open the Shenhua defence.
Just as he did in Cape Town, the Japanese international operated in the hole behind the centre-forward, moving between the lines and, where possible, making direct runs at the opposition.
One of those led to a shot on target that Qui smothered down to his left before Bebe tested the Shanghai custodian twice in as many minutes from distance.
The pair then combined for United's opener, Bebe beating his full-back before showing good vision to cut the ball back to Kagawa on the penalty spot. His first touch wasn't true, but he made no mistake with the second, hammering the bouncing ball into the net.
Paul Scholes' introduction drew almost as many cheers as Kagawa's goal. Had his downward header, minutes later, bounced into the roof of the net instead of over the bar Shanghai Stadium may have erupted.
The star of the second half, however, was undoubtedly Bebe. United's hero in Cape Town, he caused havoc down the left wing and one shot, a rocket from distance that swerved wickedly at the last moment, may have broken the net but for Qui's intervention.
In the end, Kagawa's strike was enough to settle the contest and send 42,725 fans home happy.
United: Lindegaard (Johnstone 46); Veseli (Vermijl 71), Carrick, Ferdinand, Brady; Valencia (Lingard 71), Powell (Tunnicliffe 46), Anderson (Scholes 71), Petrucci (Bebe 46); Kagawa, Macheda (Hernandez 60)