THREE OF THE BEST! Zlatan leads Man United past Sunderland

"It seems the older I get the more intelligent I get".

Divisive midfielder Maroaune Fellaini captained Mourinho's side on Wearside in the absence of seven first-team regulars, but strength in depth meant such absentees were not problematic against the league's bottom side.

It comes after the Red Devils were able to recoup most of the £24m spent on Morgan Schneiderlin in January, while they will receive around £18m of the £25m spent to sign Memphis Depay.

"English football is different but he adapted fast and in general, he has been consistent the whole season so I am really impressed by him especially the mentality that he still has and the hunger to play and score goals". However, it would appear as though it's unlikely to happen long-term at United.

Mourinho's overall thoughts: "We got the three points and it was a solid performance against a team which is sad - that's normal - and when you play against a team that is sad, if you score before them the game is nearly over because it's hard to react".

But man-of-the-match Marcos Alonso made the game safe with an exquisite free-kick and Conte said: "Yes, I'm satisfied because it wasn't easy to play this game after the win by Tottenham but our answer was very good".

With regards to what the three points means to their season, Mourinho continued: "The result was good".

'Most of the players in Manchester United are young - we are here to learn, ' the 22-year-old defender said.

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

United took their foot off the gas with the match all but won and Thursday's Europa League quarter-final at Anderlecht looming large, with Defoe leading the hosts' attempts to reduce the deficit.

They went 2-0 up after 18 minutes through an Adam Smith own-goal and an Eden Hazard strike before conceding a goal to Bournemouth's Joshua King.

"I think maybe the fans' frustration sometimes is [from] the fact that they want to see a [Cristiano] Ronaldo or a Giggs all the time. He is someone important - we are very lucky to have him, so we will enjoy his experience and use it to go forwards".

"We could have played a bit better but maybe we felt that the game was in the pocket".

The former Chelsea boss hopes to have as many players as fresh as possible ahead of that trip to Belgium as United look to secure a commanding first-leg advantage.

  • Julie Sanders