That’s it, United are into the last-16 of the 2018-19 Champions League.
Much of it was painful viewing. A case of ‘same old, same old’ United but Fellaini stood up to be counted and slotted home in stoppage time to send them through.
Down on the touchline, Jose Mourinho picked up a crate of juice bottles and sent them crashing to the floor in wild celebration.
Relief for everyone in Red tonight.
Next month’s final game against Valencia in Spain is now an irrelevance.
This meant United avoided a second goalless draw here in the space of four days, and the embarrassment of failing to score in three home European games in a row for the first time in their history.
You couldn’t fault Mourinho’s bravery. Following a desperately poor showing against Crystal Palace here on Saturday, he dropped Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to the bench, and Alexis Sanchez from the squad completely. The outcome looked like being the same. A slightly less lethargic United labouring to another draw in front of their own fans.
It might have been different had Marcus Rashford converted a glaring chance early on, but he didn’t and United were grateful to David De Gea for an incredible save in the second half.
United had gone backwards since a stirring win over Juventus in Turin three weeks ago. A comprehensive defeat in the Manchester derby had been followed by a torpid goalless draw here with Palace, dragging Mourinho back to the dark days of September and early October.
The manager had hardly helped himself by questioning the character and personality of his young players before the Palace game, and the heart of his entire team afterwards.
Mourinho reacted with a bold team selection on Tuesday night. The absence of Pogba, Lukaku and Sanchez was a big surprise, as was the return of captain Antonio Valencia for the first time since he liked a social media post almost two months ago that called for Mourinho to be sacked.
The night at least started well for United as they turned up on time, having suffered the embarrassment of being late for their home games against Valencia and Juventus.
The game began well too, with United producing the more dynamic start their manager had demanded. There were less than five minutes on the clock when an over-hit pass from Luke Shaw was deflected into the path of Marcus Rashford.
The 21-year-old England forward sprinted clear with only David von Ballmoos to beat but his chip over the goalkeeper cleared the bar by inches.
Down on the touchline, Mourinho shook his head in disgust. It was the kind of wasted chance that can prove so costly at this level.
‘You are always asking for Marcus Rashford to play, so you cannot complain,’ said Mourinho before kick-off, and once again Rashford had missed an opportunity to justify his inclusion as a central striker in place of Lukaku.