoria Genua.
Clemens Fritz gave them the lead in the 51st minute with a well- taken long-range effort that gave Gianluca Curci no chance. In the 67th minute captain Torsten Frings scored from the spot after Stefano Lucchini pulled down Sebastian Proedl during a Werder Bremen corner.
Lucchini was shown a second yellow card for the incident and had to leave the field.
Peruvian international striker Claudio Pizarro gave Werder Bremen a convincing 3-0 lead after being set up by Hugo Almeida, but a headed goal in the last minute of the game through Giampaolo Pazzini ensured Sampdoria kept alive their chances of making the group stages.
In Austria Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama opened the scoring for the Hapoel Tel Aviv club after just three minutes following a foul on Itay Shechter by Franz Schiemer.
The Nigerian international Enyeama, who last season scored nine goals from the spot for his club, made no mistake, beating Gerhard Tremmel in the left corner.
Salzburg leveled matters in the 28th minute through Nikola Pokrivac following a set-piece which the visitors failed to clear.
But two minutes from the break Tel Aviv again took the lead when Ben Sahar, who had an unsuccessful spell with Chelsea a few years ago, managed to beat Tremmel for the second time in the game.
Worse was to follow for the home side in the 53rd minute when Shechter was sent through by a defence-splitting pass.
The Austrian side pulled another goal back in the 67th minute when the referee again pointed to the spot after Omri Kende brought down Jakob Jantscher and Roman Weidener made no mistake from the spot to make the final score 3-2 for the visitors.
In Basel Valentin Stocker scored the only goal of the match for the home side against the visitors from Moldova. Benjamin Hugel saw his penalty saved late in the game to deny Basel a second goal.
Guillaume Gillet opened the scoring for Anderlecht in Belgrade against Partizan in the 54th minute, but their lead lasted just three minutes through Brazilian striker Cleo.
Jan Lecjaks gave Partizan the lead in the 64th minute with an own goal that would have made any striker proud when his powerful attempt at a clearance found the back of the net.
Two minutes later the game was again level when Hungarian international Roland Juhasz scored from close range. Neither side scored thereafter and the game ended 2-2.
In Braga Matheus was the match-winner against Spanish visitors Sevilla with the only goal of the game as he found the net after goalkeeper Andres Palop could only palm a Paulo Cesar effort onto the head of the striker, who simply had to nod home.
On Tuesday Swiss club Young Boys Berne stunned Tottenham Hotspur as they beat the Premier League side 3-2, while Zilina from Slovakia took a major step towards the next round with a 2-0 victory at Slavia Prague.
Ajax Amsterdam can also look back on their away trip to Russia with some satisfaction after drawing 1-1 at a ten-man Dynamo Kiev.
The other two games on Tuesday saw Rosenborg beat FC Copenhagen 2- 1 and Zenit St Petersburg winning 1-0 against Auxerre.
The winners of the two-legged ties advance to the lucrative group phase of the competition.
The return legs will be played next week.