Jonjo Shelvey spared Liverpool's blushes with a late brace as Brendan Rodgers' men came from behind to beat Swiss opponent Young Boys 5-3 in their Europa League Group A opener.
Shelvey, a 67th-minute replacement for Ousama Assaidi, struck two emphatic finishes in the 76th and 88th minutes to rescue an inexperienced Liverpool side in the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern.
The visiting side led through Juhani Ojala's clumsy fourth-minute own goal and despite Rapha Nuzzolo's 38th-minute equaliser, Liverpool went back in front before half-time through Andre Wisdom.
Ojala netted at the right end on 53 minutes to bring Young Boys level and Gonzalo Zarate put the host ahead 10 minutes later. Sebastian Coates pulled it back to 3-3 before Shelvey's late heroics.
Also in Group A, Udinese snatched a 1-1 draw at home to in-form Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala; Antonio Di Natale equalising in injury time after Lacina Traora put the Russians ahead on the stroke of half-time.
In Group B, holder Atletico Madrid got the defence of its title up and running in fine style with a 3-0 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel.
Atletico, unbeaten so far in the Spanish Primera Division, took a 37th-minute lead through Cristian Rodriguez and Diego Costa added a second before the break. Raul Garcia notched the third in the 63rd minute.
In the other match in Group B, Czech Liga leader Viktoria Plzen came from behind to beat Portuguese side Academica 3-1. Wilson Eduardo put Academica in front before Pavel Horvath, Michal Duris and Frantisek Rajtoral replied.
Napoli, currently second in Serie A, claimed an emphatic 4-0 win over AIK in Group F with a hat-trick from Eduardo Vargas and a fourth from Blerim Dzemaili in injury time.
But experienced European campaigner PSV Eindhoven was surprised by a 2-0 defeat to Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine, with Matheus Nascimento and an Atiba Hutchinson own goal doing the damage.
Bordeaux matched Napoli's margin of victory with a 4-0 win over Club Brugge in Group D, the goals coming from Ludovic Sane, Yoan Gouffran, Jussie and an own goal from Bjorn Engels.
In the same group, Newcastle failed to find a way past Maritimo and had to settle for opening its Europa League account with a goalless draw at the Estadio dos Barreiros.
Group C opened with a pair of draws, Marseille coming back from 2-0 down to grab a 2-2 draw away to Fenerbahce, and AEL and Borussia Monchengladbach battling out a goalless stalemate in Cyprus.
There was another draw in Group E, where Stuttgart and Steaua Bucharest shared a 2-2 tie in Germany, while Copenhagen edged past Molde 2-1 in Denmark thanks to a 74th-minute winner from Andreas Cornelius.
In Group H, Japanese defender Yuto Nagatomo came to Inter Milan's rescue with an injury time equaliser to deny Rubin Kazan a famous win in the San Siro.
The Russian side led first through Alexander Ryazantsev's early strike, and despite Marko Livaja's equaliser, the visiting side must have thought it had won it when Salomon Rondon scored its second six minutes from time.
But Nagatomo pounced two minutes into added time to secure a face-saving 2-2 draw for the host in a group which also saw a goalless opening game between Partizan and Neftchi in Belgrade.
Last year's runner-up Athletic Bilbao also had a lucky escape in its Group I opener against Israeli side Ironi Kiryat Shmona at the Estadio San Mames.
Adrian Rochet put the little-known visitors in front after 14 minutes and it took a 40th minute equaliser from Markel Susaeta to salvage a 1-1 draw.
Also in Group I, Lyon edged Sparta Prague 2-1 with second-half goals from Bafetimbi Gomis and Lisandro Lopez, with Ladislav Krejci replying late for the Czechs.
Tottenham boss Andre Villas Boas was left fuming as his side had three efforts from Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Steven Caulker disallowed in a goalless draw against Lazio at White Hart Lane.
Also in Group J, Slovenian outfit Maribor had better fortune as it beat Panathinaikos 3-0 with goals from Robert Beric, Agim Ibraimi and a Marcos Tavares penalty.
Sporting held on for a goalless home draw against Basel in Group G despite having Brazilian Xandao sent off after 40 minutes, while Genk eased to a 3-0 home win over Videoton.
Hannover hit back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw away to FC Twente in Group L, while a 40th-minute goal from Juanfran gave Levante a 1-0 win at home to Helsingborg.
Group K saw a 2-1 win for Rosenborg at Rapid Vienna and a goalless draw between Bayer Leverkusen and Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv in Germany.
UEFA Europa League
Malaga has been able to reduce its suspension from competing in European competitions to one year.