Man United win as Valdes error compounds Middlesbrough woes

They are closing in on a Top Four place

Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Premier League,

Manchester United's Luis Antonio Valencia (centre right) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough. Picture by Nigel French PA Wire/PA Images

Manchester United are up to fifth in the Premier League after securing a 3-1 win at relegation threatened Middlesbrough.

Jose Mourinho's side are now three points off the Top Four, after the Sunday afternoon victory at the Riverside Stadium.

Man United took the lead when Marouane Fellaini headed in an Ashley Young cross on the half hour mark.

They doubled that lead 17 minutes after the break when Jesse Lingard lashed in a shot into the top corner of Victor Valdes' net from range.

But with 13 minutes to go, a Middlesbrough side playing their first match since the sacking of manager Aitor Karanka, set up a nervy finish as striker Rudy Gestede pulled one back.

But as Boro looked to find a valuable equaliser in their battle to avoid Premier League relegation, an error from ex-Man United and Barcelona keeper Valdes sealed the result in United's favour. 

The three time Champions League winner slipped as he attempted to clear the ball, leaving United right back Antonio Valencia with the simple task of putting the ball over the goal-line which the Ecuadorian did not need a second invitation to do.

United now go two points above sixth place Arsenal and will have two games in hand on fourth placed Liverpool by close of play on Sunday.