Manchester United new-boy Javier Hernandez chose the perfect time to net his first competitive goal for the Red Devils as his 85th-minute winner proved too much for Valencia and gave United a 1-0 win.
Although United rarely looked like breaking their sequence of three successive goalless draws in Spain, Sir Alex Ferguson will not care too much about that.
The mere fact Hernandez's goal, drilled expertly into the far corner after fellow substitute Federico Macheda had cut a cross back from the right, proved United with only their second victory in 19 attempts against Spanish opposition in Spanish soil tells you just how hard it is.
Instead of having ground to make up in the battle to reach the knock-out phase, United can now look forward to back-to-back clashes with Group C makeweights Bursaspor knowing six points will virtually secure their place in the last 16 of this season's Champions League.
Having called for greater defensive solidity, the return of Rio Ferdinand ensured Ferguson got it and now United will hope to take that form into their Premier League challenge as well following recent hiccups.
There were few chances for either side before the goal, with Roberto Soldado going the closest for Valencia. But Hernandez had the final say, scoring minutes after a desperate effort came back off the post.