Manchester United Defeat Sunderland to Keep Top-4 Hopes Alive

Zlatan reaches incredible goalscoring landmark with Sunderland strike

Cape Town - Jose Mourinho took time out from bashing defender Luke Shaw to praise his performance in the 3-0 defeat of Sunderland on Sunday.

Sunderland needed to return for the second half with the first intention of avoiding conceding a second but they only held out for 45 seconds after the restart as United effectively made sure of the three points.

It's not clear whether Mourinho is going to make the Premier League or Europa League his top priority, but he does still have to think about both ... all because of one result.

Mourinho will certainly have approved of the final result at the Stadium of Light, which sees United move to within four points of the Champions League places.

"You do not waste so much energy on things you do not really need".

"He has a great value amongst the team", Bailly told the Premier League.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 28th goal of the season in all competitions put United ahead and Sunderland's cause became all but impossible after Seb Larsson was sent off close to half-time. "He played well, played solid", Mourinho said.

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"I don't want to blame referees for my position and us losing", he said.

Substitute Marcus Rashford struck a third in the 89th minute - his first in the league since September 24 - after being set expertly up by the classy Ibrahimovic.

"For me, this coach is very important for us and for every young player at Manchester United".

Mourinho's men struggled badly in front of goal when Ibrahimovic was suspended last month, prompting suggestions that the Red Devils could do with some new attacking players in the summer.

"We could have played a bit better but maybe we felt that the game was in the pocket".

"Most of the players at Manchester United are young - we are here to learn", the Ivorian worldwide told the Premier League, relayed by The Mirror. We had a couple of situations but no more than that and we were playing quite compact and solid. There's no hiding the fact we're in a hard position, but we have a home game next and let's see if we can get a win and get some momentum.

"After Liverpool and Manchester City's victories, if we didn't win today it's nearly mathematically impossible [to finish fourth]".

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