Manchester United had Cristiano Ronaldo to thank on Saturday as the new leading scorer in football history bagged three goals to secure a 3-2 win over Tottenham at Old Trafford.
Spurs found their way behind United's back line twice inside the first five minutes, with Son Heung-min at the heart of it. The South Korean just wasn't fast enough to beat David de Gea to a long ball, before his dangerous drive down the left wing was well repelled by United's defence.
However, it was United who drew first blood 12 minutes in as the returning Ronaldo unleashed a ferocious effort from all of 25 yards which roared into Hugo Lloris' top corner.
Paul Pogba tried to do the same soon after, but couldn't bend his strike inside his fellow Frenchman's posts.
Tottenham thought they'd tied things up five minutes later as Ben Davies slotted home through De Gea, but the assistant referee quickly raised his offside flag after clocking the Welshman had mistimed his run.
Diogo Dalot had to be alert to clear off the line from an Eric Dier header as Spurs continued to push for a way back into the game.
That Spurs pressure eventually counted 33 minutes in when Dejan Kulusevski's cross was handled by Alex Telles in the penalty area, and up stepped Harry Kane to bag a deserved equaliser from 12 yards.
But just a few minutes later, United were back ahead. Some poor defending played Jadon Sancho offside and the winger's cut-back to Ronaldo made it impossible not to score - thus becoming football's all-time top scorer by FIFA's records - and United went into the break 2-1 up.
Both sides continued to trade blows in the second half, with the first real chance falling to Son. He found some space in the box but could only drag his effort wide.
Spurs did find their equaliser with 20 minutes to go. Sergio Reguilon's cross was deflected into the back of his own net by Harry Maguire, whose desperate lunge to block the cross ended up backfiring.
Ronaldo nearly bagged his hat-trick shortly after, toe-poking a creative effort towards Lloris, but the goalkeeper did well to get down and keep it out.
That hat-trick - his first since re-joining United - came nine minutes from time. An outstanding leap from a corner saw Ronaldo beat Doherty to a corner and Lloris had absolutely no chance.
The tempo stayed high until the final minute, but United defended well and kept Spurs at bay, securing an enormous win in their quest for Champions League football.
Man Utd player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
David de Gea (GK) - 6/10 - Under quite a bit of pressure without ever really been called on.
Diogo Dalot (RB) - 6/10 - Some nice work going forward but some uncomfortable moments at the back. His determination to catch Son offside could've been bad.
Harry Maguire (CB) - 5/10 - Had such a nice, quiet performance before his own goal. Just couldn't stay out the headlines.
Raphael Varane (CB) - 6/10 - Mopped up Dalot's errors fairly well. Nice and composed against Spurs' pressure.
Alex Telles (LB) - 6/10 - Unfortunate for the handball but made up for it with some great work going forward. Caught out a little too often but felt more like a tactical issue.
Nemanja Matic (DM) - 7/10 - His out-and-out defensive mindset was huge for United's midfield. Let them roam without fear of being overrun. Great ball for the second goal.
Fred (DM) - 8/10 - Benefitted from that extra cover from Matic. Really involved going forward.
Marcus Rashford (RM) - 5/10 - A mixed performance. Generally pretty dull in attack but did some nice work defensively. Not really what you want from your attacker though.
Paul Pogba (AM) - 7/10 - Looked really happy in Bruno Fernandes' advanced role. Is also bald now. Pogbald. You're welcome.
Jadon Sancho (LM) - 7/10 - An absolute menace all game long. A perfect pass for Ronaldo to tie things up.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) - 9/10 - A glorious opener, a composed second and an emphatic third. Even showed a willingness to roam around instead. Looked up for this and got the rewards.
Anthony Elanga (RM, 68' for Rashford) - 6/10
Edinson Cavani (ST, 79' for Matic) - 6/10
Victor Lindelof (CB, 83' for Ronaldo) - N/A
Tottenham player ratings
5. Goalkeeper & defenders
Hugo Lloris (GK) - 5/10 - Positioning wasn't great for the goals.
Cristian Romero (CB) - 6/10 - Didn't have the best time up against Sancho in the first half but regained his composure after the break.
Eric Dier (CB) - 5/10 - Also a little sluggish. Left Reguilon on an island for the second goal.
Ben Davies (CB) - 5/10 - Slips over a lot. Weird.
Matt Doherty (RM) - 6/10 - Got a lot of joy in behind Telles and was unfortunate not to get more from it, but that left too much space for Sancho to exploit.
Rodrigo Bentancur (CM) - 7/10 - Sprayed some outstanding passes around, but lacked a little urgency at times.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (CM) - 7/10 - Similarly excellent on the ball. Identified United's weakness behind the left-back and exploited it regularly.
Sergio Reguilon (LM) - 5/10 - A tricky performance. Played Sancho on for the second goal and didn't get much right in attack either.
Dejan Kulusevski (RF) - 7/10 - The main beneficiary from the space down United's left. Looked a real danger.
Harry Kane (ST) - 6/10 - Took his penalty well but was otherwise a little anonymous.
Son Heung-min (LF) - 6/10 - Had some really nice early moments but saw his influence fade as time went on.
Lucas Moura (RF, 78' for Kulusevski) - 5/10
Steven Bergwijn (RM, 87' for Davies) - N/A
Harry Winks (CM, 87' for Bentancur) - N/A