Federico Macheda scored the only goal midway through the first half as United took the first steps in their bid to wrest back the Barclays Premier League title they lost to Manchester City in dramatic circumstances on the final day of last season.
An experimental United side looked short of their best, with goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard called on to make a couple of decent saves, while the hosts were only denied a penalty due to an offside flag.
Yet with four players in the United line-up who have yet to make their competitive debuts - and more introduced in the second half - perhaps a low-key outing was to be expected.
United new boy Shinji Kagawa made a late substitute appearance too and Ferguson will expect a substantial improvement during United's 22,000-mile pre-season campaign.
New signing Gylfi Sigurdsson scored on his Tottenham debut as Andre Villas-Boas' side beat Stevenage 2-0 at Broadhall Way.
The former Swansea man netted just 10 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute, drilling into the corner of the net after he was set up by Andros Townsend.
The win was sealed with two minutes left by Yago Falque who cut in from the right before drilling past Steve Arnold in the Stevenage goal.
Jan Vertonghen played 45 minutes in what was his first appearance in a Spurs shirt, while Tom Huddlestone and Jermaine Jenas, who missed large chunks of last season through injury, took part in Hertfordshire.
Wrexham got the better of Kilmarnock at the Racecourse Ground with the Blue Square Premier side running out 3-1 winners.
Danny Wright opened the scoring for the home side before Gary Harkins levelled things up for the visitors. Second-half strikes from Rob Ogleby and Glen Little sealed the win for Andy Morrell's men.
Ross Caldwell gave Hibernian the lead in the 35th minute at SK Lierse, however the Belgian side equalised in the 57th minute to secure a 1-1 draw, while Hearts went down 1-0 at First Division side Falkirk.