Date of Manchester derby at the Etihad rearranged

Manchester United rest

Jose Mourinho said the fixture pile-up meant United would probably lose at the Riverside but they emerged victorious, with Lingard's powerful drive the standout moment in a 3-1 victory.

The former Juventus boss, who was embroiled in a spat with Mourinho on the touchline, says the Red Devils made it "impossible to play football".

The worldwide break means United will not be in action again until hosting West Brom on April 1 - a match Mourinho's side will head into with renewed belief.

"(A minimum of) three years, I think I will be here, I think the club understood the necessity to give stability to all levels", Mourinho said in an interview with Portuguese TV channel SIC. I tried to protect the central defenders in the last part of the game.

United had the first clear-cut opportunity when Rashford was played in through on goal by Lingard - who then forced Valdes into an incredible reflex save after six minutes. "I think now it's important for me and the players to be focused".

And Mourinho has called for the Premier League to help protect English clubs as they challenge in Europe's top cup competitions. Either way, it's been a while.

He told The Sun: "The Premier League is a championship that amazes me". "I didn't see anything, obviously something happened in the tunnel but it's no concern to me".

The fourth and final goal of the afternoon went the way of United, though, as Valdes slipped when attempting to punt the ball upfield, allowing Valencia to roll into an empty on his 200th Premier League appearance to seal the win. Man United is still showing a lot of promise and they are capable of winning more silver wear. Lingard limped off with an ankle injury late on, but Mourinho professed his optimism that he would be fit to report for England duty this week.

Middlesbrough's Rudy Gestede hit back 15 minutes later, before Antonio Valencia scored the decisive third goal in the third minute of added time.

Boro produced a promising display against United and caretaker manager Steve Agnew will have done his chances of replacing Aitor Karanka permanently little harm. Neither manager could - or would - shed any light on that episode of shoving, both preferring to concentrate on their own side's fighting spirit.

"I have to be honest; [Thursday] was a really hard and emotional day". But you suspect he wouldn't have it any other way. Middlesbrough did threaten next though with Gaston Ramirez. Unused subs: Guzan, Stuani, Fry, Guedioura, Forshaw.

January signing Gestede shot past De Gea after some woeful defending and Negredo claimed a penalty after going down under pressure from Phil Jones.



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