Manchester United beat Middlesbrough 2-1 after a very controversial match, in which Untied was denied many clear chances to score. United, after four wins in a row, were prepared to host Middlesbrough at Old Trafford with excitement, but questions were asked of Jose Mourinho when Chris Smalling and Marouane Fellaini were included on the team sheet to start the match. However, Middlesbrough’s deep defence became the story in the first half, as two post-smashing moments and a wrongly disallowed goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic headlined the Old Trafford boos at half-time.
In the second half, Middlesbrough capitalised off an error from the aforementioned Smalling, and Grand Leadbitter put them ahead at Old Trafford with their first shot. United’s substitutions, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford, came on to provide width, allowing United’s star wingers, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial, to occupy central areas. Wrongly denied two penalties in the late stages of the second half, United began to wonder if it would be one of those days, but Martial and Pogba quickly silenced those claims with excellent goals that sealed the match in very late stages. United will take comfort from the fact they finally won a match without Michael Carrick.