There were people on the pitch and one of them was André Villas-Boas. Mousa Dembélé's winning goal for Tottenham Hotspur had it all, and for his manager it was the prompt for a frenzied outpouring, which tipped him over the line and out of his technical area. If he could have done, he would surely have chased Dembéle down and jumped all over him.
The game had looked up for Tottenham, despite a second-half rally which had built to a climax. Villas-Boas made bold substitutions and, by the end, attacking roles for his players were no more than guidelines. They roamed and they interchanged and they pressed for the solution. If there had been a kitchen sink handy, Villas-Boas would have thrown that on, too.
Then Dembélé seized possession. There was 30 seconds of the 90 minutes remaining and he was some way away but, with a dip of his shoulder, he slithered away from Clément Grenier, Lyon's outstanding player, to open up the shooting chance.
Dembélé's drive, left-footed and from fully 25 yards, was true and packed with power. The ball fizzed low into the far corner and sent everybody connected to Tottenham into raptures.
Tottenham had been undermined by late concessions earlier in the season but Villas-Boas could reflect on a decisive turning of the tide. In the first leg at White Hart Lane Gareth Bale's second goal had come in stoppage time. The full-time whistle brought further passion from Villas-Boas and his staff and plenty of general cavorting. He won this trophy with Porto in 2011 and the elation was also to be cherished here.
"When you score in the last minute, especially with a goal that brings you into the next round, there are all the emotions going round," Villas-Boas said. "Everyone is buzzing to continue in this competition, which is why we reacted so joyfully. We regret sometimes being a team who needs to react and we only reacted after we conceded the goal tonight, but over the two legs we deserved to go through."
Lyon's participation in this tournament had represented something of a comedown, in light of their having been Champions League ever-presents since 1999, but Villas-Boas had made plain his delight to have a tilt at the trophy.
His use of the Europa League, initially to familiarise the squad with his match-day methods and then to build belief and momentum, has been a feature of his first season in charge, and now he has a mouth-watering last-16 meeting with Internazionale, his former club, which will stoke memories of Bale-fired Champions Leagues ties from two seasons ago.
"We still have to make even bigger steps and Inter Milan represents exactly that," Villas-Boas said. "We had two magnificent games against them and we just want to recreate that special night [in the home tie] that everyone remembers at the club.
"Going through against Inter Milan and Lyon puts you in a good place to win the competition," he added.
Tottenham's first-half display had hardly advertised what was to come, at an arena where the atmosphere was pulsating. The capacity crowd whistled Bale from the outset while they jeered the goalkeeper Brad Friedel whose crime, presumably, was not being Hugo Lloris, the ex-Lyon favourite. Friedel made a yapping gesture at his tormentors at full-time.
Lyon took control of the tie after Kyle Walker, not for the only time, conceded a needless free-kick and the alarm bells sounded as Grenier addressed the ball. His delivery benefited his threat and, with Bale's defensive challenge heart-hearted, the captain Maxime Gonalons powered his header past Friedel. Lyon might have scored sooner only forbut Alexandre Lacazette's header lacked power.
Tottenham were laboured in the first half, there was a recklessness in some of their tackling and their passing lacked incision. Lewis Holtby hit the post from 25 yards before the break but Lyonhad other chances, and looked the slicker and more thrusting.
Villas-Boas's team had to be better in the second half and they were. Their tempo was higher and they pressed further up the pitch. The action pulsed and there were chances at both ends. Bale volleyed wide from Emmanuel Adebayor's cross while Grenier shot straight at Friedel and Lacazette sought a penalty, after going down over Friedel's leg. The referee, Wolfgang Stark, was correct to ignore the appeals. Friedel had pulled his leg away.
Adebayor hooked on to the top of the crossbar; Bale twice worked Remy Vercoutre from distance. It shaped into a thriller. Villa-Boas brought on Clint Dempsey on the left and unleashed Bale through the middle. Gylfi Sigurdsson was introduced on the right and Tottenham pushed. Bale was everywhere.
Dempsey had headed over from a Bale corner and it looked as though Tottenham's calvary charge might yield nothing more than gallant failure. Dembélé, however, tore up the script.
"We want to continue setting the example in this competition," Villas-Boas said. "We think it's a real example for England. I don't think the Europa League is a distraction, I think it's an inspiration. Results like this give confidence for Inter and the Premier League."