Leicester Tigers kept their Heineken Cup title hope alive by staging a second half comeback to beat Clermont Auvergne 23-19 in Pool 4 of the Heineken Cup at Welford Road.
Leicester looked they would be exiting the Heineken Cup at half time as they were trailing 7-16 but fought their way back into the match with a converted try by Julian Salvi and four penalties from Toby Flood.
The result sets up a fascinating clash in January between the Tigers and Ulster at Ravenhill which could go a long way to deciding the pool winner.
Clermont may have lost the match but held on to take a losing bonus point which could prove to be crucial in this Pool in the final calculations.
Having lost the reverse encounter 30-12 in France last week, the 2001 and 2002 Heineken Cup winners knew anything but a third victory of the pool stages would leave their European hopes hanging by the thinnest of threads.
And when a 39th minute converted try from Sitiveni Sivivatu gave the French giants a 16-7 lead, one of the tournament's most accomplished sides were staring down the barrel of an early Heineken Cup exit.
But a Julian Salvi riposte early in the second period brought Tigers right back into the game, with the boot of Toby Flood doing the remainder of the damage to gain immediate revenge on Vern Cotter's men.
Clermont opened up an initial six-point lead thanks to a drop goal apiece from David Skrela and Morgan Parra but it was Leicester who crossed for the game's opening try.
Tigers centre Manu Tuilagi, who was one of two Leicester players to be sinbinned at the Stade Marcel Michelin last weekend, powered through some weak Clermont tackling after taking Flood's inside ball following clean lineout ball on the edge of the 22.
Flood converted from directly underneath the posts to hand the hosts a 7-6 advantage with 16 minutes gone but the remainder of the half belonged to Clermont.
A penalty from Parra saw the visitors regain the lead as the game reached the 20-minute mark.
A second missed three-pointer from Flood then allowed Clermont to stay ahead before they extended their lead on the stroke of half-time.
Superb foraging work from openside Alexandre Lapandry put Clermont on the front foot, with Lee Byrne supplying the scoring pass to Sivivatu 25 metres out.
The former All Black wing cantered home almost unopposed to give the half-time team talks an altogether different feel as Parra's conversion saw Clermont hold a 16-7 lead at the break. Leicester responded brilliantly, however, as they collected a quick-fire 10 points in the first eight minutes after the interval.
A well-struck penalty from Flood wide on the left brought Tigers to back within a single score before Salvi powered through from 20 metres out after Ben Youngs' half break had caught Clermont napping.
Parra gave Clermont the lead for a final time on 55 minutes but two further successful penalties saw Tigers home in front of a crowd of more than 20,000.
But while it was Leicester who won today's battle, Clermont arguably won the war as they picked up five points compared to Tigers' four over the back-to-back fixtures in Round 3 and 4.
Final Score Leicester 23 (7) Clermont Auvergne 19 (16)
Tries: Tuilagi, Salvi
Penalties: Flood 4
Conversions: Flood 2
Penalties: Parra 2
Drop-goals: Skrela, Parra
Man of the match : Thomas Waldrom
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Leicester Tigers: G Murphy [capt]; H Agulla, M Smith, M Tuilagi, A Tuilagi; T Flood, B Youngs; B Stankovich, G Chuter, M Castrogiovanni, L Deacon, G Skivington, T Croft, J Salvi, T Waldrom
Replacements: R Hawkins, J White, D Cole, S Mafi, B Woods, S Harrison, B Twelvetrees, S Hamilton
ASM Clermont Auvergne: L Byrne; S Sivivatu, R King, W Fofana, J Malzieu; D Skrela, M Parra; L Faure, T Paulo, C Ric, J Cudmore, J White, G Vosloo, A Lapandry, J Bonnaire [capt]
Replacements: B Kayser, V Debaty, D Kotze, N Hines, E Vermeulen, K Senio, B James, G Williams
With thanks to ERCRugby.