Marouane Fellaini’s injury-time winner gave Manchester United a dramatic victory over Young Boys and sent his side into the last 16 of the Champions League.
With Juventus beating Valencia to remain top of Group H, United knew victory would send them through too but an all-too-familiar unconvincing home performance had seen them struggle to make the breakthrough.
As the board was put up to signal three minutes of injury time, United were still looking for their first goal at Old Trafford in Europe this season.
It arrived seconds later, when Fellaini collected Romelu Lukaku’s flick in the box from Luke Shaw’s pass, held off Loris Benito and, with the ball touching his hand in the process, turned to fire into the bottom corner.
The goal brought a delirious reaction from United boss Jose Mourinho, who flung a basket full of water bottles to the floor in celebration.
“For me it was not handball. I controlled the ball, if it touched my hand it was not on purpose,” said Fellaini.
Elsewhere Pep Guardiola says Lyon were “one of the toughest teams” Manchester City have ever faced after the teams shared a 2-2 draw in France.
Lyon twice took second-half leads before City rescued a 2-2 draw which ensures qualification for the last 16 with one game to spare.
The French side wasted several clear-cut chances before Maxwel Cornet rifled in an angled drive to give them an early second-half lead.
City defender Aymeric Laporte quickly levelled with a header but Cornet fired in again to put Lyon on top of Group F.
However, Sergio Aguero reacted quickest to flick in a header two minutes later to ensure City remain in pole position to top the group.
“We are so delighted and so happy,” Guardiola said. “It is a big compliment for the team.
“We played one of toughest teams we’ve ever faced. They are physical, strong, they counter-attack incredible.
“We reacted after 1-0 and 2-1 and we are in the final stages. This was our target.
“Now we must try to get a point to finish first in the group stage, but it is so important to go through.”
In Italy, Gareth Bale’s goal set Real Madrid on their way to victory over Roma in the Champions League as they cemented their position at the top of Group G.
Bale capitalised on a defensive error from home defender Federico Fazio to put the holders in front against the run of play after the break.
Spain winger Lucas Vazquez ensured the La Liga side claimed all three points, tapping in from close range after Karim Benzema’s cushioned pass from a Luka Modric cross.
Earlier Viktoria Plzen’s 2-1 victory at CSKA Moscow had confirmed both clubs would progress to the knockout stage with a game to spare.
For Madrid that represented a 15th consecutive season in which they had reached the last 16 of the competition since the current format was introduced in 2003-04.
Meanwhile Robert Lewandowski passed the 50 Champions League goals mark as Bayern Munich cruised past Benfica to book their place in the knockout stages.
Arjen Robben handed the German champions a two-goal advantage before the Poland striker took centre stage.
Lewandowski headed his 50th and 51st goals, becoming the seventh player to achieve the landmark.