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Mkhitaryan’s sole goal takes Manchester United to fifth spot

 M Post Bureau |  2016-12-12 23:18:22.0  |  London

Mkhitaryan’s sole goal takes Manchester United to fifth spot

Manchester United closed the gap on fifth place to three points thanks to a scrappy 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal was enough to end a run of four consecutive home league draws for the Red Devils before the Armenia international departed on a stretcher after being fouled by Danny Rose late in the second-half.

Jose Mourinho named an unchanged side from the one that drew 1-1 against Everton last Sunday, while Toby Alderweireld came back into the Spurs XI for the first time since Oct. 15.

United, who moved to within six points of fourth-placed Manchester City with the win, created the better chances in the opening half hour.

Paul Pogba drew a save from Hugo Lloris in the second minute and in the 20th minute Mkhitaryan’s powerful drive was blocked by Jan Vertonghen.

For Tottenham, David De Gea made a diving save from a Christian Eriksen free kick on 18 minutes but the visitors had few clear cut chances.

Mkhitaryan, who scored his first goal for the club in the 2-0 Europa League win against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday, opened his Premier League account for United on the counter-attack after Harry Kane gave away possession on the halfway line.

Tottenham’s best chance came in the 55th minute when Eriksen’s free kick found Victor Wanyama unmarked, but he somehow managed to direct his point blank header into the ground and away from goal.

That seemed to stir United, who had allowed Spurs to come into the game after half-time, and the hosts were unlucky not to double their lead in the 62nd minute when Pogba’s powerful free kick rattled the frame of the goal.

Moments later, on the break, which is where United looked most dangerous, Pogba drew another save from Lloris from a good combination with Mkhitaryan.

The Red Devils now face a nervous wait to find out the extent of an injury, which forced him off following a challenge from Rose, but a win against a title rival will come as a boost.

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