Mourinho salutes gritty Manchester United

'In the Premier League you never know who is going to win or who will be champions, it is always a surprise, ' the forward said.

United were also without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but goals from Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard and Antonio Valencia sealed a victory which left Mourinho delighted.

At 600 and counting, Jose Mourinho's United will be looking to chalk up more wins after the global break as they aim to secure Champions League football for next season.

United resume at home to West Bromwich Albion on April 1, which is the first of eight projected fixtures that month, including two Europa League ties against Anderlecht.

A 3-1 win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium lifted Manchester United to fifth in the league table and they are now just three points from Liverpool in fourth with one game in hand.

Aside from collecting six major titles in his homeland, since joining the Catalan giants he's won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.

"Right now I'd still call United due to their ability to keep clean sheets, which as we know in the final stretch is the most important thing when games get tight and nervous".

However, the Brazilian sensation has now opened the door to a move to England at some point in the future after admitting that he'd like to play in the Premier League as he loves the playing style and the unpredictable nature of the league.

As well as playing MLS sides on the tour, United will are hoping to face some of Europe's top teams as well, with Real Madrid, Manchester City and Barcelona all options.

The 25-year-old told The Sun: 'The Premier League is a championship that amazes me.

United were last beaten in the league at the end of October, a record which rarely looked under threat once they took a deserved 30th minute lead through Fellaini.

Mourinho did not answer when later asked what had happened, but Boro's interim head coach Steve Agnew played down the incident.

The most productive seasons in United's Premier League history have seen them collect 28 victories over the course of a single campaign, having achieved that feat on five occasions.

  • Julie Sanders