Adnan Januzaj's goalscoring double on his first Premier League start rescued Manchester United and secured a 2-1 win over Sunderland.
The 18-year-old Belgian struck twice in six second-half minutes to ease the pressure on United boss David Moyes and leave managerless Sunderland bottom and still searching for their first league win of the season.
Sunderland had capitalised on some poor United defending early in the match to take the lead through Craig Gardner, but were made to rue missed opportunities as United's latest young star stole the show.
Januzaj opened his account in the 55th minute as he met a low cross from Patrice Evra and fired past Keiren Westwood from close range.
His second – which saw him become only the second United player after Ruud van Nistelrooy to score twice on his first Premier League start - came just after the hour mark with a crisp left-foot volley that nestled in the bottom corner.
Robin van Persie returned to league action having been on the bench for United's defeat to West Brom last weekend, Wayne Rooney started despite missing their midweek UEFA Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Caretaker manager Kevin Ball made two changes to the Sunderland side beaten by Liverpool, with Ondrej Celustka and Valentin Roberge coming in for Sebastian Larsson and Carlos Cuellar.
The home side made the perfect start with five minutes gone as Gardner took advantage of some poor defending from United to open the deadlock.
Emanuele Giaccherini fired a low cross from the right-hand side, Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic both failed to clear the danger and Gardner pounced from seven yards out.
Januzaj and Nani were the biggest threat for the visitors and both spurned first-half chances.
Nani was first to send a long-range effort towards goal but his shot was wide, while Januzaj missed the target from the edge of the penalty area after neatly turning away from two defenders.
Sunderland had a fantastic opportunity to double their lead in the 34th minute but Giaccherini was denied by an excellent save from David De Gea. The Italian met a left-wing cross from Adam Johnson but the Spaniard made a save diving to his right.
Nani continued to be the main danger for United and he forced the first save out of Westwood in the 41st minute after meeting a Rafael da Silva cross. Sunderland failed to clear the cross and the Portugal international fired towards goal from a tight angle but the goalkeeper pushed it wide.
United got themselves level 10 minutes into the second half through the impressive Januzaj, who fed the ball out to Evra on the left and was perfectly placed to convert the Frenchman's cross from inside the penalty area.
Van Persie tested Westwood with a low shot soon after but it was Januzaj who fired them ahead just after the hour.
Former United defender John O'Shea failed to clear a Nani cross from the right and the Belgian volleyed the loose ball across Westwood and into the bottom corner.
United should have extended their lead late on but Van Persie missed a clear sight of goal with a poor finish wide of Westwood's goal.
|8||C. Gardner||5' 53'|
|Coach: K. Ball|
for C. Gardner 56'
for A. Johnson 64'
for Sung-Yong Ki 74'
|Chelsea 2 West Ham 0: Mourinho´s men ease to victory|
|Suarez enjoying Messi, Neymar link-up|
|A-League Review: Garcia rescues point for Perth, Adelaide up to second|
|Poyet calls for mid-season break|
|Van Gaal rules out Januzaj move|
|Rodgers: Balotelli may have to get used to bench|
|Lallana: I was trying too hard|
|Pardew braced for Old Trafford test|
|Adriano announces Le Havre deal|
|Song to face ´brother from another mother´ Fabregas|
|Walker juggles music, football careers in Sweden|
|Lescott unfazed by City reunion|
|Tskhadadze appointed Georgia coach|
|United to finish top three - Ferdinand|
|Allardyce: Stamford Bridge stalemate saved my job|
|Southampton need three January signings, says Watson|
|Liverpool can make Champions League, says fanzine editor|
|Walsh: Hull clash crucial for Leicester|
|Toure, Aubameyang and Enyeama make shortlist for African gong|
|Docherty backs Chelsea to win two-horse race|
|Liverpool could benefit from Hyypia influence - Scales|
|Saudi Arabia name Asian Cup squad|
|Forty-year-old Cahill no problem for Postecoglou|
|Wenger criticism baffles Redknapp|
|Leicester must strengthen in window - Walsh|
|United not title contenders - Docherty|
|Koeman: Southampton youngsters will get a chance|
|Dyche empathises with Liverpool striker crisis|
|Cagliari turn to Zola|
|Rooney thanks Van Gaal for Christmas break|
|Cruzeiro offer Paulinho Tottenham exit chance|
|Carlisle´s wife grateful to Burnley|
|Katebe called up to Zambia AFCON squad|
|Cape Verde name AFCON squad|
|Finke names much-changed Cameroon squad|
|Grant omits World Cup troublemakers for AFCON|
|Blackpool striker Ranger goes AWOL|
|Allardyce relishing Mourinho meeting|
|Ashley fails to increase Rangers stake|
|Crystal Palace v Southampton: Koeman calls for focus|
|Warnock targeting striker in January|
|Chelsea v West Ham: Adrian vows visitors will attack|
|Heskey signs short-term deal at Bolton|
|Everton v Stoke City: Martinez eyes strong form|
|Juninho defends David Luiz|
|Burnley v Liverpool: Dyche defends Rodgers ahead of Turf Moor test|
|Arsenal v QPR: Wenger eyes festive momentum|
|Liverpool are growing in confidence, says Rodgers|
|Redknapp: Austin future could depend on survival|
|Martinez wants Everton consistency|
|Barca want Neymar until 2020, says agent|
|Jones undeterred by pressure of Liverpool starting role|
|Allardyce ´knows how to beat managers´ - Carroll|
|Jones playing for a new contract|
|China select Evergrande spine for Asian Cup|
|A-League Preview: Koren tips City to build|
|Khedira keen to fight for Real spot|