United moved level on points with Manchester City at the top of the table but the fact that goal difference remains hugely in the Blues' favour means the title is very much out of the champions' hands.
After City won 2-0 at Newcastle earlier in the day, it was credit to the Reds that victory over dogged Swansea was at least secured to take the race for the trophy to the final game with United at Sunderland while City host Mark Hughes' QPR.
After an understandably subdued opening spell, following events on Tyneside, Nathan Dyer had the first noteworthy attempt with a drive that was watched over the bar by David De Gea. It seemed to spark the Reds into action and Michel Vorm had to make a double save to thwart Patrice Evra and Wayne Rooney.
Six minutes later came the breakthrough to lift Old Trafford. Antonio Valencia had barely been involved when he was fed on the right by Phil Jones and beat his marker Neil Taylor with ease. Michael Carrick's measured shot from the cut-back was expertly backheeled into the net by the evergreen Scholes.
Valencia started to sparkle, allowing Carrick to cross agonisingly close to Javier Hernandez, and the Mexican's lay-off then led to Young being rashly challenged by Angel Rangel inside the box with Chris Foy rightly only awarding a corner.
Sir Alex's side started to pose a threat from both flanks as Young's cross was headed on by Scholes but nodded over from close range by Hernandez and Wayne Rooney drifted an attempt off target after collecting a Hernandez header. Some sloppy play by the Swans gifted Scholes posession in a dangerous