Middlesborough 1 - 3 United
Smalling Bailly Jones
Valencia Fellaini Carrick Young
This was a pretty solid performance by our boys until we conceded the goal on the 77th minute. From then on Boro looked like equalising and our minds were only put to rest on the 93rd minute when Valencia sealed the win with his first goal since January 2014 when he scored vs Swansea.
Young, Fellaini, Lingard and Valencia were noticeably the best players on the pitch. Rashford destroyed Boro's defence but he should have scored a goal or two today. I can't help but feel that if he had the same chances he had today this time last year, he would have buried them. Still 19 though, if he improves the final ball/finishing he'll be one heck of a striker. His speed is terrifying.
In the absence of Pogba, Mourinho started Fellaini to give us some aerial power. Fellaini's presence was felt as he won a lot of headers and also put us in front after a wonder cross by a rejuvenated Ashley Young. Lingard scored a gem of a goal after a terrific run from the halfway line. The guy doesn't score very often but when he does they're stunning goals.
Our defenders looked a bit shaky at time today. Smalling was at fault for the goal we conceded when he tried to hit a ball using his right foot when he should have used the left. He mishit the ball and it fell to the feet of M'Boro's striker who had an easy job to finish past DDG. Smalling will not want to see the replay of that and of his attempt to head the ball to DDG in the first half. Hah!
Both of Smalling's errors combined weren't half as comical as Valdes' slip at the end of the game. The slip was capitalised upon by Valencia who scored the easiest goal he'll ever score in his career. Valencia deserved a goal for his effort this season. Valdes' slip is obviously why Valencia scored but we must give Antonio some credit for sprinting towards the goalie after 90 minutes running up and down the right wing. His pressure made Boro's 'keeper slip.
So it's another game out of the way and we finally move up a place in the PL table. Arsenal are making our lives a bit easier with their very poor form at the moment. Liverpool play City soon, so a team or another above us (or both) will be dropping points tonight. We've got some very winnable fixtures in the beginning of April before we face Tottenham, City and Arsenal away.
International break next. Mourinho must be relieved.