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Relief on and off pitch for Jose

By Ian Herbert

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho cut a relieved figure at Old Trafford last night as he revealed his match winner against Tottenham, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, had avoided serious injury and could return by Boxing Day.

Mkhitaryan was stretchered off following a late challenge from Danny Rose, but only after the Armenian had scored the only goal of the game with a fine first half strike.

Mourinho expects Mkhitaryan's ankle injury to keep him out for a couple of weeks rather than months.

"The injury doesn't look like a big one," the United manager said. "It doesn't look like one needing surgery or months of recovery.

"It depends always on the player - anatomy, physiology, mentality - but hopefully it is not a big thing."

United brought a run of four successive home league draws to a timely halt yesterday, but are still three points behind Spurs in fifth place and six points adrift of Manchester City in fourth.

"To be honest, after so many matches playing well but not winning, we need the points more than the performance," Mourinho added.

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