Substitute Toni Kroos hit a last-gasp winner as four-times European champions Bayern Munich came from behind to win 3-2 at Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Cup on Thursday.
Twice winners Tottenham Hotspur slumped to a 2-1 home defeat against Spain's Getafe and afterwards confirmed they had sacked their Dutch coach Martin Jol.
Bayern broke Red Star's hearts in the Serbian capital as the Germans, who missed out on Champions League place, left it late to win their opening Group F tie although manager Ottmar Hitzfeld described it as a "fortuitous win".
"Both teams played good football on a difficult pitch, we were on the back foot for long spells against a fired up opponent and they didn't deserve to lose," he told reporters.
Serbia winger Ognjen Koroman had fired Red Star, who overcame Bayern in the last four en route to winning the European Cup in 1991, ahead with a crisp low shot on 16 minutes but Germany striker Miroslav Klose silenced the raucous 45,000 home crowd with a close-range tap-in after keeper Ivan Randjelovic could only parry Lucio's fierce shot.
A depleted Bayern side, without Franck Ribery, Luca Toni and defenders Martin Demichelis and Daniel van Buyten, fell behind again on 74 minutes when midfielder Nenad Milijas beat Michael Rensing with a swerving shot from 25 metres.
But Klose was left completely unmarked to head home a deep cross from the left in the 85th minute, and after Red Star centre back Milos Bajalica had been sent off in injury time for second bookable foul, Kroos lashed in the winner.
On a perfect night for German sides, there were also wins for Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburg SV.
Leverkusen, the 1988 winners, overcame Toulouse 1-0 at home in Group E with a first-half goal from Stefan Kiessling while Hamburg won by the same scoreline at newly crowned Norwegian champions Brann Bergen. Belgian defender Vincent Kompany got the only goal just after the hour.
Tottenham had hoped to get a morale-boosting win in Group G at home to Spanish Primera Liga strugglers Getafe but it was another disappointing night for the White Hart Lane faithful.
Striker Jermain Defoe, handed a rare start, headed Spurs in front on 19 minutes but Ruben de la Red got the faintest of touches to midfielder Esteban Granero's freekick to beat keeper Radek Cerny for the equaliser.
Braulio finished off a superb Getafe move on 70 minutes, backheeling in a David Cortes cross for the winner.
Zenit St Petersburg and AZ Alkmaar shared the points in Group A after a 1-1 draw in Russia, the Dutch side holding out for the entire second half with 10 men.
AZ, semi-finalists in 2005, had led through Brazilian Ari who scored with a low shot after 20 minutes but the striker was sent off for retaliating six minutes before the break.
Zenit, managed by Dutchman Dick Advocaat and challenging strongly to win a first Russian title with three games to go, swiftly capitalised just before halftime when Ukraine midfielder Anatoly Tymoschuk levelled from the penalty spot.
Argentine teenage striker Sergio Aguero rescued a point for Atletico Madrid with a goal five minutes from time to earn a 3-3 draw with Lokomotiv Moscow in their Group B clash in the Russian capital.
Aguero, who had fired the Spaniards into a 16th-minute lead, latched on to Maniche pass, turned his marker and fired home to earn a share of the Group B spoils.
Midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov lashed in Branislav Ivanovic's cross to cancel out Aguero's opener but Uruguay striker Diego Forlan, who was bought for around 21 million euros when Fernando Torres left for Liverpool in the close season, put Atletico back in front soon after the restart.
Striker Peter Odemwingie scored twice in four second-half minutes to turn the game in Lokomotiv's favour only for Aguero to have the final say.
Villarreal were another Spanish side to snatch a late draw, full back Joan Capdevila's 88th-minute goal at El Madrigal cancelling out Christian Vieri's goal for Fiorentina as the Group C tie ended 1-1.