Jose Mourinho admitted his side made ‘many mistakes’, but praised Crystal Palace and the officials after their 3-2 come-from-behind win.
The hosts took an early lead through a deflected strike from Andros Townsend, and seemed to be on their way to all three points when Patrick van Aanholt doubled the advantage three minutes into the second-half.
However, Jose Mourinho’s side roared back, scoring first through Chris Smalling before Romelu Lukaku slotted home a 76th minute equaliser.
As the game appeared to be heading for a draw, Nemanja Matic produced a superb half-volley from 25 yards to steal the three points in added time and move the Red Devils second.
“I think Palace deserve congratulations, because a match like this is only possible with two teams,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“I would say it was with three teams because the referee wanted to keep the intensity of the game going.
“It was a fantastic match. It was a difficult match for me because my team made so many mistakes.
“We played very good quality football in the second half but we made so many defensive mistakes.
“I don’t like my teams to lose their organisation like we did, but it was an amazing match and a very important win for us.
“That disgraceful, childish second goal changed everything. But the players kept an amazing attitude. Juan Mata was finding spaces inside, Marcus Rashford was open on the left and brought their right-back wide to give us more space in the middle.
“You always need that little bit of luck to win a match in the last few minutes. Sometimes the winner is the one who deserves the congratulations but I think Roy Hodgson did everything right.
“I cannot tell you half of the things I told my team at half-time because there would be lots of bleeping on television. But what I can say was all about the tactical positioning.
“To come back from 2-0 down away from home against a team that is desperate for points, it gives us a great feeling.”