Paris - Kevin de Bruyne inspired Vfl Wolfsburg to a come-from-behind 3-1 defeat of Inter Milan on Thursday to leave the three-time Europa League winners struggling to make it into the quarter-finals.
Roberto Mancini's men looked to have the upper hand over their high-flying Bundesliga hosts when Rodrigo Palacio put the Serie A visitors into a sixth minute lead.
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But de Bruyne set up Naldo for the German side's first-half equaliser, then with a little help from Inter's stand-in goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo he scored a second-half double.
Wolves' record signing from Chelsea should have had a treble only to fire wide with Carrizo's goal at his mercy towards the end.
Wolves will now justifiably fancy their prospects of securing a ticket to the last eight in the last 16 second leg at the San Siro next week.
Andre Villas-Boas' Zenit St Petersburg also have an option on the next round judged on their 2-0 win over another Italian side, Torino, in St Petersburg.
Axel Witsel and former Italian defender Domenco Criscito saw off Torino who were reduced to 10 men after Marco Benassi's first-half red card.
Dutch champions Ajax go into their second leg against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk meanwhile trailing 1-0 after the Ukrainians took the first-leg honours thanks to a first-half goal from Roman Zozulya in Kiev.
In Belgium, Club Brugge edged Besiktas of Turkey 2-1.
In later ties Thursday Dynamo Kiev are at Premier League club Everton, holders Sevilla are at La Liga rivals Villarreal, Napoli host Dinamo Moscow and Fiorentina face Roma in an all-Serie A affair.