David Moyes was denied a morale-boosting Champions League win in Donetsk as they were held 1-1 - but still left the Donbass Arena as the first manager of an English team to nick a point from a trip to Shakhtar in this competition.
Moyes can do with all the little snippets of positivity he can lay his hands on just now.
And, with Arsenal (twice), Tottenham and, last season, Chelsea all beaten here, Moyes can look back with some satisfaction on a result which consolidates a decent start to Group A.
Yet the Scot may also lament the fact his side got within 15 minutes of what would have been an impressive victory.
Scorer of United's last away goal in the competition, against Real Madrid, Danny Welbeck was on the mark again, steering home after Yaroslav Rakitskiy had made a hash of clearing Marouane Fellaini's low cross.
It was Welbeck's third goal of the campaign, one more than he managed in the whole of last season, and for a good while afterwards seemed set to prove the difference.
But Shakhtar continued to press and when Taison thrashed home an impressive effort, United needed all their battling qualities to gain the draw their industry deserved.
Beleaguered on the home front, confident in foreign lands.
If Moyes has had his struggles trying to work out the merits of his United players, the club's supporters are equally baffled as to the balance of their season as a whole.
Currently in the wrong half of the Premier League table after three defeats in their opening six games, their worst start since 1989, the backdrop to a trip to Donetsk was as bleak as the weather in this mining city.