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Manchester United won for a second successive season at Turf Moor and their 1-0 win pleased their manager Jose Mourinho both in terms of the result and the performance.

He admitted: “It’s never easy. It’s always difficult here. If we score a second goal then you are in control but when they are alive, they are alive and they go until the end. They are a brave, physical team with a direct approach and pressing a lot around the box is really difficult to play against.

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“Season after season, they are doing what they are doing. If you don’t score you are in trouble, they go direct, they are consistent in their approach, it is really difficult. We defended very well, and it is fair to say Mike Dean and his team were very good. There was a lot of first ball, second ball and the physicality.”

He added: “We had chances to kill the game because we knew what was going to happen, that Vokes was coming, the direct football was becoming more intense and then we had to defend in a very brave way in the minutes of extra time.

“We look at the team and we can say Smalling and Jones were giants, yes they were, but the team was very good. I think Fellaini was fundamental in the final twenty minutes for us so I thank him for that. Sometimes players on the bench can get frustrated and when they come on, it doesn’t bring the best out of them, but it doesn’t happen in my team, the players who come off the bench come to help.”

Sean Dyche admitted to some frustration having seen his team lose this game. “I’m frustrated because I want to win and so do my players,” he said. “But we are playing a clutch of top sides at the moment and we’re so close. That’s not just frustrating, it’s annoying.

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“We’ve had injuries and suspensions, and the think that can be forgotten is the quality of the opposition. We’ve still got Manchester City to come here after playing Tottenham and Liverpool at home an Man United home and away. Add all that into th pot and they are the margins.

“We are a soft decision away from beating Manchester United at their place, a soft moment from taking a point against Liverpool when you have fought so hard, and then today. The margins are so tight and they’ve scored a fine goal today through a great finish, but you have to look at the performance levels and I was so, so pleased.

“We are definitely a team that has improved, in my opinion. You can’t play like that as regularly as we have, against some of these sides, without seeing how far we’ve come. We are not just hanging into games, we are taking them on an I have been really pleased with that.”

He added: “We’ve still got work to do, but when you look at the points we’ve got all season and then see a performance like that, I think it’s clear to see how the team is moving forwards, both as individuals and as a unit.

“Some of the football today was excellent, we’ve taken on a top side and come so close in so many ways today. We haven’t quite come out on the right side of the margins recently but with performances like that, that’s how you get back on the right side, that’s for sure.

“We’ve got to continue to be brave, take the games on and hopefully get a few bodies back. We’re hopeful on a few situations and also possibles on incomings. We’ll wait and see.”

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