Antonio Valencia celebrates scoring their third goal with Marouane Fellaini following a mistake by Middlesbrough goalkeeper Victor Valdes. Photo: Anthony Devlin, Reuters
Antonio Valencia celebrates scoring their third goal with Marouane Fellaini following a mistake by Middlesbrough goalkeeper Victor Valdes. Photo: Anthony Devlin, Reuters
Marouane Fellaini heads in the opening goal for Manchester United. Photo: Lee Smith, Action Images via Reuters
Marouane Fellaini heads in the opening goal for Manchester United. Photo: Lee Smith, Action Images via Reuters
Jesse Lingard reacts to the crowd after scoring the second goal for United at the Riverside. Photo: Anthony Devlin, Reuters
Jesse Lingard reacts to the crowd after scoring the second goal for United at the Riverside. Photo: Anthony Devlin, Reuters

Manchester United moved into fifth place in the Premier League on Sunday with a 3-1 victory away to struggling Middlesbrough, who sacked manager Aitor Karanka on Thursday.

Jose Mourinho had said his team would “probably lose” because their current fixture congestion would lead to fatigue, but despite missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney and Ander Herrera, they counter-attacked well at the Riverside Stadium.

Belgium international Marouane Fellaini headed them in front after almost half an hour’s play for his first league goal of the season, and Jesse Lingard scored the second just after the hour mark from 20 metres.

Boro’ substitute Rudy Gestede pulled a goal back with 12 minutes left, but in added time goalkeeper Victor Valdes slipped, allowing Antonio Valencia to score a third United goal.

Middlesbrough, by far the lowest scoring team in the league, have still not won a league game in 2017.