Despite dominating large swaths of the first half the hosts couldn’t make their chances count, and twice in the opening period United goalkeeper David De Gea was called upon to keep his side in the contest.
But the Red Devils were a different outfit after the restart, and shortly before the hour-mark Welbeck had his side ahead following a scrappy bit of play following a throw-in.
With the ball having taken a fortuitous glance off Ryan Bennett, Javier Hernandez managed to get a heavy touch before Welbeck found himself back in possession, and after rounding John Ruddy he stroked the ball into the back of the gaping net for what proved to be the winner.
|Manchester United Player Ratings|
De Gea: Made four saves in the first half - two of them of the difficult variety.
Smalling: Did well opposite Redmond.
Vidic: Some good defensive headers to go along with a 90% passing accuracy.
Evans: Yet to put a foot wrong despite considerable pressure.
Evra: Being destroyed by Snodgrass and Martin.
Carrick: Not too bad given it's his first start since early November.
Giggs: Cleverley is having to do his running for him.
Cleverley: Passing at an impressive 97%, but needs to see more of the ball.
Young: Played Hernandez through for United's only shot on target.
Kagawa: No defensive contribution whatsoever.
Hernandez: Needs to improve his movement off the ball.
De Gea: Kept his side in the match during the first half.
Smalling: Didn't put a foot wrong over the 90 minutes and neutralized Redmond.
Vidic: Having him back should produce a few more clean sheets for United.
Evans: One of the Northern Irishman's better matches of the season.
Evra: Recovered well after a poor first half and added a good attacking element in the second period.
Carrick: Played the full 90 minutes in his return from injury and touched the ball 84 times.
Giggs: Was replaced at the break following a poor first half.
Cleverley: His exceptional performance included 85 touches of the ball, a passing accuracy of 96% and two successful tackles.
Young: Slowly but surely he's starting to play his way into the first team on a regular basis.
Kagawa: Was replaced by Januzaj in the 70th minute and was generally underwhelming.
Hernandez: Proved to be far more effective alongside Welbeck.
Welbeck: Invigorated the United attack following his introduction.
Januzaj: Was an immediate improvement on Kagawa, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
Fletcher: Made a three-minute cameo appearance.