The Red Devils conquered a late scare to edge Everton 2-1 at Old Trafford and give Jose Mourinho a much-needed second win in eight matches.
Having reportedly rejected United’s initial offer of a new contract, Anthony Martial ensured the week ended with the focus firmly on his talents as he created United’s first and scored the second in a stimulating display.
The Frenchman won the penalty that Paul Pogba converted at the second attempt in the 27th minute before lashing home what proved the winner just after half-time.
Chris Smalling, making his 300th appearance for United, made their task more difficult than it should have been when his rash challenge gave Gylfi Sigurdsson the opportunity to halve the deficit from the spot, but the hosts held firm to quickly leave their limp Champions League loss to Juventus in midweek behind.
Romelu Lukaku’s omission from the starting line-up afforded Martial a prominent role and it was his swift legs that drew the penalty from Idrissa Gueye, who got a toe to the ball before the attacker’s theatrical fall.
Jordan Pickford impressively denied Pogba from an initial effort, but the midfielder’s stuttering run-up was spared from more scrutiny as he rolled in a quick rebound.
Martial got United’s second in a change of role situation the 22-year-old graciously curled a Pogba pass into the bottom-right corner within four minutes of the restart.
Bernard threw away a chance to pull Everton back in the game before Smalling’s 77th-minute tackle enabled Sigurdsson to grab a consolation from the spot.
The host could have increased the but Martial’s last-minute flop one-on-one with Pickford ended the game.