Manchester United closed in on the Premier League’s top four with a 3-1 win at Middlesbrough this afternoon.
Goals from Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard and Antonio Valencia sealed all three points for Jose Mourinho’s side, who moved up the table for the first time in 19 weeks.
The Red Devils are now fifth and will watch this afternoon’s clash between Manchester City and Liverpool, the two teams directly above them, with a vested interested.
The Europa League provides an opportunity for United to qualify for next season’s Champions League but they will secure an automatic spot by finishing in the top four. And Mourinho is delighted to have two options as opposed to just one.
"It’s fantastic because we manage in the same week to go to the quarter-final of the Europa League, which is an important target for us and at the same time we got three points which keeps us in the race for the fourth position," the United boss said, via the Manchester Evening News.
"So we still have two doors open to play Champions League football next season.”
Handbags at full-time
One of the game’s biggest talking points came at full-time, when several players appeared to be involved in a scuffle in the tunnel.
Footage shows Jesse Lingard holding Ashley Young back as tempers flared. Watch the incident below.
Bailly and Gestede clashed during the game
The scuffle was a continuation of an altercation between Eric Bailly and Rudy Gestede in the second half. The pair came together at a free-kick, with Gestede seemingly incensed by Bailly’s physical marking.
Quite bizarrely, Gestede pulled the United defender close to him and you quickly wondered if we were in for another biting scandal.
The situation was eventually diffused but the fracas continued in the tunnel. Check out Bailly and Gestede’s altercation below.
Why players clashed in the tunnel
According to the Manchester Evening News, Boro defender Ben Gibson accused Bailly of biting Gestede. United's players leapt to Bailly's defence, disputing Gibson's claims.
Gibson was one of the first on the scene when the pair clashed on the pitch and United's players didn't take too kindly to his comments.
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