Football: Manchester United pushing for top four with comfortable away win at Boro

Manchester United players celebrate after the Middlesbrough vs Manchester United Premier League match on March 19, 2017.
Manchester United players celebrate after the Middlesbrough vs Manchester United Premier League match on March 19, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

ENGLAND (REUTERS)- Manchester United moved into fifth place in the Premier League on Sunday with a 3-1 victory away to struggling Middlesbrough, who sacked manager Aitor Karanka on Thursday.

United manager Jose Mourinho had said his team would "probably lose" because their current fixture congestion would lead to fatigue, but despite missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney and Ander Herrera, they counter-attacked well.

Belgium international Marouane Fellaini headed them in front on 30 minutes for his first league goal of the season and Jesse Lingard scored the second just after the hour mark from 20m.

Boro substitute Rudy Gestede pulled a goal back with 12 minutes left, but in added time goalkeeper Victor Valdes slipped, allowing Antonio Valencia to score United's third goal.

Middlesbrough, the lowest scoring team in the league, have still not won a league game in 2017.