Let down by the deflection for Vertonghen's goal and his midfield for Bale's. Did pretty much as well as could be expected for the Bale shot that Dempsey pursued for the third, as well.
Ungainly in his fall to the floor in a vain attempt to block Vertonghen’s second-minute shot and, given its keeper-bound trajectory, arguably deserved the real credit for the goal.
Badly outpaced by Bale for the second goal although he had been let down by the midfield, whose flakiness allowed the Welshman to build up a head of steam, and caught out by Vertonghen for the opener too. Some useful interceptions when not in direct competition for speed but decidedly not the colossus of old.
Implied fairly early on an awareness that he could not deal with the pace down the right offered by Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker, some cynical challenges to stop them before they got into full flow.
Woke up after the half-time hairdryer as United took control of the game but whenever Bale, or the havoc-causing Defoe, ran at him in defence, the Brazilian looked second-best.
His time has been and gone - the evidence continues to pile up that Giggs is no longer a reliable starter for United. Shrugged off the ball far too easily by the hyper-aware Spurs and quietly removed at half-time.
Lovely close control in the first half, though badly served. Proved that quality in the second with his truly sublime turn and finish to make it 3-2 in a crazy atmosphere. The Japan international really is a class act and it was a bit of a surprise to see him withdrawn for Welbeck.
Mostly invisible and bullied by a rampant Dembele in the first half, Carrick simply is not a good enough "defensive" partner for Scholes against a midfield as good and switched-on as Tottenham's. When the game opened up, though, it was a different story, as the England man offered some sumptuous passes.
In between some surprisingly proficient tackles, the 37-year-old was embarrassingly vital for United in the first half. When not closed down by a rampaging Dembele his long passes seemed their only outlet – then, when Spurs had given up the momentum, he was once again the beating heart of the recovery effort.
Should have been awarded a penalty when Vertonghen pulled his shirt in the box and drew a regulation save from Friedel moments later - which was at least more than his colleagues had done until then. Switched on to poke home Rooney's fine cross just after the break but put in a few trademark Row-Z shots as time dragged on.
R. van Persie
Looked to be doing the work that should have been Rooney's in the first half, with no man running into the box to take advantage of his clever touches and industry. Guilty of some uncharacteristic misses in the second, including one really glaring chance at the near post. A disappointment from the Dutchman.
Once again made some important saves in the second half but one might argue that he could have taken on more responsibility for firing up his defence to wrest more control back from the desperate hosts.
His run to open the scoring set the tone for a superb first half, a buccaneering thrust that stunned the hosts. From then until the break he was everywhere, totally dominating the left half of the pitch - but lucky not to give away a penalty for pulling Nani’s shirt. His influence waned as Spurs dropped deep in the second half.
The more solid of Tottenham's centre-backs, he looks very comfortable with the step up to a top club.
It was a slight surprise not to see the captain go off at half-time as he appeared to be nursing an injury - not so much that the ageing Frenchman was pipped to Rooney’s cross by Nani just after the break. Picked up once the mayhem had died down, though, to stay strong and help his side hang on.
Some neat interceptions covering for Sandro and, though Tottenham mostly attacked down the left through the inspired Vertonghen, the right-back looked potent as well. Found it too easy to power past defenders on the flank in the first half but a little defensively suspect as United pressed late on.
The most visibly buzzed by the early goal with some sugar-rush dribbles but never quite followed through on that threat. Should really have been punished for a bad second-half tackle.
For the second time this season, the Belgian made it painfully obvious that he is exactly the type of player that United desperately need. A monster in midfield, defensively and offensively, until Kagawa's goal went in and the worried, defensive mindset took over, at which point he subdued.. Withdrawn late.
The second half should have been the period in which the Brazilian frustrated and dominated United but instead his game was better summed up by what could have been a penalty; a handball for which he looked pretty clueless.
Could easily have given away a goal when his poor defensive header was not capitalised upon in the early stages but, of course, looked more comfortable in attack and bagged his first goal for Spurs by being in the right place at the right time. Taken off with 20 minutes left as Villas-Boas sought additional control.
Tottenham’s domination came through the midfield but Defoe’s part should not be overlooked. His runs with and, in particular, off the ball were superb all day. Dragged defenders out of position for the second goal and set up Tottenham’s third with his industry and vision. Left isolated as his team-mates dropped deep in the second period.
Some sizzling moments of pace and skill - the head of steam that he built himself as he raced through to score the second was quite thrilling. Unlucky not to net his second after the break but Dempsey tapped home the rebound.