Sergio Aguero came off the bench to hand Manchester City a 2-1 advantage in their Europa League tie against Porto.
The Argentinian struck from close range with six minutes remaining as City came from behind to condemn the Portuguese champions to a rare home defeat at the Estadio do Dragao.
The hosts took a 27th-minute lead in the first leg of the last-32 clash through Silvestre Varela but an Alvaro Pereira own goal gifted City an equaliser.
Ashley Young’s first Manchester United goal since September set the Red Devils on their way to a comfortable 2-0 win over over Ajax in Amsterdam.
The last time Young found the net was a last-gasp face-saver against Basel at Old Trafford, in a match which Sir Alex Ferguson still looks back on as the draw that cost his team their place in the Champions League.
And, after a poor first-half, the visitors roused themselves after the break and Young’s 58th-minute winner came at the end of their most threatening spell, the England man tucking home after Nani’s cross had been deflected into his path.
Javier Hernandez added a second six minutes from time to secure a result that will allow Ferguson to take a pragmatic approach to next week’s second leg.
He said: “The result was better than the performance.
“The first half was disappointing. We had to wake up because we were making it difficult for ourselves.”
Stoke will have to win in the Mestalla next week if their European adventure is to continue after Valencia shaded the first leg of their Europa League last-32 clash 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium
Mehmet Topal netted the only goal of the game in the 36th minute with a stunning 30-yard strike that gave Asmir Begovic no chance.
Sofiane Feghouli also hit the post in the second half while Stoke, who have lost their last four Barclays Premier League games, were limited to half-chances.
PICTURED: Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli, centre, watches on as his team-mates celebrate.