United punishes struggling Boro despite Mourinho's pessimism

Jose Mourinho had said his team would “probably lose” because the team’s current fixture congestion would lead to fatigue, but despite missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney and Ander Herrera, the counter-attacked well.

Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini celebrates scoring the team’s first goal with Jesse Lingard.   -  REUTERS

Manchester United moved into fifth place in the Premier League on Sunday with a 3-1 victory away to struggling Middlesbrough, which sacked manager Aitor Karanka on Thursday.

MATCH CENTRE

Jose Mourinho had said his team would “probably lose” because the team’s current fixture congestion would lead to fatigue, but despite missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney and Ander Herrera, the counter-attacked well.

Belgium international Marouane Fellaini headed the Reds in front after almost half an hour's play for his first league goal of the season and Jesse Lingard scored the second just after the hour mark from 20 metres.

Boro' substitute Rudy Gestede pulled a goal back with 12 minutes left, but in added time goalkeeper Victor Valdes slipped, allowing Antonio Valencia to score a third United goal.

Middlesbrough, by far the lowest scoring team in the league, has still not won a league game in 2017.

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