Filippo Inzaghi broke the European goal-scoring record as AC Milan defeated Celtic 1-0, though defeat was sweetened for the Scottish side as they qualified for the Champions League knock-out stages in any case in Milan on Tuesday.
It was the perfect scenario for all involved as Milan won, topped the group, Inzaghi made history in beating Gerd Muller's mark with his 63rd strike, and Celtic played gamely while sneaking through to the second round for the second year in a row.
That was thanks to Shakhtar Donetsk's 2-1 home defeat to Benfica in the other group D match.
At times the match resembled a training ground run-out but it finally sparked into life in the second period, culminating with Inzaghi's winning strike 20 minutes from time.
And it was a flowing move that set it up, Kaka breaking down the right and feeding the overlapping Cafu who crossed for Inzaghi to score his meat and drink, a tap-in from inside the six-yard box.
Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti had vowed on Monday to play his "strongest possible side" but that proved to be pie in the sky as he changed his entire back five.
Even so, there were six World Cup winners in his starting 11, but that didn't stop the first half resembling a local Sunday pub league kick-around.
Given that a draw suited both sides, neither team seemed too keen to commit men forward, particularly Celtic.
At one point right-back Gary Caldwell moved over the half-way line with the ball and acres of space in front of him, only to panic, turn around and start heading back towards his own goal in search of a teammate.
No-one was playing well but he was having a particular shocker, at one point running the ball straight off the sideline.
Clarence Seedorf came closest to breaking the deadlock a minute from the break but blazed his shot from inside the box high and wide.
Something was clearly said at half-time as both sides came out with a bit more urgency for the second period.
Within three minutes of the restart, the European champions had twice come closer to scoring than in the entire first 45 minutes.
Andrea Pirlo hit a wicked, swerving free-kick just inches past the post and then Inzaghi latched onto a ricochet from a Kaka shot, only to be forced wide by Stephen McManus before screwing his shot past the upright.
Up the other end Scott Brown broke clear and latched onto a long punt forward but his finish from inside the area was unimpressive.
It was turning into a real match with Milan camped out on the edge of the Celtic box. Caldwell redeemed himself on 58 minutes, flinging his body in the way of a fierce Seedorf shot before Inzaghi missed a sitter.
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