Manchester United beat Burnley 2-0 at Old Trafford in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup. Christian Eriksen opened the scoring in the first half of the match with Marcus Rashford scoring in the second half to settle the tie. Erik ten Hag will be happy with what he saw after seeing a few players miss out of the match. Bruno Fernandes’ booking will see him miss the quarter final, which could be a problem for United.
United started well against Burnley considering they have not played a competitive match since the 2-1 victory over Fulham in the Premier League in mid-November. Alejandro Garnacho seemed to be a problem on the left flank for the away side with the Spanish-born Argentinian using his pace to thunder up the flank and try and get the ball into the box. In the eighth minute he had a great chance to open the scoring, unmarked in the box but left unable to beat the Burnley goalkeeper.
United continued pushing to find the opening goal in this match but could not find it. Marcus Rashford seemed to want a penalty in the tenth minute after it seemed a Burnley player handled the ball. However the referee was not entertaining anything from the England international. United continued to try and get something from the early stages of the match but were not able to break the deadlock. Burnley seemed to push United in the match, which is what was expected of them.
United broke the deadlock in the 27th minute of the match after some good interplay between Bruno Fernandes, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Christian Eriksen. Fernandes played the ball to the right, into Wan-Bissaka, who played a cross into the box for Eriksen, who scored his second goal for United, also scoring in the last match against Fulham. It was a good cross for Wan-Bissaka, who was not having a great appearance for United prior to the opening goal.
United continued to break down this Burnley side, who were playing well at Old Trafford. Martin Dubravka, making his second start for United, has caused a few problems at the back. The first being the fact he missed the ball when seeking to punch it out of danger which resulted in Casemiro and Wan-Bissaka trying to clear it from the line. The next was when he was not concentrating and missed the ball with his foot, which nearly rolled into the back of the net.
Ten Hag will have said something to the Slovakian goalkeeper during the half time break as he needed to keep his concentration and not make silly errors. United still led at the break but Burnley would not let the fact they were 1-0 down faze them as its a scoreline like that, there was always a chance for them to get back into the match. United had more work to do to be in the draw for the last eight of the competition on Thursday evening after Manchester City play Liverpool.
At the start of the second half there were no substitutions for either side. United needed to continue how they left off in the first half – on top of their game. Ten Hag will have demanded a victory in this match, in 90 minutes so they can prepare for Nottingham Forest in the first Premier League match since the FIFA World Cup on Tuesday 27 December at Old Trafford. United will have five days to prepare before match day. With a bit of luck, they will have more players back for that.
Josh Cullen became the first player to be booked in this match after a foul in the 48th minute. United doubled their lead in the 57th minute of the match with Rashford being played the ball by Scott McTominay and running up the pitch on the right-wing. He ended up shooting from the angle to find the second goal of the match and his ninth of the season so far. What a goal it was for Rashford and United as they led 2-0 in this clash with Burnley.
Ten Hag made his first substitution of the match in the 59th minute following Rashford’s goal. Antony made his return to action with Garnacho coming off. United continued to up the pace in the match, seeking a third goal and a victory in this match. Burnley had some chances though, but they were not good enough to cause United some problems. Ten Hag will be pleased with his squad for this match as they have done everything that was required, at least up until this point.
United made a double substitution in the 72nd minute with Luke Shaw and Anthony Elanga replacing Wan-Bissaka and Anthony Martial. It was Tyrell Malacia switch to the right-back position, which is not his favoured position with Shaw playing in the left-back position. Ten Hag has seen his side do everything right to get into the quarter final stages of the Carabao Cup this season. Antony was the first United player to be booked after getting a yellow card in the 80th minute.
United made a second double substitution in the 86th minute with Fred and Brandon Williams replacing both Rashford and Malacia. Fernandes became the second United player to be booked in this match, meaning that he will miss the quarter final stage of the competition, which could be a big blow for United. Four minutes were added to the end of their match but it was already won by United. Ten Hag willow be readying preparations for the clash with Nottingham Forest.
United will be joined in the quarter final draw by Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton, Newcastle United, Leicester City, Nottingham Forest, Charlton Athletic and the winner of the clash between Manchester City and Liverpool on Thursday evening. Ten Hag is still in with a chance of making the Carabao Cup his first trophy at United – there is a long way to go yet but with it being the first trophy of the 2022/23 season, it is worth going for. Come on United!
Martin Dubravka: Had little to do in the first half. Made two errors which luckily did not cost United; missing his punch to the ball, resulting in a clearance off the line and losing concentration with the ball nearly rolling into the back of the net. His second start for United but he seemed off the pace of this match. Made a third mistake in the dying stages of the match as he came out to the edge of his box. He prevailed though as United cleared the danger. ★★★★
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Got his first assist of the season with not much of a career left at United if they managed to get him out the door in January. Played the ball, received from Fernandes, greatly across the face of the goal for Eriksen to meet it and fire it into the back of the net. He continued to play some good defensive football in the second half before he was replaced by Shaw in the 72nd minute of the match. Ten Hag will be pleased with that appearance. ★★★★★★★
Victor Lindelof: Played on the left side of the back two to accommodate Casemiro in the centre of the defence. Helped keep a clean sheet and see United into the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup this season. It is expected that he could partner Harry Maguire, when he is fit again with Lisandro Martinez still away after his FIFA World Cup win. From there, it could be the bench for him with Martinez and Rafael Varane the preferred centre-back choice. ★★★★★★
Casemiro: It was good to see him back after his escapades with Brazil in the FIFA World Cup this winter. He played in a defensive position alongside Lindelof in the back four. He did what was required, as will be expected of the veteran defensive midfielder. He cleared the line in the first half after a Dubravka error which almost led to a goal. He was a confident head in the centre of the defence with United light in defenders at this time. ★★★★★★★
Tyrell Malacia: Despite not being used by the Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup, Malacia rose in this match – not looking like it has been 38 days since he last played football. Played at left-back until late in the second half when he was switched to right-back, just before being replaced by Williams, who made his return from injury. Did well in the match but it looks like Shaw will be the first choice for the left-back position this season. ★★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: He has been a player seeking to rise to the occasion now there are not Ronaldo type players to overshadow him. He played a great ball into Wan-Bissaka, who crossed the ball into Eriksen to score the opening goal of the match. It is great to see him back and playing some intelligent football for the Old Trafford club. He was booked in the late stages of the match, meaning he will miss the quarter final stages of the competition. ★★★★★★★
Scott McTominay: Got an assist for Rashford’s goal. Did what was needed in the midfield alongside Eriksen, who opened the scoring in the first half of the match. He’s a talented player but does not always rise to the occasion. He did what was asked of him against Burnley which will see United in the last eight of the competition in Thursday’s draw. He could well find himself starting against Nottingham Forest the day after Boxing Day too. ★★★★★
Christian Eriksen: Scored his second goal of the season for United with a great finish following the assist from Wan-Bissaka. He’s a great player for United and he really has enjoyed himself this season, getting six assists so far to add to his two goals. He continued his fine form in the centre of the midfield in the second half of the match as United saw his earlier goal doubled by Rashford. What a player he will be in this important season for United. ★★★★★★★
Marcus Rashford: Was lively in the first half for United but in the second half, he rose into the match in the 57th minute as he put United 2-0 up, scoring his ninth goal of the season. What a finish it was, from an angle as he beat the Burnley goalkeeper. Rashford tried to better United’s scoreline in this match but was unable to find a second goal of the evening, a third for United. He was replaced in the 86th minute by Fred. ★★★★★★★
Alejandro Garnacho: Unlucky not to have had the ball in the back of the net in the eighth minute. He used his pace up the left flank and got the better of his opposition. But for his shot on goal – he could not beat the goalkeeper. It is all experience for him though and he will find his footing at United. He was the first player to be substituted in the second half with Anthony coming on just before the hour. Garnacho had some good attacks in this match. ★★★★★
Anthony Martial: The Frenchman did not really find much success in the match against Burnley. He seemed off the pace a little and will need a few weeks to find his form again after scoring four goals and two assists so far this season, playing just over 300 minutes of football including this match. In the 72nd minute, he was replaced by Elanga with Ten Hag seeking something new in the match with Elanga likely to use his pace to try and thwart Burnley. ★★★★★
Antony: Replaced Garnacho 59′. Made his first appearance for United since October. Was a bench player during the World Cup and will soon be up to speed for United. He has scored three goals for United so far this season and will be seeking to find more as the season grows. United have some big matches coming up and will need all of their best players to have an impact if they are to get something from the season. Antony could be a top player for United. ★★★★★
Luke Shaw: Replaced Wan-Bissaka 72′. Came on with just under 20 minutes left. Saw Malacia switch to the right-back position for a short period of time. Shaw found his feet quickly as United looked to maintaining their 2-0 lead and reach the quarter final stages of the Carabao Cup this season. He looks set to be the first-choice for the left-back position this season with Malacia stepping in when needed. It could be a good season for Shaw and United. ★★★★★
Anthony Elanga: Replaced Martial 72′. Came on at the expense of Martial but played on the right-wing. Brought on for his pace although there is nothing else that I feel the young Swede offers United. But that could change through the course of the season. Ten Hag must see something in him as he has an eye for helping generate youth talent. That said, I would be surprised if he is still at United once new owners of the club have been found. ★★★★★
Fred: Replaced Rashford 86′. Came on late in the match and did not get much of an impact. He has been a good player for United this season, scoring one goal so far. He can have an impact given the chance and will seemingly get that chance this season with United still playing in four competitions with 2023 close to appearing. I expect Fred to be more of an impact player from the bench, rather than a starter but he will feature in some matches this season. ★★★★★
Brandon Williams: Replaced Malacia 86′. Made his return from a long-term injury which will add to United’s strength in the defensive ranks this season. Despite playing left-back at Norwich City on loan last season, he played as a right-back in this match. He will add some depth behind Diogo Dalot if Wan-Bissaka leaves the club next month. He did not have a lot of time to get an impact in this match with it already won before he came on. ★★★★★
Goals: Christian Eriksen 27′, Marcus Rashford 57′
Assists: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 27′, Scott McTominay 57′
Manchester United: Dubravka; Wan-Bissaka (Shaw 72′), Lindelof, Casemiro, Malacia (Williams 86′); Fernandes, McTominay, Eriksen; Rashford (Fred 86′), Martial (Elanga 72′), Garnacho (Antony 59′)
Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Bennett; Pellistri, van de Beek
Bookings: Antony 80′, Bruno Fernandes 89′; Josh Cullen 48′
Written by John Walker