Edinson Cavani found the back of the net just after the half-hour mark, but a VAR review saw the goal ruled out after a Scott McTominay hand to the face of Son Heung-min in the build-up - and the Spurs man netted at the other end just a few minutes later following a fantastic passing move from the home team.
Those few minutes of play sparked what had been a low-key affair into life, with the United players riled at calls going against them, though it wasn’t until close to the hour mark that they next threatened, Hugo Lloris twice denying the Red Devils at his near post before Fred finally found the equaliser.
United were the better team after the break and finally took the lead 10 minutes from time through a Cavani diving header, before Spurs hit the woodwork after a corner just a few minutes later. Despite that chance - which actually came off Pogba and Cavani in turn, onto their own post - Spurs rarely threatened an equaliser of their own and Mason Greenwood added late gloss with a blistering finish.
Here are the player ratings from the game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Hugo Lloris - 6. Two fine low saves after the break but couldn’t hold on to the shot which led to the eventual equaliser. Beaten near post for the final goal.
Serge Aurier - 6. Fairly solid in defence and had a few shooting chances.
Joe Rodon - 6. Lost Cavani on the run more than once but did well clearing his lines during more sustained periods of United pressure.
Eric Dier - 7. A few big blocks, including one on Pogba just a few yards from goal.
Sergio Reguilon - 4. Didn’t really affect play going forward enough and didn’t cope well with either Rashford or Greenwood. Poor for the final goal.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - 7. Hard-working and diligent with his defensive work but was left to do it alone too often.
Tanguy Ndombele - 5. Hot and cold for most of his time on the pitch and subbed after the break.
Lucas Moura - 7. Great composure to assist the opener. Led the counter very well and was the best ball-carrier in the Spurs side.
Giovani Lo Celso - 5. Bypassed at times and didn’t really offer much of a threat in attack.
Son Heung-min - 6. Involved at both ends in the first half. A fine finish for his goal, but faded after the break.
Harry Kane - 7. As usual, was Spurs’ best outlet and creative spark, but not many of their chances fell his way.
Erik Lamela - 6. No real impact after coming on.
Gareth Bale - n/a
Dean Henderson - 8. Good save from Son in the second half and made two great stops with his feet after the break. Safe handling throughout.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka - 7. Always an outlet in the second half and tracked back whenever required.
Victor Lindelof - 7. Huge block on Ndombele at 1-1. Won his aerial battles and used the ball well moving the team forward.
Harry Maguire - 5. Caught out two or three times with poor positioning and being easily turned.
Luke Shaw - 7. His confidence was apparent with some great crossfield passes and surges forward. Defensively was beaten a few times but his distribution was excellent.
Fred - 7. A rare goal for the holding midfielder who was decent on the ball, but not always tidy in the challenge.
Scott McTominay - 5. Far from his best day at the office and, once United’s goal was disallowed, was perhaps fortunate not to get a second yellow card.
Marcus Rashford - 6. Did the job for the team on the right flank but couldn’t often get involved in the box.
Bruno Fernandes - 6. A real lack of impact for much of the game, mostly notable for his role in the build-up to Cavani’s winner.
Paul Pogba - 8. The team’s best hub for attacking play, with some excellent through-passes and runs into the box - but should have scored with a near-post flick.
Edinson Cavani - 8. Netted one - ruled out - and saw one saved which led to the equaliser. His movement was first-rate and caused Spurs no end of problems, even before his late diving header.
Mason Greenwood - 8. Brilliant cross for Cavani’s goal and then a tremendous finish of his own to wrap up the points.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies