lengthy goal drought as Gestede pounced on a mistake by Chris Smalling to halve the arrears.
Hopes of salvaging an unlikely draw to chip away at the fivepoint gap to safety faced by a side currently second from bottom were extinguished by Victor Valdes’ stoppage-time slip which allowed Antonio Valencia to walk the ball into an unguarded net.
Goals either side of half-time from Marouane Fellaini and Jesse Lingard had put the visitors in control.
“It’s a big win that keeps us alive in the competition for fourth place,” Mourinho added.
Given their presence in the Europa League, United retain two potential avenues to next season’s Champions League, and Mourinho added: “Do I prefer to qualify for the Champions League by finishing fourth or winning Europa League? I prefer Europa League. There’s a prestige to winning a trophy.” AFP