Harry Maguire and Andre Onana secured the precious win for Manchester United as players who have endured a torrid time recently.
Maguire would have been sold in the summer had he accepted the chance to link up with David Moyes at West Ham United, while many have questioned Ten Hag’s wisdom in replacing David de Gea with Onana.
But when half-time substitute Christian Eriksen delivered a superb curling cross to the far post 18 minutes from time, Maguire met it perfectly, shrugging off the attentions of a defender to make sure he was in position to head home.
It was a moment to savour for the 30-year-old, who lost the United captaincy in the summer and at one point seemed to be Ten Hag’s fifth-choice central defender, behind even left-back Luke Shaw.
The hosts should have eased their path to the final whistle with a second goal, but after Alejandro Garnacho’s initial effort was saved superbly by Kamil Grabara, McTominay sent the rebound inches wide of the post.
Skipper Bruno Fernandes also had a shot deflected wide in a pulsating finish, but it seemed United would take the points anyway.
Instead, they had to rely on Onana to ensure victory was not stripped from their grasp.
The charismatic Cameroon goalkeeper’s save will allow United to look ahead to the return meeting in Denmark two weeks from now, knowing victory will almost certainly take them into second place behind Bayern Munich in Group A.