Middlesbrough 1-3 Man United: Mourinho's side move fifthby Rohan Toure 19/03/2017 19:17:00 0 comments 1 Views
- Middlesbrough played their first game since Aitor Karanka departed the club in midweek
- Marouane Fellaini headed the away side in front from close range after Ashley Young's cross
- Jesse Lingard doubled United's lead with a long-range stunner in the 62nd minute
- Substitute Rudy Gestede pulled one back for the home side with 13 minutes to go with a cool finish
- Antonio Valencia scored a third in stoppage time after Victor Valdes slipped inside the area
- CLICK HERE to re-live all the action from the Riverside Stadium as it happened
By Chris Wheeler for the Daily Mail
Published: 09:51 EDT, 19 March 2017 | Updated: 19:17 EDT, 19 March 2017
Victor Valdes slipped, Antonio Valencia scored and Jose Mourinho was off down the tunnel, pumping his fists in celebration.
He certainly had plenty of reasons to be happy.
Manchester United had occupied sixth place in the Premier League table non-stop for 184 days, except for a few hours in seventh in early December.
Jesse Lingard lets fly from 20 yards and sees his effort arrow into the top corner to put Manchester United 2-0 up
Jesse Lingard plays an imaginary instrument as he celebrates doubling United's lead after 62 minutes
Marouane Fellaini heads Manchester United into the lead after 30 minutes at the Riverside on Sunday afternoon
The Belgian international celebrates scoring his first Premier League goal of the season with Jesse Lingard
Fellaini is embraced by United team-mate Antonio Valencia for giving his side the lead against Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough striker Rudy Gestede brings his side back into the game as he fires past David De Gea
Gestede sprints back to the halfway line after reducing the deficit in the final 13 minutes of the game
Both sets of players were involved in a melee following a clash between Rudy Gestede and Eric Bailly
MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
If the football's on, it's on
- Premier League
- Premier League
- League One
- League Two
- Scottish Premiership
- Scottish Div 1
- Scottish Div 2
- Scottish Div 3
- Ligue 1
- Serie A
- La Liga
Middlesbrough (4-1-4-1): Valdes 5.5; Barragan 5, Bernardo 4.5, Gibson 6, Fabio 6; Clayton 6.5; Downing 6, Leadbitter 6 (Gestede 68, 7), De Roon 6, Ramirez 6 (Traore 68, 6.5); Negredo 6.5.
Subs not used: Guzan, Stuani, Fry, Guedioura, Forshaw.
Goal: Gestede 78
Manchester United (3-4-2-1): De Gea 6.5; Bailly 5.5, Smalling 5.5, Jones 5; Valencia 7, Carrick 6.5, Fellaini 7, Young 6.5; Mata 6.5 (Rojo 69, 6), Lingard 8 (Martial 80); Rashford 7 (Darmian 90+4).
Subs not used: Romero, Mkhitaryan, Shaw, Fosu-Mensah.
Goals: Fellaini 30, Lingard 62, Valencia 90+2
Referee: Jonathan Moss 7
Star man: Jesse Lingard
Moving into fifth should hardly be cause for celebration for a club of United's pedigree, nor what Mourinho had in mind when he embarked on this season planning a title challenge, but it was a step in the right direction at the end of another heavy week.
Mourinho predicted a United defeat here at the Riverside. He had muttered darkly about 'many enemies' conspiring to add to the burden of a congested fixture list.
A noon kick-off on Sunday meant this third game in seven days started 62 hours after the end of Thursday's Europa League win over Rostov, which followed Monday's FA Cup defeat at Chelsea.
So Mourinho was understandably delighted that United came through a far tougher test than the scoreline suggests. Then there was the satisfaction of beating the club that sacked his old friend Aitor Karanka earlier in the week.
But United had the last laugh when Valencia capitalised on Victor Valdes' slip to score in the dying moments
The defender dribbles the ball at goal following the slip from the former United goalkeeper
The Ecuador international had the simplest of tap-ins from a few yards after Valdes' error put him through
And the South American flyer was promptly congratulated by his team-mates after sealing United's victory at Middlesbrough
1,163 - Antonio Valencia'S goal came 1,163 days after his last for Manchester United, against Swansea in January 2014. United have won 19 of the 20 Premier League games in which he has scored, drawing the other.
Afterwards, Mourinho heaped praise on Karanka, having claimed beforehand that he 'knew the names' of the Boro players who had let him down.
He had to deny making comments to Stewart Downing, who was restored to the line-up following the bust-up that is said to have hastened Karanka's departure. It added to an unsavoury end to the game. Eric Bailly's clash with Boro substitute Rudy Gestede sparked a melee which re-ignited in the tunnel at full-time.
The game will be remembered for Jesse Lingard's stunning strike but this was a functional United performance. Mourinho went for three centre backs and four more defenders on the bench. Marouane Fellaini demonstrated once again what a powerful, if unconventional, force he can be.
It was the Belgian who opened the scoring on the half-hour mark. Lingard played a reverse pass out to Ashley Young, who sent Antonio Barragan the wrong way and swung a cross to the back post.
Marcus Rashford came close to giving Manchester United an early lead when he was sent through on goal
The England international saw his effort saved by Valdes and could not hide his frustration afterwards
Middlesbrough No 1 Valdes gets down low to keep out Marcus Rashford's low cross across goal
Rashford sees another effort saved by Valdes as his close-range shot is parried away by the Spaniard in goal
Middlesbrough midfielder Gaston Ramirez spins away from Bailly during the early exchanges on Sunday afternoon
It evaded Valdes and found Fellaini, who had dropped off Fabio to give himself the time and space to head home his first Premier League goal since December 2015.
It was no more than United deserved after a bright start in which Marcus Rashford could have scored twice. The striker's strong running proved too much for the hapless Bernardo on Sunday, but his finishing still leaves something to be desired.
The 19-year-old was clean through in the seventh minute only to be denied by a fine save. Then he met Juan Mata's cross first time but Valdes made another reflex save. Lingard's pace also caused Boro problems.
When he took possession on halfway in the 62nd minute, the home defenders backed off towards the edge of their own penalty area.
Lingard advanced on goal and saw his opportunity. The shot was dispatched by his right boot with clinical precision, swerving into the top corner in a blink of an eye.
Manchester United midfielder Fellaini challenges for the ball in the air with Middlesbrough's Marten de Roon
Manchester United winger Ashley Young keeps track of Stewart Downing as he darts forward with the ball
Manchester United pair Phil Jones and Fellaini crowd out Middlesbrough striker Alvaro Negredo in the air
Middlesbrough midfielder Adam Clayton tangles for the ball with Manchester United star Juan Mata
Uruguay international Ramirez tussles for possession with Manchester United midfielder Mata
Surprisingly, it was his first league goal of the season.
The threat from the home side had been limited to Gaston Ramirez's early strike, turned away by David de Gea. But caretaker boss Steve Agnew sent on Gestede and he scored Boro's first league goal in eight and a half hours.
United thought they had cleared the danger when Phil Jones hooked away but Marten de Roon climbed above Bailly to head down. Chris Smalling made a hash of clearing the ball as it went through his legs and Gestede was waiting to prod home.
Boro pressed for an equaliser but conceded a third in farcical circumstances in injury time.
Manchester United defender Jones puts pressure on Middlesbrough's Spanish striker Negredo
Manchester United striker Rashford looks to lose the attentions of Middlesbrough's Bernardo Espinosa
Manchester United full back Valencia attempts to get a cross into the box as Fabio gets across to intercept
Downing played the ball back to Valdes and the former United keeper slipped as he attempted to clear it downfield. Valencia was chasing him down and had the simple task of walking the ball into the net. Exit Mourinho.
The international break will give the United boss and his players a breather before the three-games-a-week schedule resumes in April.
Boro have now gone 11 league games without a win, equalling Swansea's worst run of this season. There were some positive signs on Sunday but that sequence must end soon or a swift return to the Championship is inevitable.
Middlesbrough caretaker boss Steve Agnew issues instructions prior to kick-off at the Riverside stadium
A Middlesbrough supporters holds out a shirt in tribute to Aitor Karanka, who lost his job in midweek
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson takes his seat prior to kick-off after a difficult week at the club
Caretaker boss Steve Agnew confers with his new assistant manager Joe Jordan during the match