Marcus Berg provided the catalyst for a home win as two goals in the opening 12 minutes helped Hamburger SV get on track in Group C, even if Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC refused to lie down.
Hamburg were surprisingly beaten 3-0 at SK Rapid Wien in their opening UEFA Europa League game but quickly started to make amends as Berg registered twice early on. Etey Shechter raised the visitors' hopes briefly only for Eljero Elia to make it 3-1 at the break. Samuel Yeboah shortened the margin again before Hapoel's Walid Badir was dismissed as he conceded a penalty that Zé Roberto could not convert. The Brazilian did have the last word, however.
Berg rifled the opener across Vincent Enyeama on five minutes after cushioning Tunay Torun's pass on to his left foot and a second should have followed from Mladen Petrić only for the Croatian to wastefully head wide. It mattered little, however, when Dennis Aogo darted to the byline and whipped in a near-post cross that Berg headed powerfully in off the crossbar.
Bruno Labbadia's men almost extended their advantage when Elia curled a sublime effort against the bar. The pace decreased thereafter and Eli Gutman's charges capitalised by establishing a foothold in the contest, then pulling a goal back when Bebars Natcho's free-kick was glanced in by Shechter. Their joy was short-lived though as Elia pounced to drive in off the bar after the Israeli side failed to deal with a Guy Demel throw-in.
Still the away side refused to buckle and again pulled a goal back when, on 61 minutes, Shechter crossed for Yeboah to tap in. Hopes of a revival were scuppered as Badir was sent off for bringing down Tunay although Zé Roberto's spot-kick was saved by Enyeama. The Brazilian made amends with 13 minutes left, though, thumping in the fourth to seal the points.