The summer arrival from Crystal Palace sparkled throughout and finally ended the hosts' resistance with an opening goal on 67 minutes. James Wilson, who has just turned 18, clinched the three points with a fine free-kick on his first Barclays Under-21 Premier League start.
United fielded Fabio, Darren Fletcher and Zaha, who all started in the last outing against Stoke City, but also included UEFA Youth League stars Joe Rothwell and Wilson with Charni Ekangamene moving into defence.
Sam Johnstone was forced to superbly claw away an effort by Jordan Slew after the ex-Sheffield United forward burst past a couple of challenges as the bottom team belied their lowly position. Gradually, the pressure began to build at the other end, however, and Matty Urwin's throw-out was snapped up by Rothwell to set up a Wilson shot but the keeper redeemed himself with a reflex save.
Moments later, Zaha collected a crossfield pass by Reece James and fired in a powerful shot that was deflected just wide before Rothwell was unable to control a defence-splitting pass by Fletcher. Although Raheem Hanley's attempt prompted another stop from Johnstone, United continued to up the tempo and Zaha almost profited when the ball struck the referee but Urwin saved.
Another sloppy clearance by Urwin allowed Saidy Janko to drift a snap-shot off target and Yann Songo'o headed a powerful centre by the Swiss wide man over his own goal. The last action of the first half saw Wilson force a fine save out of Urwin following some blistering wing-play by Zaha.