Ashley Young’s first Premier League goal for 18 months, courtesy of a big deflection, saw Manchester United edge battling Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford.
Brighton had been the better team up until Young’s attempt from the edge of the area hit Lewis Dunk before looping over keeper Mat Ryan and into the net.
Earlier, Anthony Knockaert and Pascal Gross both went close after getting behind the United defence.
Ryan produced a double save to keep out Romelu Lukaku’s header and Paul Pogba’s follow-up on the stroke of half-time.
United’s win cuts Manchester City’s lead at the top of the Premier League table to five points ahead of their trip to Huddersfield on Sunday.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane scored a late equaliser to deny managerless West Brom an important win at Wembley.
The England forward finally broke the Baggies’ resistance by tapping a Dele Alli cross through Ben Foster’s legs on 74 minutes.
It denied the away side a first win in any competition since August and they are now 12 games without a win, a point ahead of 18th-placed West Ham.
Elsewhere, Mamadou Sakho’s injury-time winner took Crystal Palace’s unbeaten home run to four matches as they came from behind to beat Stoke City and boost their hopes of avoiding relegation.
And Watford condemned Newcastle to a fourth straight defeat with a comfortable away win at St James’ Park.
Full-time Results of games played on Saturday afternoon
Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke City
Manchester United 1-0 Brighton
Newcastle United 0-3 Watford
Swansea City 0-0 AFC Bournemouth
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 West Brom
West Ham 1-1 Leicester City