NYON: Manchester United missed out on the chance to finish top of their Champions League group after a 2-1 defeat in Valencia, while Juventus lost at Young Boys.
Progress to the last 16 was already assured ahead of the trip to the Mestalla, yet this was a chance for Paul Pogba and Co to prove their worth and secure a win that would see them top Group H in the unlikely event that Juventus slipped up in Switzerland.
The improbable played out 650 miles away as Young Boys secured a remarkable 2-1 win against the Serie A behemoths but United failed to capitalise as they lost by the same scoreline in Spain, with Marcus Rashford grabbing a late consolation after Carlos Soler struck and Phil Jones turned into his own goal.
It was a largely lifeless, incoherent display from Mourinho’s men and awful preparation for Sunday’s trip to Premier League-leading rivals Liverpool.
Soler, once a reported United target, put Valencia ahead 17 minutes into a first half that saw Pogba – back after two games on the bench – somehow miss a gilt-edged chance, unaware that offside had been wrongly signalled.
Any hope of a comeback disappeared seconds into the second half as Jones turned into his own net on a night that heaps unwanted scrutiny on United ahead of the trip to Anfield, despite Rashford leading a late push.
While the forward may have rubber-stamped a starting berth against Liverpool, none of Mourinho’s eight changes in Spain boosted their hopes after toiling against a side who lie 15th in the Spanish top flight.
Leroy Sane scored twice as Manchester City came from behind to beat Hoffenheim to top their Champions League group, where Lyon grabbed the final last 16 spot.
Sane cancelled out former Leicester striker Andrej Kramaric’s early penalty with a stunning free-kick just before half time and grabbed his second on the hour.
City also hit the woodwork twice as they created numerous chances after making a sluggish start.
Pep Guardiola’s side, who gave valuable experience to 18-year-old Phil Foden, dominated the second half and Sane could have had a hat-trick had he not passed up another shooting chance.
It was an impressive performance from the German – left out of his country’s World Cup squad last summer – against a team from his homeland.
Hoffenheim claimed the advantage in the 16th minute after Aymeric Laporte bundled over Benjamin Hubner. Kramaric comfortably tucked home from the spot.
Gabriel Jesus, back up front in the continued absence of Sergio Aguero, hit the post with a thumping header from a corner and John Stones rose to meet a free-kick and force Baumann to save.
Nicolas Otamendi also hit the woodwork with a glancing header from a Gundogan free-kick.
The leveller came on the stroke of half-time after City were awarded a free-kick around 25 yards out. With no obvious specialists from that range on the field, Sane took responsibility and curled a fine effort into the top corner.
Baumann denied Jesus after the Brazilian was played in by a Sterling backheel but the keeper could do nothing after another quick counter-attack on the hour. Sane combined beautifully with Sterling and this time made no mistake as he slid a shot under Baumann.
Nabil Fekir was the hero for Lyon as his second half goal gave Lyon a 1-1 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk to ensure they qualified alongside City from their group.
Niklas Sule’s own goal in the fifth minute of added time earned Ajax a 3-3 draw at home to Bayern, but it was the German side who finished top of the group by two points.
Both teams had a man sent off – Maximilian Wober for Ajax and Thomas Muller for Bayern – and four goals were scored after the 82nd minute during a thrilling finish in Amsterdam.