Manchester United signed off for 2016 in dramatic fashion as they scored two goals in the span of two minutes to register a 2-1 win at Old Trafford after conceding a second-half goal against Middlesbrough. Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba made the score sheet for United in the 86th and 88th minutes respectively to win the match for the Red Devils at last in the end.
It was an another close game for Jose Mourinho and his Manchester United side, however, the Red Devils demonstrated their mental will by winning the game lately and snatching the important three points. With some wary basic error from the referee, Manchester United descended from one goal deficit and scored two inside the last 10 minutes of the game thanks to two brilliant goals from Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba.
It was a bad day for Manchester United regarding luck factors. One brilliant back-volley from Paul Pogba and another long range effort from Anthony Martial found the bar twice to deny Manchester United an early lead. Also at the 39th minutes, a brilliant cross from Daley Blind met Zlatan Ibrahimovic where the big Swedish put the ball back into the in a sporadic fashion but the referee wrongly disallowed the goal because of a high-foot foul to Boro Goalkeeper Victor Valdes. The unfortunate incident made Zlatan Ibrahimovic the second highest goalscorer in a calendar year behind Lionel Messi, who has 51 goals, one goal more than him.
Manchester United’s frustration increased when Boro snatched the lead in the 67th minute when Calum Chambers crossed from the right to Negredo who headed the ball down to Grant Leadbitter. The Boro veteran did not make any mistake and scored past DDG to astonish everyone in the ground.
But these are the days when a Champion team shows his mantle and Manchester United did not disappoint their fans to show the world what they are capable of. Jose Mourinho substituted Smalling for Rashford to bring one extra man into the offensive area and that put a heavy pressure on the away team. In the 85th minute, Pogba put a brilliant long ball to over the top of the whole Middleborough defence to the Swedish who sent a delightful header into Martial’s path who hammered home the equaliser. And just after the goal United again build up the pressure and finally scored the winner when Pogba plants his header into the top corner from a sublime cross from Mata. Both the French team-mates put a brilliant display of football today and Martial being the Man of the Match announced his coming back into form to the world.
Manchester United are currently unbeaten in their last 12 games in all competitions and it was their fifth successive league win in a row in the league. Having played a game more than both the London clubs, Mourinho’s side are now level on points with Tottenham Hotspur and just one behind Arsenal in fourth.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea, Valencia, Smalling (Rashford, 72′), Bailly, Blind (Rojo, 64′), Herrera, Fellaini ( Mata, 64′), Pogba, Martial, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic.
Middlesbrough ( 4-3-3): Valdes, Chambers, Bernardo, Gibson, Friend, Forshaw, Leadbitter ( Clayton, 78′), De Roon, Traore (Fabio, 82′), Negredo, Downing (Ramirez, 63′).
Manchester United vs Middlesbrough Match Statistics:
|Shots (on target)||32 (12)||9 (2)|
|Passes played (accuracy)||533 (87%)||239 (73%)|
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