Goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Christian Eriksen gave Tottenham victory over Manchester United and dealt a fresh blow to David Moyes' hopes of securing Champions League qualification.

Adebayor headed in to give Spurs the lead after 34 minutes, before Eriksen stooped to nod home midway through the second half.

Danny Welbeck scored immediately to bring United back into the match, but the home side weren't able to prevent their fourth defeat at Old Trafford this season.

United have now lost six of their 20 league games and lie seventh in the Premier League table, 11 points behind leaders Arsenal and five points adrift of the Champions League places.

Having won their last six matches in all competitions, United began brightly, invigorated by Wayne Rooney's surprise inclusion from the start.

Pre-match reports had suggested the 28-year-old would not be fit to play, but Moyes sprung a surprise and Rooney troubled the Spurs defence from the outset.

But the visitors always looked dangerous on the counter-attack, and it was from one such break that they took the lead, Adebayor expertly steering home Eriksen's cross before a cheeky celebration in front of the Stretford End.

Tottenham continued to impress in the early stages of the second half, with Adebayor, so often criticised for his lethargy, providing an energetic focal point in tandem with the guile of Roberto Soldado.

Aaron Lennon was equally impressive down the right, and he inadvertently set up Spurs' second goal with a deflected shot which spun into the United penalty area.

Eriksen got to the loose ball ahead of Antonio Valencia, and David De Gea was unable to repel his header despite getting a hand to it.

Apparently lulled into complacency by Eriksen's goal, Spurs allowed Danny Welbeck a clear run on goal within 90 seconds of the restart, and the England striker adroitly lifted Adnan Januzaj's angled ball over Hugo Lloris.

United proceeded to besiege the Tottenham goal, with Januzaj a constant menace. But they were unable to breach the visiting defence, which performed heroically.

Vlad Chiriches was outstanding at the heart of Spurs' back four, while Hugo Lloris pulled off some smart saves in the dying minutes after some earlier wobbles.

United thought they should have had a penalty when Lloris appeared to bring down Ashley Young on the edge of the area, but few neutral observers would begrudge Tottenham their victory.

While Spurs' honeymoon period under new boss Tim Sherwood continues, United remain blighted by sloppiness and inconsistency, and Moyes may well be forced into a marquee signing during the January transfer window to arrest their prolonged slump.