Manchester United moved up the table for the first time in 19 weeks after beating Middlesbrough 3-1.
Goals from Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard and Antonio Valencia earned the Red Devils the win that finally sees them move to fifth in the table.
Jose Mourinho’s side are now three points behind Liverpool, who face Manchester City later on this afternoon, and United supporters will be acutely aware that a top four finish is certainly capable.
Mourinho has stressed the importance of winning the Europa League as it will ensure United’s place in next season’s Champions League, and while that is a realistic aim, he’d also love to finish in the top four.
The win continues United’s impressive run of form in the league. They are now unbeaten in the top flight since October 23.
Fellaini got the ball rolling when he headed home Ashley Young’s cross in the 30th minute.
It was 2-0 when Lingard scored a brilliant effort just after the hour mark.
Rudy Gestede set up a tense finish when he capitalised on some woeful defending from Chris Smalling, but Middlesbrough’s effort was for nothing as Victor Valdes’ slip allowed Valencia to make it 3-1.
After drawing in their last league outing against Bournemouth, Mourinho will have been desperate to leave the Riverside Stadium with all three points.
And that explains his celebration after Valencia’s goal.
With both arms raised, the Portuguese turned and headed straight for the tunnel. That was it. Game over.
Check it out below.
United supporters react
Manchester United fans on Twitter found it simply hilarious.
Keep doing you, Jose.
Brilliant, or a lack of class?
However, some believe Mourinho was showing a lack of class by not shaking hands with Middlesbrough's interim boss Steve Agnew.
Will Man United finish in the top four? Let us know in the comments section below!
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