Luckless Heart of Midlothian went down 1-0 to Liverpool in Edinburgh on a busy evening of UEFA Europa League play-off first leg action.
Andy Webster turned Martin Kelly's 78th-minute cross into his own net to give Brendan Rodgers a boost after last weekend's Premier League mauling by West Bromwich Albion.
Inter Milan had no problems seeing off Vaslui 2-0 in Romania.
A goal in each half from Esteban Cambiasso and Rodrigo Palacio gave it a comfortable advantage ahead of the return in the San Siro.
Former UEFA Champions League winner Marseille suffered a scare in
The Moldovan league leader had stunned its illustrious opponent when
But the French side battled back and Ayew grabbed his second eight minutes into the second half to give Elie Baup's men a slender advantage heading back to the Stade Velodrome next week.
It was a bad night for Eredivisie sides in the competition with AZ, Heerenveen and FC Twente all falling in first legs away from home, while Feyenoord had to stage a great escape to salvage a 2-2 home draw with Sparta Prague.
Feyenoord looked to be heading for defeat when
AZ was beaten 1-0 in
Last year's losing finalist Athletic Bilbao delivered an emphatic statement of intent as it hammered Finnish side HJK 6-0 at the Estadio San Mames.
Aritz Aduriz opened the scoring in the 25th minute and the tie was effectively over before half-time after further goals from Markel Susaeta and Inigo Perez.
Aduriz added his second six minutes into the second half before next week's second leg was rendered a formality by further strikes from Susaeta and Andoni Iraola.
Bilbao's Primera Liga rival Levante also took a big step towards the group stages with a 2-0 win over 10-man Motherwell at Fir Park.
Juanlu opened the scoring for the visitor in the 42nd minute and Nabil El Zhar added a second in the 62nd minute before Motherwell defender Shaun Hutchinson was shown a straight red card.
Lazio is also a heavy favourite to progress after goals from Hernanes and Miroslav Klose gave it a 2-0 win at Mura 05, which is still winless after six games of the new Slovenian season.
Hannover 96 had to bank on a pair of late goals from Leon Andreasen and Manuel Schmiedebach to emerge as the victor in an action-packed eight-goal thriller at Slask Wroclaw.
Andreasen and Jan Schlaudraff had put the German side 2-0 up inside the first half-hour and despite Thomasz Jodlowiec reducing the deficit, Lars Stindl restored the two-goal advantage before half-time.
Wroclaw came out firing for the second half and drew level before the hour mark with goals from Sylwester Patejuk and Przemsylaw Kazmierczak, before the two strikes in the last eight minutes finally swung the game Hannover's way.
PSV Eindhoven made up for a generally dismal night for its Dutch rivals as it thrashed Montenegro's Zeta 5-0 in Podgorica.
Ola Toivonen opened the scoring after two minutes but the Dutch giant had to wait until the 74th minute for the floodgates to open with further goals from Tim Matavz, Kevin Strootman, Jeremain Lens and Mark van Bommel.
Sporting needed a late equaliser from Andre Carrillo to salvage a 1-1 draw with Horsens in Denmark, while Bordeaux takes the momentum into the second leg after a goalless draw with Red Star in Belgrade.
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner claims manager Brendan Rodgers has made "remarkable progress" during his first year in charge.