Rapid Bucharest put themselves in pole position to reach the Uefa Cup quarter finals with a 2-0 win over Hamburg.
Goals at the end of each half from Daniel Niculae and Mugurel Buga were enough to give the home side a healthy first-leg advantage.
To complete a miserable day for the Germans, Dutchman Nigel de Jong was sent off for Hamburg.
Rapid broke the deadlock right on the stroke of half time when the dangerous Niculae fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
De Jong picked up his first booking on 55 minutes and 12 minutes later, he was shown his second caution and a subsequent red card.
Rapid made their numerical advantage count two minutes from time when Buga popped up to grab a crucial second goal.
The result means Hamburg face an uphill battle in the second leg if they are to keep their Uefa Cup dreams alive.
Palermo gained a crucial 1-0 win over Schalke in the first leg encounter in Sicily.
Franco Brienza netted the only goal of the game after 15 minutes to give the Italians an advantage to take to Germany for the second leg.
Real Betis secured a goalless draw in their first leg encounter against Steaua Bucharest in Romania.
The Spaniards produced a solid defensive showing to keep a clean sheet and they will be confident of finishing the job in Spain.
Udinese face a tricky trip to Bulgaria after being held to a goalless draw at home to Levski Sofia.
The Italians struggled to break down a resolute Sofia defence, as the Bulgarians held on for a surprise draw at Stadio Friuli.