United shred Sunderland, boost top four dream

Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford, who scored in the Premier League for the first time since September, stretched United's unbeaten league run to 21 games as they climbed to fifth, four points behind rivals Manchester City in fourth, with a game in hand.

Sunderland face West Ham United in the Stadium of Light on Saturday and Moyes insisted he can not ask for more from his players regardless of the team having won just one match since December.

"After Liverpool and Manchester City's victories, if we don't win today it's nearly mathematically impossible (to finish fourth)", he said.

Victory set United up nicely for Thursday's trip to Anderlecht in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, a competition which guarantees a Champions League place to the eventual winners. I don't want our club to be happy just fighting for the top four. The result was good.

"Manchester United were playing well but it was a decision that went against us".

They then host Premier league leaders Chelsea next weekend.

"De Gea's injury is not serious and Romero every time he plays he plays so well". "We played some fantastic football in the first 45 minutes, really good team performance today". Sunderland manager David Moyes: "It (survival) is still as hard - probably more hard because there's a game less".

"We keep going. We have another home game next Saturday and we have to try and win it", Moyes said. The lads are doing everything they can.

Everton are seventh on the table and Leicester 11th. Home-grown 18-year-old midfielder Tom Davies put Everton ahead after only 31 seconds following a dart into the box by Kevin Mirallas.

The home side got back on level terms with a 23rd-minute Lukaku glancing header from a brilliant Ross Barkley cross from the right and skipper Phil Jagielka headed in a corner four minutes before the break.

United kept up the pressure after the goal and could have doubled their lead five minutes later, but Marouane Fellaini - captain for the day - was unable to force the ball past Pickford from only a few yards out after being picked out by a Luke Shaw cross.

They look certainties for the drop to the Championship with just seven games remaining and having not found the back of the net for seven games.

Unlike its rivals, United can still qualify for next season's Champions League by winning the Europa League.

Moyes' overall thoughts: "I'm disappointed we haven't take anything from the game and I think there was mitigating circumstances for that, but ultimately we're not here to blame referees". We had great movement between the lines.

"David had a little problem, why play with a player with a little problem when you have somebody ready to do it?"

"So this is our team, the ones that played and the ones on the bench".

  • Julie Sanders