Manchester United boss David Moyes has lauded his side’s fighting spirit in their 3-2 win at Hull City on Boxing Day.
Goals from a former United trainee James Chester and David Meyler gave the ‘Tigers’ a 2-0 lead in the first 13 minutes, but Chris Smalling reduced the deficit immediately after and Wayne Rooney scored his 150th Premier League goal in the 26th minute.
Some woeful defending early into the encounter exposed the weakness of the champions’ defense, which will be missing Phil Jones as a result of a knee injury for the next two weeks.
Despite going two goals down in the opening stages of the match, the visitors produced some moments of quick response to the delights of the Scotsman.
“To be two down and come back to win is a great result,” Moyes told BBC Sport after the match. “I thought it would be a long road back but these players have done this in the past and we did well to get back in the game.
“For us to get in at half-time 2-2 was great but when we were 3-2 Hull gave us a few scary moments. However, I’d take that after being 2-0 down after 10 minutes.”
The victory was the Red Devils’ third straight league wins and their fifth in all competitions. It also highlighted their resilience in coming from behind against a well-drilled Hull outfit.
The champions moved up to seventh on the standing with 31 points from 17 games as Tottenham Hotspur drew 1-1 against West Brom while Newcastle thrashed Stoke City 5-1 to move up to sixth.
Moyes added: “We’re going to try to get the gap as narrow as we can. There’s a long way to go in the league and we have to keep picking up points. There’s a lot to do but we’ll keep at it. I believe we can be in the mix and challenge whoever is near the top.”
On Wayne Rooney, who was voted Man of the Match, Moyes said: “Wayne was great because he had to do two or three different jobs.”