Defender Victor Lindelof scored in the second half as struggling Manchester United breathed a collective sigh of relief with a 1-0 victory over Luton Town in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Erik ten Hag's team, who have won two successive league games after stumbling to their worst start since 1962, provisionally climbed two spots to sixth in the table on 21 points after 12 games.
"It is a good day," Ten Hag told the BBC. "We needed the win and we got it but we could make life more easy by scoring early on and getting a second. We created the chances but we didn't score apart from one. I am happy with that and I am happy with the clean sheet."
One negative was Ten Hag picking up his third yellow card of the season, meaning a one-match suspension for the Dutch manager when United travel to Everton on Nov. 26, after the international break.
Luton, who have just one league victory in their debut season in the top flight, are 17th.
United created numerous chances as they dominated the game before Lindelof broke the deadlock in the 59th minute, the Swede smashing home from 16 yards after Luton failed to clear Marcus Rashford's cross.
"I don't score many goals and when I do it is fun," Lindelof, who had not scored for United since late 2020, said.
"The most important thing was getting the points and thankfully we got that today."
Victory in Ten Hag's 50th game as United boss was a welcome boost for a team who have lost nine of their last 18 games in all competitions, have been eliminated from the League Cup and are struggling in the Champions League after a 4-3 loss at Copenhagen on Wednesday.
"I thought we played well in the first half today. We kept the ball and we were patient," Lindelof said. "We created chances as well. After we scored we dropped down a little bit in level and that is what we need to improve - to keep controlling the game.
"It is about getting the results. We need to stick together and do our thing."
United enjoyed 64.4% of possession on the day and Rasmus Hojlund, who scored twice against Copenhagen, nearly grabbed an early goal but the 20-year-old's close-range effort off his knee from Rashford's deflected cross was straight at goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski.
Hojlund had another great chance early in the second half but his header from Bruno Fernandes's cross sailed just wide.
"Rasmus Hojlund has scored five times in the Champions League. He has the confidence and the goals will come," Ten Hag said of his young striker.
Luton, promoted to the Premier League this season having climbed from non-league football a decade ago, could have snatched a draw but left empty-handed and face a long battle to retain their top-flight status.