Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Cristiano Ronaldo's last-gasp winner against Sporting Lisbon will allow him to let his Manchester United stars put their feet up.
Ferguson's side clinched first place in Group F after battling back from Abel's first half strike to beat Sporting 2-1 at Old Trafford on Tuesday thanks to goals from Carlos Tevez and Ronaldo.
It was the perfect ending for Ferguson. With only seconds to play it looked as though United would need a point from their last group fixture at Roma to guarantee they won the group.
That would have meant taking a full-strength side to Italy on December 12 - just four days before the Premier League champions face Liverpool.
But Ronaldo's blistering free-kick in stoppage time means the tie is irrelevant and Ferguson can leave several key players at home to rest ahead of the crunch domestic clash.
"It's important in the sense that when we go to Roma I will certainly be using all my squad," Ferguson said.
"In fact maybe one or two won't even travel because there's obviously an important game coming up against Liverpool. But we'll still play a team we hope can win the match."
Ferguson should have Wayne Rooney and Gary Neville available by the time United travel to Anfield.
The Scot revealed Rooney is set to feature against Fulham on Monday after a quickly than expected recovery from an ankle injury.
United captain Neville is also ready to step up his return from injury in a reserve match on Thursday.
Ferguson acknowledged his side were fortunate to extend their 100 percent record in Europe this season - they are the only club to have won all five group matches - after a lethargic first half.
"I don't think we were a great deal better than Sporting but we certainly increased our game in the second half. We had more speed and tempo and we just edged it narrowly," he said.
For long spells United looked physically and mentally spent after their battering at Bolton on Saturday.
Tomasz Kuszczak gifted Sporting the lead in the 21st minute when he was caught out of position by Abel's swerving shot from way out on the right flank.
It was an awful piece of goalkeeping by the Pole but Abel deserved credit for his opportunist strike.
Sporting were harshly denied a second goal when Liedson alertly poked home from close-range, only to see an offside flag rule out his effort even though replays showed he was level with Darren Fletcher.
United played with far more energy in the second half and equalised in the 61st minute.
Louis Saha touched Patrice Evra's cross back to Ronaldo and his shot was turned in by Tevez despite Marian Had's attempted block.
United pressed for a winner and it was inevitable Ronaldo would have the last word against his former club once again.
He scored the winner when the sides met earlier this season and repeated the trick with a powerful 30-yard strike after Liedson fouled Anderson.
Unlike in Lisbon, Ronaldo celebrated his goal this time and he explained: "It was a fabulous goal. I'm very happy, not just because I scored but because of the win.
"Sporting people know this is my job, my club is Manchester. The first game, in Lisbon, was different. "I respect these people, they like me and I like them too."
Sporting's coach Paulo Bento admitted he fears midfielder Miguel Veloso, a transfer target for United, is certain to leave after another composed display.
"I am sure we are going to lose him taking into account the names we are hearing who are interested in him. I'm not sure he will be with us next season," Bento said.
"We always get frustrated when we lose. But although we missed our first objective, which was to stay in the Champions League, we are happy to have our second objective of getting into the UEFA Cup." ( AFP )