Stoke City's manager, Tony Pulis, was beaten but not bowed after seeing his side lose their unbeaten record in the Europa League and finish second in Group E with a 3-1 defeat by Besiktas in Istanbul.
The Potters went into last night's match certain of qualification and knowing a draw would be enough to keep them in top spot, and took the lead against the run of play through Ricardo Fuller in the 29th minute.
The hosts had piled on the pressure from the start and the game turned when Matthew Upson was shown a red for bringing down Hugo Almeida in the box and Manuel Fernandes netted a 59th-minute penalty.
With the Inonu Stadium crowd in full voice, it was only a matter of time before Besiktas took the lead through Mustafa Pektemek in the 74th minute before fellow substitute Edu added gloss to the score eight minutes later.
Pulis said: "It was a really good performance. The first quarter of an hour we were on the back foot; we looked like a team who hadn't played together for a while. Then the goal went in and we looked very comfortable. For all their possession in the first half, we had the three best chances. We've gone down with a bit of glory."
The negative side of the terrific atmosphere were two incidents where Stoke players were apparently hit by objects thrown from the crowd, first Fuller after he had scored and then Jermaine Pennant as he prepared to take a second-half corner. Pulis, though, insisted they would not report the incident to Uefa, saying: "We're Stoke and we don't complain."