at Old Trafford and move three points clear of title rivals Liverpool once more.
Two goals adrift at the interval following close-range strikes by Darren Bent and Luka Modric, United pulled one back through a controversial Cristiano Ronaldo penalty.
Wayne Rooney levelled before Ronaldo's diving header put United in front, with Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov wrapping up an amazing win that strengthens the Red Devils' claims on an 18th league title.
There was no 800th Manchester United appearance for Ryan Giggs today as Manchester United attempted to leapfrog Liverpool and go straight back to the Barclays Premier League summit by beating Tottenham at Old Trafford.
Giggs was not even named on the bench, although Carlos Tevez was as the unhappy South American again played second fiddle to Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov.Ledley King and Jermaine Jenas came into the Tottenham line-up, although the main news out of White Hart Lane was the withdrawal of England star Jermain Defoe following the tragic death of his half-brother Jade, which was announced earlier today
Ronaldo rose highest to meet Nani's curling left-wing cross but could not keep his header on target.
A low cross from Patrice Evra was deflected into Fletcher's path but Benoit Assou-Ekotto moved in quickly to block.
Wayne Rooney's rising drive fizzed over but the opener, when it arrived, came at the other end when Corluka floated a dangerous cross deep into the United box.
Rio Ferdinand appeared to have the situation under control but when he mistimed his header, the ball bounced perfectly for Darren Bent, who lashed home from six yards.
The second period had barely started when Bent fell awkwardly after an aerial duel with Vidic, although he was eventually able to continue after treatment.
Rooney tried to guide a Tevez cross into the corner but Robbie Keane turned it away, as Ledley King had done when Rafael crossed moments earlier.
A neat exchange of passes involving Berbatov and Ronaldo set up Tevez, whose low shot was saved by Gomes.
United needed a goal and it duly arrived after 56 minutes in the most controversial of circumstances as Carrick charged onto a Rooney pass.
Carrick definitely got to the ball first, Gomes felt he got a touch on it as well but referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot.
Amid the pandemonium that followed, Ronaldo kept his head to score from the spot.
The introduction of Paul Scholes for Fletcher was designed to bring a measure of composure to what had become a desperate search for an equaliser.
Both Tevez and Scholes were booked for clumsy challenges, although by now the game was totally devoid of shape.
Tevez emerged from the maelstrom to flick a pass to Rooney, who cut inside before shooting low and beating Gomes at his near post.
Within a minute United were in front, Rooney this time providing the cross which Ronaldo headed home to send Old Trafford into ecstasy.
And United were not finished as Ronaldo picked out Rooney with a far-post cross.
The England striker beat Gomes but it seemed Woodgate would clear only for the defender to drag the ball over the line as he slid in to block.
Number five arrived 11 minutes from time, Rooney providing the cross this time and Berbatov the finish.The Bulgarian belted home after Gomes had stopped his initial header and then got in a tangle with Jenas.