Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored for the second successive match as Manchester United returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford.
The Armenian followed up his first Reds goal against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday by firing home a thunderous drive just before the half-hour mark after Ander Herrera’s pass cut open the Spurs defence.
And Paul Pogba was unfortunate not to add to the lead in the second half with a sensational free-kick from distance which struck the woodwork.
But after three consecutive draws in the league, it was a welcome three points and a resilient display from Jose Mourinho’s men, who cut the gap behind Spurs in the table to three points with a repeat scoreline of last season’s corresponding fixture.
Both sides had booked their place in the last 32 of the Europa League during the week but crucial league points were on the agenda as they sought to maintain the pressure on the teams above them.
With the Reds only returning from Ukraine in the early hours of Friday morning, Mourinho understandably freshened up his team with six changes – Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Michael Carrick were among those restored, after being rested at home for Thursday’s 2-0 win over Zorya.
United made a fast start and, inside the first minute, Zlatan Ibrahimovic escaped down the left and played a perfect cutback into Pogba’s path but the Frenchman was denied low down by his compatriot Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal.
At the other end, Heung-Min Son curled an ambitious effort over the crossbar from the edge of the box as both teams settled into the game during the early exchanges.