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2020/21 – Premier League – Burnley – Away

Manchester United beat Burnley 1-0 at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Tuesday evening. It puts Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side three points clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table. Paul Pogba scored the only goal of the match after playing the ball out to Marcus Rashford on the right with the England forward playing back to the Frenchman whose effort was slightly deflected into the back of the net. Bruno Fernandes did not have the best of matches, but played a part. Anthony Martial will be a worry, coming off injured late into added time. The positivity is that United are top of the league and deserve it.

Burnley started well at Turf Moor with former United academy player Bobbie Brady getting forward immediately after a diagonal cross into Ashley Barnes before the forward was outmuscled by Aaron Wan-Bissaka which saw Brady receive the ball on the right but he then shot wildly over the target. Burnley had another chance in the seventh minute but Harry Maguire made a crucial block. United got a chance in the 17th minute with Luke Shaw fizzing a cross from the left with Anthony Martial dummying the ball for Bruno Fernandes, who shot straight at Nick Pope.

United then got another chance in the 19th minute with Marcus Rashford slipping the ball into Fernandes behind the Burnley defence. Martial then peeled away from his marker and went for an overhead kick which was blocked before it reached the target. Burnley had the chance to open the scoring again in the 22nd minute after Fernandes gave away possession but Eric Bailly, deflecting the ball with it eventually going wide of the target despite David De Gea being wrong-footed. United had another chance in the 25th minute with Nemanja Matic firing into Martial, whose shot was poorly placed wide of the target.

In the 28th minute, there was some drama. Brady was booked for a challenge on Edinson Cavani after a foul on the edge of the box. Then, the referee was called to the VAR screen to see a challenge by Shaw moments earlier, to cut a long story short saw Shaw booked and Brady have his card eradicated for the challenge. United found the back of the net through Maguire in the 37th minute of the match through a header but the goal was scrapped by VAR for a foul in the box. There was a penalty shout the next minute after Cavani attempted a bicycle kick which struck Ben Mee, but it was not a penalty.

Martial found Fernandes in the 42nd minute in space at the edge of the box. He sent a teasing ball to the back post which Cavani attacked. Rashford did not gamble as the Uruguayan send both central defenders out towards him as the ball went out of play. Pope then stopped Martial in the 45th minute com curling an opener into the top corner. In added time at the end of the half, Fernandes was booked for dissent at the end of a frustrating period for United, who should have perhaps done more than they did in their quest to top the Premier League table ahead of their clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

United had a chance in the 52nd minute after De Gea picked out Paul Pogba on the halfway line with a long throw and Pogba then worked hard to drive away from three Burnley players before finding Fernandes in the final third. The Portuguese midfielder released Martial on the overlap and he centred a low cross that was begging to be swept in but Cavani failed to get on the end of it with Pope making an easy save to deny United once again. United needed to be much better than this, especially with Liverpool on the horizon and the fact they will ensure they take all of their chances.

Pogba started to have more of an impact in the 57th minute after skipping away from two challenges in the area before crossing to Cavani, but he had the ball whacked off his foot by Martial as the two United forwards got in each others way, which was frustrating to see. Fernandes then pressed Burnley, who stood off and he sent a dipping effort on target which Pope spilled before gathering it the second time. In the 64th minute, Pogba slipped the ball into Rashford but was never onside with the flag going up after the move came to an end. United then had another chance, which again came to nothing in the 67th minute.

In the 69th minute, United had a penalty shout after Fernandes fired the ball into Martial in the area. His deft back heel threatened to play Pogba in on goal. The Frenchman then went to ground after a challenge from Josh Brownhill and United’s appeal for a penalty was considered by VAR. However, there was insufficient evidence to give a spot kick. Two minutes later though, United had opened the scoring through Pogba, who started the attack, played the ball to Rashford on the right, who then delivered the ball to the edge of the area with Pogba now in a good area, receiving the ball and hitting the back of the net with a slight deflection.

Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 80th minute of the match with Mason Greenwood replacing Rashford. United then had a chance to double their lead two minutes later with Martial preparing to pull the trigger from close-range, saw James Tarkowski make a brilliant last-ditch challenge to deny the Frenchman. United should have done much better there. Burnley then looked to start to push themselves into the match to get an equaliser. Solskjaer brought on Scott McTominay for Fernandes in the 89th minute of the match, seemingly trying to pack the midfield to deal with Burnley.

Martial seemed to be injured in added time, possible his hamstring. He was replaced by Axel Tuanzebe which might add some problems for the Liverpool match at the weekend. United just needed to keep a clean sheet and finish the match with the victory, which is what happened. United move three points ahead of Liverpool, level on matches played with goal difference a factor if Liverpool beat United at Anfield. Solskjaer will be pleased with his team, who some will say has topped the table in spite of him, not because of him. Agendas eh? United deserve to be in the position they are in right now. Bring on Liverpool.

Goals: Paul Pogba 71′

Assists: Marcus Rashford 71′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; Fernandes (McTominay 89′), Matic, Pogba; Rashford (Greenwood 80′), Cavani, Martial (Tuanzebe 90+5′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Telles; Mata, Fred, James, Van de Beek

Bookings: Ashley Westwood 62′; Luke Shaw 32′, Bruno Fernandes 45+3′

2020/21 – Premier League – Wolverhampton Wanderers – Away

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2020/21 – Premier League – Fulham – Home

Manchester United

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2020/21 – Premier League – Leicester City – Home

Manchester United

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2020/21 – Premier League – Aston Villa – Away

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2020/21 – Premier League – Liverpool – Home

Manchester United

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Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba; Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Bailly, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, Matic, Van de Beek; Cavani

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2020/21 – Premier League – Leeds United – Away

Goals: N/A

Assists: N/A

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred (Van de Beek 89′); James (Pogba 76′), Fernandes, Rashford (Cavani 86′); Greenwood

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Bailly, Telles, Tuanzebe; Mata, Matic

Bookings: Luke Ayling 37′, Tyler Roberts 39′, Ezgjan Alioski 64′, Patrick Bamford 70′; Harry Maguire 68′

2020/21 – Premier League – Burnley – Home

Manchester United beat Burnley 3-1 at Old Trafford to close the gap between them and Manchester City to just eight points with six matches remaining this season. Mason Greenwood opened the scoring in the 48th minute of the match with James Tarkowski equalising 114 seconds later. Greenwood then fired his second for United in the 84th minute of the match, scoring his ninth goal of the season. Burnley looked to be mounting a charge for an equaliser but United cut out their attack and launched on themselves with Edinson Cavani scoring his tenth goal of the season. Watch out Manchester City!

It was not the best start for United with Burnley kicking the match off and immediately finding the back of the net. However, it was ruled out by offside and VAR confirming that. When United started to attack, Burnley seemed to get all their players in their own half, many in their own box, which shows why they are in the position they are in this season with only 32 goals to the name in all competitions. It was a quite frustrating match as despite United getting chances, they never seemed to threaten as much as they should have, which is a shame. Burnley were being praised for being better off the ball, which seems ridiculous to state.

Paul Pogba probably had the best chance in the half after Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was booked for a clumsy fouls in the 26th minute of the match, played the ball into the box with the Frenchman heading towards the top corner of the goal and not finding the target. United were on the attack in the 33rd minute of the match with Mason Greenwood rushing to receive the ball on the right, but he was flagged for offside. United seemed to have something to moan about after Marcus Rashford seemed to be fouled by the goalkeeper, but looking at the replay, there was nothing untoward there.

It was 0-0 at the end of the first half which finished with some pain for Dean Henderson as Burnley played the ball into the box, James Tarkowski headed the ball towards Chris Wood, who came in low ons Henderson with his studs up on both feet, colliding with his hip. It seemed to be a very cynical challenge but it was not a foul as Wood was offside.. United would need to get something going in the second half, otherwise Burnley will leave Old Trafford undefeated for the sixth time in their last six visits and if that happened, it would be embarrassing as Burnley are a terrible team that plays park the bus football.

Solskjaer made his first substitution at the start of the second half with Edinson Cavani, who had been warming up for the final few minutes of the half and during the break, replacing Fred who completed 100% of his passes against Burnley with ten of them in the attacking third of the pitch. United opened the scoring in the 48th minute of the match after Luke Shaw burst forward, played the ball to Rashford with Matthew Lowton committing to but missing the ball and Rashford finding Mason Greenwood, who scored his eighth goal of the season, meaning he is one aways from Wayne Rooney’s 15 Premier League goal haul as a teenager for United.

However, United’s lead lasted just 114 seconds before United conceded their 1000th Premier League goal as James Tarkowski received the ball from an Ashley Westwood corner from the left, Tarkowski was sandwiched by Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire, with the defender showing brilliant strength to remain in the air and glance his header past Henderson from six-yards. It was a goal that should have been defended and one that will be rued by all United players. United will need to be a lot better to get three points in this match with them back to the drawing board in this match with Burnley looking up for the challenge to keep their Old Trafford record.

With around 15 minutes remaining, after having a few chances here and there, United were still pushing for a winner. However, Burnley were getting forward and threatening too, which was something that United needed to deal with more robustly. United got their second goal through Greenwood, who got his ninth goal of the season. Burnley did not look all that settled from the corner as United recycled play. Pogba worked the ball out to Greenwood one the far side and he cut in to get a shot away from his left foot. Bauley Peacock-Farrell committed to the dive but a deflection off Jack Cork gave the keeper no chance to make the save.

That was not it for United though as they pushed for another goal which came three minutes into the four minutes added at the end of the match. Burnley committed players forward in search of an equaliser and nearly got one after punishing an error. United broke up the attack to wrap up the game with United taking all three points. Greenwood played the ball into Bruno Fernandes, who then played to Van de Beek – which combined to a lovely flowing move. Edinson Cavani, assisted by the Dutchman, tapped in his effort to scored his tenth goal of the season and complete this match with a 3-1 victory over Burnley who could be relegation contenders.

United will now have a six day break before they face their next opposition. United will travel to Elland Road to face Leeds United for the first time in the Premier League since 2003. United beat Leeds 6-2 at Old Trafford in December 2020 and will be seeking to do the double over the club, who were promoted from the Championship last season. Leeds have some good results this season and do seem to be a capable team, who have secured themselves as a Premier League club heading into next season. United will be thankful of the rest before they enter the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League the following week.

Goals: Mason Greenwood 48′, 84’, Edinson Cavani 90+3’; James Tarkowski 50′

Assists: Marcus Rashford 48′, Paul Pogba 84’, Donny van de Beek 90+3’; Ashley Westwood 50′

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred (Cavani 46′); Rashford (Van de Beek 84′), Fernandes, Pogba; Greenwood

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, James, Matic

Bookings: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 26′; James Tarkowski 89′

2020/21 – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur – Away

Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the Premier League. Edinson Cavani opened the scoring in the 33rd minute of the match but it was ruled out after Scott McTominay was adjudged to have fouled Son Heung-Min in the build up. Son then put Spurs ahead before the end of the first half. United attempted to get back into the game, that coming in the 57th minute when Fred found the back of the net after Cavani’s effort was parried out. Cavani then put United ahead in the 79th minute of the match, getting his eighth goal of the season. Mason Greenwood finished the victory with a late goal.

It was a fairly fair start to the clash with both teams seeking to get something early on but you could see which team had a week’s rest and which team was playing three days ago. Both United and Spurs were working hard to get a good start to the match, which should bring out the determination of United to get revenge over the club that beat them 6-1 at Old Trafford earlier in the season. Scott McTominay was the first player to be booked, getting a yellow card in the 18th minute of the match. United needed to work a lot harder and Fred needed to find some form, as he was well out of canter in the early stages of the half.

United took the lead in the 33rd minute of the match after Paul Pogba played a great pass into the box with Edinson Cavani breaking through and beating Hugo Lloris at close-range. However, there was appeals for the referee to look into the goal as McTominay had supposedly fouled Son Heung-Min in the build up to the goal. VAR was brought in with the referee watching on the screen and he ruled the goal out for a foul. It seems that Son was touched on the chin and went down holding the upper part of his face, seconds after trying to grab McTominay’s shirt to impede him. There was a cloud over the first match with Erik Lamela and a cloud today.

Spurs took the lead in the 40th minute of the match, breaking forward at pace with Lucas Moura on the ball and seemingly likely to try his shot on goal, however, he crossed the ball into Son, who beat Dean Henderson to put his side 1-0 up with five minutes and added time to play before the half time break. Cavani was clearly not happy that his goal had been ruled out and he was aiming to get in the box again, but got booked himself in the 42nd minute of the match after an argument with Joe Rodon, who went down easily. You can see the Jose Mourinho in this team which is not really a compliment. United needed to try harder in the second half.

There were no changes for either team during the half time break. The game continued how it ended with United aiming to get level but not able to penetrate Spurs early doors. Fred was booked within three minutes of the restart, which just shows how little impact he has been having recently. His work rate is what gets him picked but he needs to be doing a lot more. As that was being written, Fred equalised for United after Cavani’s effort on goal was parried by Lloris and Fred was there to bang the rebound into the back of the net and give United a lot more to play for. It just shows that if you have to cheat to get ahead, it’s not going to last.

United had some good opportunities after Fred’s equaliser with Bruno Fernandes forcing a save from Lloris and United having a second go minute later. Luke Shaw became the fourth United player to be booked in the match for a foul, of which he has no complaint. Minutes later, Harry Maguire became the fifth player to be booked in this match which puts him closer to a two-match suspension. Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 72nd minute of the match with Mason Greenwood replacing Marcus Rashford. United should be doing a lot more than they have been doing to get ahead, which is the position they should rightfully be in now.

United took the lead in the 79th minute of the match and Cavani got his eighth goal of the season, assisted by Greenwood, who had been on the pitch for seven minutes or so. It was a great goal which garnered a loud celebration from the United players, who will feel robbed from the first goal of the game being disallowed. Spurs won’t feel to happy though, but it was their fault they were in this position. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In the final minutes of the match, the referee continued to side with Spurs when they were fouling United players, which is how the match started anyway.

At the turn of the 90th minute, Solskjaer made his second substitution with Nemanja Matic replacing Bruno Fernandes, who did not have a bad game, despite not assisting or scoring any goals. Six minutes of added time were to be played to end the match, which seems a lot of time as there has not been many breaks in play during the second half. Still, that is what United will need to get through in order to end the game, keeping their lead and taking three points back to Manchester with them. I am sure Mourinho will be unhappy about something, but that is only natural, right?

Mason Greenwood scored a third goal for United in added time to win the game comfortably with a 3-1 scoreline. Spurs just did not have enough cheating in their locker to get the better over United, even if the referee did happily book United players throughout the match. United have earned 28 points in the Premier League this season, which shows that corner they have turned and the improvement they have made during Solskjaer’s reign at the club. On to Granada at Old Trafford on Thursday evening now whilst Spurs get used to resting in midweek like all the rest of the small clubs.

Goals: Son Hueng-Min 40′; Fred 57′, Edinson Cavani 79′, Mason Greenwood 90+6′

Assists: Lucas Moura 40′; Mason Greenwood 79′, Paul Pogba 90+6′

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Rashford (Greenwood 72′), Fernandes (Matic 90′), Pogba; Cavani

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, Diallo, Van de Beek

Bookings: Scott McTominay 18′, Edinson Cavani 42′, Fred 48′, Luke Shaw 67′

2020/21 – Premier League – Brighton and Hove Albion – Home

Manchester United beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 in the Premier League at Old Trafford. Former United forward Danny Welbeck opened the scoring for the away side in the 13th minute of the match after Dean Henderson initially made the save, then the ball flew up towards the head of Welbeck, only for him to open the scoring. United managed to get an equaliser in the 52nd minute of the match after Marcus Rashford scored the ball played by Bruno Fernandes. In the 83rd minute of the match, Mason Greenwood who had hard luck at least twice, managed to head the ball, initially played in by Paul Pogba, into the back of the net to win the game.

United started well against Brighton and were immediately on the attack, seeking to open the scoring early in the game. Mason Greenwood had the best chance of the opening stages, hitting the post in the ninth minute of the match, which was a shame. Brighton took the lead in the 13th minute of the match through former United player Danny Welbeck. Paul Pogba gave the ball away after a poor pass for Fred. Neal Maupay was released on the right by Pascal Gross having a lot of time to cross into Welbeck, who headed towards goal but Den Henderson made a brilliant initial save to deny Welbeck but the ball lifted up and Welbeck headed past him.

United struggled to get back into the game after Welbeck’s goal. They were getting forward but were not creating anything with Brighton have seven to eight players back in the box, defending like the Championship club that they are. It seems pathetic to play park the bus football but these little clubs seem to do it against United all the time, seemingly thinking that beating United is the best thing to get from a season. This is why the club is struggling to get away from the relegation zone this season. There are many clubs that could end up going down this season but the bottom two clubs seem the most likely at this time.

Towards the end of the half, United were seemingly under the cosh with Brighton rushing forward and seeking a second goal, which is brave of them after spending much of the time in the first half in their own half. But still, United were behind and they would need to change things up in the second half to get the victory they needed to be getting, taking advantage of the teams around them who dropped points this weekend. United never seem to take the advantages that they have ben given, always seem to give them away and keep plodding on towards the end of the season. This also needs to change. The hairdryer should have been out at half time.

There were no changes for either side at the start of the second half. United were spending time trying to get level again, advancing but unable to do anything with the ball. United needed to find a better way to take one Brighton. In the 62nd minute, United got level through Marcus Rashford, who scored his 19th goal of the season. Bruno Fernandes provided the assist, waiting to lay the ball to Rashford, at the right time as he beat the Brighton goalkeeper aiming for the far post. United were level in the game, the advantage was with them now and they needed to get the winner, sending Brighton back home worrying about relegation again.

Solskjaer made his first substitute in the 72nd with Daniel James coming on to replace the goalscorer, Rashford. Just a few minutes later, on the attack, United nearly put themselves ahead for the first time of the match through Greenwood, who missed hist shot and the follow up, which was a shame. It would have been the perfect time for United to go ahead, giving Brighton more to worry about than be happy about. Solskjaer took Edinson Cavani off in the 82nd minute of the match after a largely ineffective performance sending Donny van de Beek on to try and help United get a winner in this match, which needs to be on the cards.

Got got their second goal in the 83rd minute through Greenwood, who has been gunning for a goal in this match. Fernandes was freed up after a lovely ball played in by Luke Shaw. He tee’d up the ball for Pogba for a volley at the back post. The Frenchman did not make good contact with the ball but it fell into the path of Greenwood, who had been working on his headers in training, only to head the ball into the back of the net from close-range, with a better finish than Welbeck earlier in the match. It was Greenwood’s sixth goal of the season, his second in the Premier League.

It was a good enough win for United, despite seeing many players out of pace in the squad, which is worrying, but nothing is ever great after an international break as the majority of the players will have only been training at the club since Friday, so will be off the pace. United will need to get up to speed to face Granada in the UEFA Europa League ons Thursday evening, which should be a good match and another win for United, putting their foot in the door for a potential semi-final place in the competition for the second season running. Solskjaer will be please with the performance of his players in this match and Brighton will be thinking about the result.

After Thursday’s quarter-final first leg in the Europa League, United will travel to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League next Sunday with the match kicking off at the better time of 16:30 BST, which is much better than. Sunday evening kick off, which United have been subjected more than any other side in the past six weeks or so. United position in the top four has been strengthened slightly with United four points clear of third-placed Leicester City and nine points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea, who could be fifth on Monday evening if West Ham United beat Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Goals: Marcus Rashford 62′, Mason Greenwood 83′; Danny Welbeck 13′

Assists: Bruno Fernandes 62′, Paul Pogba 83′

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Pogba (McTominay 84′); Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford (James 72′); Cavani (Van de Beek 82′)

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Williams, Tuanzebe; Diallo, Matic

Bookings: Edinson Cavani 65′; Pascal Gross 42′, Ben White 66′

copyright: JW