An embarrassing own-goal by Manchester United defender Phil Jones proved decisive as Valencia beat the English club 2-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

United failed to earn a win that would have given the team top spot in Group H, with first-placed Juventus losing 2-1 at Young Boys.

Valencia players celebrate after Manchester United's Phil Jones scores an own goal during a Group H Champions League soccer match between Valencia and Manchester United at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Valencia players celebrate after Manchester United’s Phil Jones scores an own goal during a Group H Champions League soccer match between Valencia and Manchester United at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

Valencia secured a place in the last 32 of the Europa League — thanks to Jones.

Jones slid in to clear the ball as he chased down Valencia striker Michy Batshuayi, but only succeeded in slotting it past Sergio Romero from 20 meters with the goalkeeper having come off his line.

Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group H Champions League soccer match between Valencia and Manchester United at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s opening goal during a Group H Champions League soccer match between Valencia and Manchester United at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

That made it 2-0 for Valencia in the 47th minute after Carlos Soler had put the home side in front with a driven first-time finish after latching onto Jones’ clearing header in the 17th.

Marcus Rashford pulled a goal back in the 87th for United, which had sealed qualification for the knockout stage with a game to spare.

Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho looks out from the bench prior a Group H Champions League soccer match between Valencia and Manchester United at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho looks out from the bench prior a Group H Champions League soccer match between Valencia and Manchester United at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

United manager Jose Mourinho played a virtual reserve team that still included Paul Pogba, France’s World Cup-winning midfielder who has fallen out of favor with his coach and started on the bench for the last two Premier League games.

Pogba’s chances of getting back in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game at Liverpool won’t have been helped by missing a great chance when the score was 0-0, prodding the ball wide from inside the six-yard box.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, second left, jumps for the ball with Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay, third left, during a Group H Champions League soccer match between Valencia and Manchester United at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, second left, jumps for the ball with Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay, third left, during a Group H Champions League soccer match between Valencia and Manchester United at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

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Source: The Associated Press