Middlesbrough 1-3 Man United: Red Devils battle to victory
- Fellaini, Lingard put United ahead
- Gestede pulled one back late on
- Boro have five-straight defeats
- United unbeaten in 18 games
Manchester United beat Middlesbrough 3-1 at the Riverside Stadium on Sunday as Jose Mourinho’s men kept in touch with the Premier League’s top four.
United went ahead through Marouane Fellaini’s header in the first half and Jesse Lingard’s stunner in the second half, but Boro made it tough for Jose Mourinho’s side late on as Rudy Gestede pulled one back. In stoppage time Victor Valdes slipped at the worst possible time and Antonio Valencia slotted home to make it 3-1.
The Red Devils move into fifth place and within three points of the top four, while Boro stay in the bottom three and are five points from safety.
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Boro started brightly and controlled most of the early play but United had a glorious chance to take the lead. A long ball forward was flicked on to Marcus Rashford and the youngster sped through but his low shot was saved well be Valdes.
At the other end Gaston Ramirez cut in from the left and curled a powerful effort towards the far post and David de Gea produced a fine save to his left. Boro showed plenty of promise early on.
United began to churn out chances before half time as Juan Mata’s cross from the left found Rashford unmarked and his finish from close range was superbly denied by Valdes and then he denied Valencia’s follow up too as Boro cleared the ball.
Finally United made the breakthrough as Ashley Young’s cross from the left flank found Fellaini at the back post and the Belgian midfielder nodded home to make it 1-0 to the Red Devils.
Boro reacted well to going behind as Alvaro Negredo nodded an effort across goal which went wide but United led at the break.
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United looked dangerous on the break in the second half with Rashford and Jesse Lingard linking up well but the final pass or finish just evading Mourinho’s men in the final third.
For Boro, they battled away but couldn’t engineer any real openings to threaten United’s goal as the home crowd stayed with them but didn’t see any clear cut chances.
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Lingard put the result beyond doubt as he drove forward and drilled home an unstoppable into the top corner to double United’s lead.
Negredo went close twice late on as Boro tried to get back into the game and substitutes Adama Traore and Gestede made a big difference. The latter slotted home with 15 minutes to go to make it 2-1 and set up a tense finale for United.
However, Mourinho’s men grabbed a late goal via Valencia after Valdes’ unfortunate slip and are now 18 games unbeaten in the Premier League and continue their charge towards a top four finish.