Germany celebrated a winning double in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals as English Premier League moneybags Manchester City were left clinging to European survival.
City slumped to a 3-1 first leg defeat against high-flying German side Hamburg despite having taken a 35-second lead. Hamburg's Bundesliga rivals Werder Bremen were also casting an eye on the semi-finals after seeing off Udinese of Italy 3-1 at home.
Ukraine came out on top in their double-edged duel with France as Shakhtar Donetsk beat former European champions Marseille 2-0 at home while Dynamo Kiev grabbed a precious 0-0 away draw against Paris Saint Germain.
In front of 57,000 fans at the HSH Nordbank Arena, Stephen Ireland put Manchester City in front after just 35 seconds, only for defender Joris Mathijsen to equalise shortly afterwards. City goalkeeper Shay Given kept his side in the game with some magnificent saves, but a handball by Micah Richards allowed Piotr Trochowski to stroke his side in front from the penalty spot.
Jose Paolo Guerrero struck late on to put his side firmly in the driving seat prior to the return leg in Manchester on 16 April. "We threw it away," said Ireland. "We got off to a great start, but we didn't defend well and we weren't getting back into our shape. Now we have to return the favour at our place. I think we can do to them what they did to us."
Werder Bremen were indebted to two of their foreign imports in their 3-1 victory over Udinese. Brazilian playmaker Diego made the breakthrough in the 34th minute before he added a second in the 67th minute.
Portuguese striker Hugo Almeida made it 3-0 two minutes later before Fabio Quagliarella pulled one back three minutes from the end to give Italy's only side in European competition this season an outside hope in the return leg.
Goals from Tomas Hubschman and Brazilian Jadson put Shakhtar in control of their tie with Marseille and within touching distance of a first ever European semi-final. The damage could have been more serious for Marseille had goalkeeper Steve Mandanda not pulled off some fine saves while Shakhtar's joy was tempered late on when defender Mykola Ischenko was yellow-carded and ruled out of the second leg.
"This was a very important victory," said Shakhtar coach Mirce Lucescu. "We showed maturity but we know it will still be difficult in the return because Marseille are a formidable team who play big matches every weekend. Nothing is settled. I salute Mandanda's performance, he made some great saves."
In the French capital, PSG dominated but were unable to break down a well-organised Kiev defence.