United started slowly at Old Trafford ground and almost conceded a goal inside five minutes. Midfielder Christian Eriksen broke through but chipped his effort over new goalkeeper Sergio Romero and the bar.
Tottenham enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges but soon fell behind as defender Kyle Walker put the ball in his own net while attempting a clearance.
United’s striker Wayne Rooney was free on goal but hesitated with his shot and Walker intercepted but only managed to put the ball in his own net.
It was the first time that a Premier League season had begun with a self goal. Both teams then failed in their attempts to score and United went into the half-time preserving the 1-0 lead.
United went into the offensive after the break and midfielder Ashley Young had a chance to double the lead just after the hour mark.
Tottenham failed to clear a cross and Young moved inside to shoot but produced a weak effort, which goalkeeper Michel Vorm easily gathered.
United continued to press forward without much success. But they were secured as Tottenham hardly troubled them at the back, looking short of ideas and going through the motions.
United goalkeeper Sergio Romero was forced into making two saves in the final few minutes, one from a deflected header, the other from a powerful shot by Eriksen moments later, but United held on for all three points much to the relief of their fans.