Manchester United finally found their fighting spirit as a 1-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk secured top spot in UEFA Champions League Group A.
Under performing and under fire in the Premier League, David Moyes' men responded to their first consecutive home league defeats since 2002 with a battling display on their return to the top table of European football to progress to the knockout stages on a high.
Phil Jones' 67th-minute half volley ultimately proved the difference, but Shakhtar were left to rue what might have been as they controlled the action for long periods.
The Ukrainians failed to convert their chances - most notably Brazilian Alex Teixeira - as Bayer Leverkusen's 1-0 win at Real Sociedad sent them out.
United started with Robin van Persie on the bench, as Wayne Rooney was asked to lead the line alone.
That provided another chance for Shinji Kagawa to stake his claim playing off the front, as he returned from the illness that had bizarrely required him to have his stomach pumped due to over-eating as he missed the Premier League loss to Newcastle.
Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu handed returns to Brazilian strike duo Fred and Taison but it was United who started more brightly, as Jones forced goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov to block.
The visitors should have taken a 12th-minute lead when a defence-splitting ball from midfield set Teixeira away, but he dragged his shot wide.
At the other end, Adnan Januzaj controlled expertly on his chest before spinning and firing goalward, forcing a fine save from Pyatov.
Shakhtar were the more dangerous in the final third – Teixeira winding his way past several challenges midway through the half with a run that deserved better than his tame finish.
However, Ashley Young wasted two gilt-edged chances to give United an advantage as first he outmuscled Darijo Srna, only to lob beyond the far post, before slicing woefully wide.
There was no doubt some strong words from Moyes in the dressing room, but the home side seemed to still be taking them in when a corner across the box missed everyone a minute after the restart and Yaroslav Rakitskiy scuffed a shot against the outside of the post.
Finally, United burst into life as Rooney's audacious chip from distance almost caught Pyatov off his line.
Reinforcements arrived in the shape of Van Persie and Tom Cleverley, and the Dutchman had not even touched the ball when Rooney's clever pass almost played him in.
But it was Jones who stepped up when United needed a hero.
After they had pressed Shakhtar to win a 67th-minute corner, Van Persie's flag-kick from the right bounced through everyone in the box where Jones angled his body to drill beyond Pyatov.
Srna forced David de Gea into a smart save late on, but United held firm and Van Persie almost added late gloss to the scoreline when a clipped finish flashed wide.
|Zidane champions ´undying belief´ of Real Madrid saviour Ramos|
|Real Madrid 3 Deportivo La Coruna 2: Ramos to the rescue again for BBC-less hosts|
|Real Madrid set new 35-match unbeaten record|
|Terror attack at home of Besiktas condemned|
|Ranieri: Big champions react at the right moment|
|Guardiola defends tactics as City falter again|
|Wenger confirms Mustafi to miss three weeks|
|Iniesta: Barcelona never despaired against Osasuna|
|Leicester City 4 Manchester City 2: Vardy back in business as champions upset City|
|Snodgrass apologises after controversial penalty|
|Falcao´s first hat-trick in four years sends Monaco top of Ligue 1|
|Bosz confirms Bazoer´s imminent departure|
|Moyes: Swansea penalty the wrong decision|
|Ancelotti delighted after Muller finally scores|
|Dyche blasts ref for giving Bournemouth lifeline|
|Equaliser hurt us, concedes Hughes|
|Pardew sympathises with referee after Snodgrass penalty|
|Bradley delighted by Swansea response and clean sheet|
|´We´re going to s***´ - Mina disgusted as Valencia lose again|
|FACT: Vardy ends drought as Man City make worst start in 10 years|
|Wenger lauds Arsenal composure in comeback triumph|
|Tuchel: Reus is irreplaceable for Borussia Dortmund|
|Alba: Messi hasn´t spoken about new contract|
|Ingolstadt 1 RB Leipzig 0: First defeat knocks newcomers off top|
|Hull City 3 Crystal Palace 3: Campbell equaliser buys Pardew time|
|Burnley 3 Bournemouth 2: Hendrick stunner helps Burnley to victory|
|Swansea City 3 Sunderland 0: Llorente double eases pressure on Bradley|
|Arsenal 3 Stoke City 1: Gunners battle back to move top|
|Cologne 1 Borussia Dortmund 1: Reus salvages draw with late equaliser|
|Inter boss Pioli wary of Milan and Juventus conquerors Genoa|
|Bayern Munich 5 Wolfsburg 0: Muller breaks duck as hosts go top|
|Jozy Altidore and Christian Pulisic honored with US Soccer awards|
|Too passive and too reactive - Koeman slams Everton after Watford defeat|
|Luis Enrique challenges Barcelona to pile pressure on Madrid|
|Deeney: More to come from two-goal Okaka|
|A-League Review: Berisha the hero for Melbourne Victory|
|Allegri: Turin derby is dangerous for Juve|
|Suarez refuses to give up LaLiga title fight|
|Watford 3 Everton 2: Okaka double adds to Toffees´ away-day woes|
|Osasuna 0 Barcelona 3: Messi magic ends frustrating run of draws|
|Emery does not fear PSG sack|
|Eder adamant Inter can still reach Champions League|
|Montreal Impact claim Dzemaili coup|
|Ventura: Belotti like Ronaldo and Buffon|
|Manchester United have duty to entertain - Valencia|
|Barry set to go joint-second in all-time Premier League appearance list|
|Ventura: Buffon welcome in Italy coaching set-up|
|Marseille stump up for 160 fans´ Dijon stays|
|Gabriel will only go on loan to a club on Inter´s level, says agent|
|Bayern do not bow to economic force - Hoeness|
|All clubs would want Sturridge, says Bilic|
|Seaman urges Arsenal to spend big on keeping Sanchez and Ozil|
|Bravo happy to accept criticism for City showings|
|Origi reveals United, Bayern snubs|
|Cavani: I´d like to play with Griezmann one day|
|Aguero is not aggressive, claims Guardiola|
|Ibrahimovic wants United to be ruthless|
|Sanchez can be Arsenal´s new Henry - Wenger|
|Andre Gomes can play in Busquets role, insists Luis Enrique|
|Aguero´s dangerous tackle scared me, says Conte|
|Guardiola: We are killing the players|
|Bournemouth announce plans for new stadium|
|Former Bayern Munich and Real Madrid star Ze Roberto to play beyond 43rd birthday|
|Barcelona friendly awaits new Chapecoense coach Mancini|
|Arsenal are privileged to have Sanchez and Ozil - Monreal|
|Watzke denies agreement to discuss Aubameyang transfer with Madrid|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Nice: Champions hunting down shock leaders|
|Giggs tells Rashford how to end his goal drought|
|Manchester United without Shaw, Smalling for Tottenham clash|
|Willems inks PSV renewal|
|Costa and Conte scoop Premier League awards|
|Conte detained on suspicion of assault|
|Strootman ban for derby ´simulation´ overturned|
|Mourinho demands more goals from Rooney|
|Bobo preserves Sydney´s unbeaten start in Cup final rematch|
|Luis Enrique: I don´t dare predict if Messi will renew|
|Mourinho admits changing style for United|
|Sanchez talk is disrespectful, says Conte|
|Sassuolo 0 Genk 2: Visitors seal top spot|
|Sterling back for City as Guardiola predicts tough Leicester test|
|Mourinho still the ´Special One´ for Pochettino|
|Matic return leaves Conte with Fabregas dilemma|
|Guardiola expects greater impact from City youngsters next season|
|Klopp defends Karius after Bournemouth blunder|
|Pirlo visits Chelsea - but Conte is not signing him|
|Ronaldo, Modric rested for Deportivo clash|
|Tuchel hails returning Reus|
|Klopp has ´no idea´ on Sturridge return|
|´My players are intelligent and good people´ - Zidane on Ronaldo´s taxes|
|Atletico to play at ´Wanda Metropolitano´|
|Real Madrid to rest Benzema and start Morata against Deportivo|
|Ancelotti rules out Draxler bid as Bayern prepare for barren transfer window|
|Ighalo calls on Watford to sign Mikel|
|Pardew wants defender and striker to bolster Palace survival push|
|Moyes: M´Vila doesn´t have the fight for Sunderland|
|Leipzig only built to earn Red Bull money - Watzke|
|Shenhua director blasts CSL imports... but desperate for Tevez deal|
|Ribery: Bayern my last club in Europe|
|Hughes targets Arsenal fans to help Stoke end dismal away run|
|83 suspects, 98 clubs ´impacted´ in football abuse probe|
|Fowler pleads with Liverpool to keep ´top quality´ Sturridge|
|Reus ´100 per cent different´ on comeback|
|Ibrahimovic ´super happy´ for rejuvenated Mkhitaryan|
|Vertonghen: Football needs Mourinho|
|Title triumph went to Leicester´s heads, admits Ranieri|
|Conceicao named new Nantes coach|
|LaLiga lead means nothing - Zidane|
|Chapecoense add two stars to badge in wake of air disaster|
|Blatter accuses Infantino of lack of respect|
|Austin injury compounds Puel´s misery|
|Gestifute publishes further evidence of ´Ronaldo tax compliance´|
|Pioli eyes further Inter improvement|
|´I feel s***´ - Van Dijk blasts Southampton after Europa League collapse|