Liverpool took a step towards the UEFA Europa League group stage after edging out Hearts in the first leg of their qualifying play-off tie in Edinburgh, while Ryan Taylor's goal salvaged a draw for Newcastle against Atromitos Athens.
It was a disappointing evening for Scottish Premier League clubs as 10-man Motherwell also suffered defeat against Primera Division visitors Levante, while Serie A giants Inter Milan claimed a 2-0 win on the road against Romanian minnows Vaslui.
Liverpool snatched a 1-0 victory over Hearts in Edinburgh after the hosts' defender Andy Webster netted a 78th-minute own goal, giving them the advantage for next week's second-leg encounter at Anfield.
Newcastle's first endeavour into European competition since 2006-07 ended in a 1-1 draw in Greece after Ryan Taylor netted an equaliser on the stroke of half-time to cancel out Denis Epstein's opener for Atromitos Athens.
There was disappointment for 10-man Motherwell, who were beaten 2-0 by La Liga side Levante and saw defender Shaun Hutchinson sent off in the 77th minute, with a tough task now awaiting the SPL side in the return leg in Valencia.
Serie A giants Inter Milan will be keen to finish off Romanian side Vaslui at the Giuseppe Meazza after triumphing 2-0 in the first leg, with Esteban Cambiasso and Rodrigo Palacio on the scoresheet for the Nerazzurri.
Athletic Bilbao cruised through their first leg in emphatic style as they hammered Finnish side HJK Helsinki 6-0 at San Mames, with Aritz Aduriz and Markel Susaeta both scoring doubles for the Spanish side.
PSV Eindhoven won in similarly emphatic style, crushing Montenegro club Zeta Golubovci 5-0 in Podgorica after Ola Toivonen set the tone with a second-minute opener for the visitors.
Italian side Lazio triumphed 2-0 away to Mura Murksa Sobota in Slovenia, with Anderson Hernanes and Miroslav Klose on target for the Serie A visitors.
Andre-Pierre Gignac scored a second-half winner to fire Ligue 1 outfit Marseille past minnows Sheriff Tiraspol 2-1 in Moldova after Tomislav Pajovic had pulled the home side level following Jordan Ayew's early opener.
A goal-filled encounter in Poland saw Bundesliga side Hannover beat Slask Wroclaw 5-3, despite a spirited comeback from the hosts, with Leon Andreasen netting a brace for the German side.
Both Red Star Belgrade and Bordeaux failed to break the deadlock in Serbia as the Red Star Stadium clash ended goalless.
Russian giants Anzhi Makhachkala took the upper hand with a 1-0 home victory over Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar, who reached the quarter-finals last season. Ivorian frontman Lacina Traore was on target with the hosts' winner, breaking the deadlock in the 51st minute.
Two late goals saw the clash between Azerbaijani outfit Neftchi Baku and Cypriot side Apoel FC end all-square, with substitute Selim Benachour cancelling out Mahir Shukurov's 81st-minute penalty with an equaliser two minutes later.
Norwegian side Tromso edged a 3-2 victory over Serbian club Partizan Belgrade at the Alfheim Stadium despite a late comeback from the visitors, with Aleksandar Mitrovic's 84th-minute strike not enough to spare them from defeat.
Lithuanian minnows FK Ekranas have a mountain to climb in the second leg after they were beaten 2-0 at home to Romanian's Steaua Bucharest, with Novak Martinovic and Adrian Popa scoring either side of the break.
Swedish club AIK suffered defeat in front of their home fans in Stockholm as Japan international Keisuke Honda's strike in the 61st-minute handed 2005 winners CSKA Moscow a 1-0 victory.
Norwegians Rosenborg salvaged a 1-1 draw against Legia Warsaw thanks to Borek Dockal's equaliser with 10 minutes left on the clock in Poland.
A dramatic ending saw Czech Republic outfit Slovan Liberec draw 2-2 at home to Ukrainians Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk after Lukas Vacha converted a penalty for the hosts at the death.
Dutch side Heerenveen could not get on the scoresheet away to last year's Norwegian champions Molde, suffering a 2-0 defeat as Magnus Eikrem opened the scoring before the break and Mattias Mostrom added a stoppage-time strike.
Another Eredivisie club to suffer defeat were FC Twente, who were undone 3-1 at the home of Turkish side Bursaspor, with Argentinian midfielder Pablo Batalla scoring a brace for the Super Lig outfit.
Ukrainian club Metalist Kharviv were reduced to 10 men on their trip to Dinamo Buchuresti after Brazilian Fininho was dismissed following a second booking, but the visitors managed to hold onto their lead for a 2-0 win in Romania.
Midfielder Adrian Winter scored a winner for Swiss side FC Luzern 19 minutes from time to edge out Belgian visitors Genk 2-1 after Jelle Vossen cancelled out Dimitar Rangelov's early opener.
Hapoel Tel Aviv enjoyed a 3-1 away win at Luxembourg champions F91 Dudelange, with home defender Jean-Philippe Caillet doing his side no favours when he put through his own net in just the fourth minute.
Last season's Eredivisie runners up Feyenoord left it late to snatch a share of the spoils at home to Czech Republic giants Sparta Prague, with substitute Anass Achahbar netting a stoppage-time equaliser after Vaclav Kadlec had scored a first-half double to seal a 2-2 draw.
There were no goals in the clash between Turkish side Trabzonspor and Videoton FC as the Huseyin Avni Aker encounter ended 0-0.
Danish club FC Midtylland endured an evening to forget at home to BSC Young Boys as the Swiss visitors prevailed 3-0, with the hosts reduced to 10 men when substitute Morten Rasmussen was sent off for violent conduct in the second half after just nine minutes on the pitch.
Club Brugge left Hungarians Debrecen with a mammoth task in the second leg after claiming a decisive 3-0 away win over their 10-man hosts, who suffered a blow when Luis Ramos was handed a straight red card on the stroke of half-time.
Another Belgian side, Lokeren, were also triumphant as Mijat Maric converted a stoppage-time penalty to edge out Viktoria Plzen 2-1 at the Daknamstadion, with visiting defender Frantisek Sevinsky dismissed late on to pile further woe on the Czech club.
Young defender Grigoris Katsikas scored a late winner to hand PAOK FC a 2-1 home triumph over Austrians Rapid Vienna, who collapsed after taking an early lead in Thessaloniki.
Sporting Lisbon held AC Horsens to a 1-1 draw in Denmark to spare the Portuguese giants' blushes, with a late Andre Carrillo strike cancelling out Martin Spellman's opener.
Another Primeira Liga side, Maritimo, slipped past Georgian visitors Dila Gori with a 1-0 victory thanks to substitute Philipe Fidelis' 64th-minute winner.