Spurs took the lead midway through the first half when Steven Bergwijn slalomed his way through the United defence before firing past a despondent David De Gea. However, with just 10 minutes remaining, Eric Dier clumsily fouled Paul Pogba inside the Tottenham box, leaving Bruno Fernandes with the simple task of converting from the spot.
The result breaks a dire run of four straight league defeats at home for the Londoners, to offer some hope that they can still end the season on a high note.
Aside from the sublime performance of Bergwijn, Spurs can also reflect on a game in which the team functioned well defensively. Every player contributed and worked hard for the cause, with Hugo Lloris standing firm whenever United managed to evade the backline. Further, the link-up play from Spurs' attacking four in transition was also a promising sign of things to come.
The second half proved to be a turning point, as tiredness appeared to lead to a number of individual errors from some of the Spurs' players. Had it not been for Dier's clumsy tackle, they might have gotten away with it, but their inability to put the game beyond United cost them in the end.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Jose Mourinho opted for an attack-minded lineup, which yielded some success, as the front four linked up well. His game plan of sitting in deep to soak up pressure worked its magic in the first half, as Bergwijn's goal came from a simple, route-one ball, which appeared to catch the United defence napping. Mourinho's work on the training pitch was evident for all to see, even if his decision to field Dier at centre-back somewhat backfired.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 8 -- Pulled off a number of superb stops, including a fingertip save to deny Anthony Martial a certain goal. Without the club captain's skills, Spurs may have been in real trouble.
DF Serge Aurier, 7 -- New playing conditions, same Aurier. The Ivorian was dangerous on the overlap, particularly in tandem with Bergwijn in the final third. However, lax passing in his own half did undermine some of his positive work going forward.
DF Davinson Sanchez, 6 -- The weaker of Spurs' two centre-backs, in spite of his partner nominally playing in midfield. He botched a number of clearances, with one poor header almost leading to a Marcus Rashford goal.
DF Eric Dier, 6 -- The Englishman, accustomed to playing in midfield this season, adapted well to the centre-half position that he knows all too well. His good work was undone late on, after a clumsy challenge on Pogba allowed Fernandes to equalise from the spot.
DF Ben Davies, 6 -- Offered defensive solidity in the first half but little else going forward. In the second period, however, he did well to provide support for Dier as United pushed more men up the pitch.
MF Harry Winks, 7 -- Composed throughout and assured in possession. His passing was excellent in the first half, when he helped to launch a handful of key counterattacks.
MF Moussa Sissoko, 6 -- One of the few Spurs players who looked slightly off the boil on the night. The former Newcastle man worked hard defensively but ultimately failed to offer much in an attacking sense.
FW Erik Lamela, 7 -- Was fortunate to avoid a booking after a number of overzealous tackles. With that being said, his overall contribution was good, with his defensive work-rate particularly notable.
FW Steven Bergwijn, 8 -- Enjoyed one of his finest nights in a Spurs shirt after scoring spectacularly in the first half. His goal provided the game's first significant piece of magic, at a time when little was being created by either side. The Dutchman's energy, skill and pace were a constant menace.
FW Son Heung-Min, 7 -- The South Korea international was fired up from the onset, hassling the United backline, and drifting inside every chance he had. He saw his header well saved by De Gea just before the break.
FW Harry Kane, 5 -- On the evidence of the night, the Spurs' main man will likely need a few more weeks to get back up to speed. He showed flashes of his old self, with sharp touches and link-up play, but the Kane of old isn't back just yet.
FW Gedson Fernandes, N/R -- Took Bergwijn's place on the flank for the final 20 minutes.
MF Giovani Lo Celso, N/R -- Replaced Lamela as Spurs' central playmaker on the 70th-minute mark.