Jose Mourinho praised Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw for being "very, very good" in a rare start as the Red Devils came back to beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 and top Champions League Group A.
Not even Alan Dzagoev's controversial opener had the Old Trafford faithful concerned as only a record seven-goal defeat would deny United a place in the round of 16.
And Mourinho was pleased with the performance of some of his fringe players after handing rare starts to Shaw and goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
"Luke Shaw, offensively, very, very good and great contribution for the team,'' Mourinho said. "Romero is an amazing goalkeeper and is only on the bench because we have David [De Gea].
"[Shaw] Was waiting for quite a long time, he was deserving for quite a long time, it is not easy to give an opportunity to a player who doesn't play for many months.
"Honestly, I'm happy with his performance.''
Quick-fire goals from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford after the break turned the contest around and beyond Shaw and Romero, Mourinho also praised a team effort in the group-stage finale.
"We confirmed the way we wanted to confirm, which was to play well and have a good result,'' Mourinho said.
"Half-time we were losing but playing well, I was not unhappy with the players at all. In the second half we had that strong reaction, we didn't want to lose the match.
"The boys have played professionally and qualified the way we wanted to qualify.
"The team in the second half, they showed the desire of not qualifying with a defeat, we could lose four or five nil and qualify but that was not the objective -- the objective was to play well and win and we managed both.''
Victory puts United among the group winners for the knockout-round draw and saw them equal the club record of 40 successive home games without defeat ahead of Sunday's visit of runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.