'We didn't deserve to spend final 10-15 minutes with our heart in our hands' - Jose Mourinho
Michael Carrick was pleased to finally end a run of three Premier League draws as Manchester United recorded a narrow 1-0 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford.
The hosts broke the deadlock on the half-hour as Henrikh Mkhitaryan fired a powerful rising effort beyond the diving Hugo Lloris for his first Premier League goal.
Paul Pogba's free-kick rattled the woodwork midway through the second half, moments before he was thwarted by Lloris, while opposite number David De Gea held out a curling effort from Christian Eriksen at the other end as the home side held on for maximum points.
Carrick told Sky Sports: "It was a big game today. We knew it was a massive game, with Tottenham ahead of us in the league.
"We needed to get a run going and I think today hopefully can do that for us. During the five draws, we've thrown a lot of points away.
"We're playing catch up and today was a big part of that so we're delighted with the three points."
On the nervy finish to the match, Carrick added: "I think you can understand that, the way the results have gone of late for us, but in some ways it wasn't our best or prettiest performance we've had in recent weeks but as a team we really dug in.
"We showed a lot of character, created a lot of chances, looked dangerous and all-in-all it was a good performance - we can take a lot from that."
United boss Jose Mourinho was pleased his side clinched victory although admitting the final 10 to 15 minutes of the match had him on the edge of his seat.
He said: "We played very well again, against a very good team - so more difficult.
"I think we don't deserve to spend the last 10-15 minutes with our heart in our hands because we did enough to score a second goal and to kill the game.
"We had opportunities to score the second goal, we had that in the first half, we had that in the second half.
"We had that in one minute on two or three occasions with the post or the shot or the save or the rebounds and we don't score. We are always at risk because teams are always good and they try to change the game.
"But again the post and Lloris. But in the moment, 1-0 is magic because we need these three points."
Despite the man-of-the-match performance, Mkhitaryan’s game ended on a sour note after he was stretchered off following a collision with Spurs’ Danny Rose, in what looked a serious problem the former Borussia Dortmund man.
"We don't think it's a serious injury. We don't think maybe Henrikh can play for a week. I was afraid it was serious but looks like it's not." Mourinho told the BBC.
"Maximum a couple of weeks. It doesn't look like something that is very dangerous or difficult. He brings everything I want an attacker to play. Maybe one week out and it is better to be fresh for Boxing Day."
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was disappointed his Spurs side got nothing from the match.
He said: "I think it was an even game, a really competitive game. A game that was difficult to play, always at Old Trafford.
"We created some clear chance to score but I think they were more creative on goal and from that they scored and we didn't."