There was no manic celebration from Antonio Conte and his players at the final whistle, polite handshakes replacing joyful punches of the air, but all in the visitors’ ranks could take pride in a job professionally done.
Disaster struck for Manchester United with less than a minute of normal time remaining when Michael Lang prodded home to claim a win which means José Mourinho’s team will qualify unless they suffer a record home European defeat in their final Group A game against CSKA Moscow.
When the time comes to pull the names out of the hat at Uefa headquarters next month, none of the second-placed teams will want to draw Tottenham Hotspur. There is no longer evidence of any inferiority complex when they rub shoulders with Europe’s elite and they will fancy themselves against anyone after winning Group H
Manchester City were threatening to end their winning sequence at 16 until Raheem Sterling turned a humdrum evening into a celebration with a goal two minutes from time. A 17th successive win in all competitions means City have won their group with a match to spare, though in fact that was already the case when
Liverpool owed Sevilla for defeat in the 2016 Europa League final according to Jürgen Klopp. Instead, they were transported back to Basel as another astonishing second-half recovery from his Spanish nemesis cancelled out a three-goal interval lead and denied Liverpool qualification for the knock-out phase of the Champions League.