Jose Mourinho’s side had appeared certain to be heading for a defeat when Cristiano Ronaldo brilliantly volleyed home midway inside the first half.
But the introduction of Marouane Fellaini seemed to change everything, as the havoc caused by placing the Belgian into attack completely derailed the home side’s defenders.
First Juan Mata curled in a free-kick from just outside the area four minutes from time, and then another set-piece led to a melee in front of the Juve goal, with the ball eventually going in off defender Leonardo Bonucci.
Here are the game’s talking points.
1. Knock it all you want, the Marouane Fellaini tactic works
In case of emergency, break Fellaini out of glass.
Mourinho once again turned to his oft-used tactic and it completely outfoxed a stunned Juve who couldn’t deal with it.
They aren’t used to it, basically. No-one is. Who could be?
As Fergie-time lives on, Fellaini-time is something to savour.
2. Nemanja Matic is the problem Mourinho doesn’t want to solve
You suspect that pretty much every Mourinho teamsheet comes with Nemanja Matic’s name carved slap bang in the middle of it, but the time for the United boss to reconsider that could be fast approaching.
It’s not that the Serbian was particularly bad here, it’s just that he looked about as limited as he has for most of this season – a campaign in which he’s done well to escape widespread criticism.
His early booking for a crude foul on Paulo Dybala limited him even further, and it is surely time to at least consider what a midfield without him might look like.
3. Anthony Martial’s discipline will get him in his manager’s good books
Maybe the new first name on the teamsheet could be Anthony Martial’s?
The Frenchman’s recent goalscoring spurt of five strikes in his previous five games may not have been continued here, but then he was never likely to get that many chances to do that.
Far more importantly to Mourinho it was always going to be his defensive work that was under spotlight here, and he did that very well.
There was some excellent tracking back and challenging early in the second period to put United on the attack, and that sort of thing will get pinned up on his manager’s wall back at Carrington, especially after this result.