Manchester United have 'two doors open' in hunt for Champions League qualification

It was a game to forget for Middlesbrough on Sunday as they were abysmal in defence and shambolic in attack, losing the English Premier League (EPL) match 3-1 to Manchester United at Riverside Stadium.

Middlesbrough's hopes of achieving that aim look increasingly slim after an 11-game three-month run without a league win.

However, as 'boro pushed for a late equaliser, United were gifted a third goal when former goalkeeper Victor Valdes slipped when attempting to make a clearance to allow Antonio Valencia to walk the ball in to the net in stoppage time.

Fellaini got the ball rolling when he headed home Ashley Young's cross in the 30th minute.

Middlesbrough pulled a late goal back through substitute Rudy Gestede, but they remain second-bottom, five points adrift of safety after an 11th league game without victory as caretaker manager Steve Agnew tasted defeat in his first match following the departure of Aitor Karanka.

Manchester City had to come from behind to hold Liverpool 1-1 as both teams lost ground in the Premier League following victories for Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

Manchester United defeated Middlesbrough today to finally move from the sixth spot they have been stuck on for some months. "We don't have A, B, C, D, E, F and G but we have L, M, N, S, O, P and these guys they give absolutely everything".

"Despite all that's happened, I still think he'll be unhappy we have won, because he wants this club to stay in the Premier League".

"We organised the team to come here and do what we did until the second goal: defend well, don't concede, be unsafe on the counter-attack, play with the fast boys in front".

"We started the game really well, we controlled everything until our second goal and then they changed the game". It is a pleasure to be in charge of a team and see a team respond like they did.

Mourinho has stressed the importance of winning the Europa League as it will ensure United's place in next season's Champions League, and while that is a realistic aim, he'd also love to finish in the top four.

  • Arturo Norris