Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Every Europa League game a 'final' for Man United: Luke Shaw


"Mourinho has been in charge of big teams and won trophies in different countries so he has experience and I believe he knows what he is doing".

Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford helped extend United's unbeaten run in the league which stretches back to October.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring at the Stadium of Light.

Ibrahimovic's goal means he has now scored 250 times since turning 30.

The first half saw Manchester United dominate proceedings against a Sunderland side completely bereft of confidence, 10 points off safety and having failed to find the net for over 10 hours of league football.

Too many draws, particularly at home against modest opponents, has been the bane of United's season that has left them four points behind rivals Manchester City in fourth - the final Champions League qualification spot. It seems like the older I get the more intelligent I get. "We believe in it and we will do everything we can to reach the top four". "I was born old and will die young".

Shaw has been criticised on more than one occasion by Mourinho this season and the United boss claimed after the 1-1 draw with Everton that the 21-year-old had been playing with "his body and my brain".

"At the end the best team will win so the game was good and we got the 1-0 and the red card".

"After Manchester City and Liverpool's victories yesterday [against Hull City and Stoke City respectively] it was very important for us to win this match and to stay there putting pressure on them".

It was therefore a surprise to see Shaw's name in United's starting XI for the match against Sunderland, and even more of a surprise to hear Mourinho praising the defender after the game, especially considering he replaced Shaw with Daley Blind mid-way through the second-half.

Of Ibrahimovic's performance, Mourinho added: "You need these players sometimes to make it and normally every top team has a couple of them that can make a difference".

Victory set United up nicely for Thursday's trip to Anderlecht in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, a competition which guarantees a Champions League place to the eventual winners.

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