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Ratings: Greenwood’s brace and Cavani’s tap-in sees United send Burnley packing

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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. Bailey 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.

Manchester United

26 Dean Henderson

Could have conceded a calamitous goal in the first minute, but an offside flag saved his blushes. Conceded 114 seconds after United took the lead. It will be a learning curve for the goalkeeper, who was calm and composed and commanded his area well throughout the match.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Booked in the 26th minute for a clumsy foul. Completed 25 out of 27 passes in the attacking third. He was not really an outlet of attack on the right though.Did his job defensively though.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Did well against Burnley although his aerial ability was countered and perhaps the the best way to get balls into the box to threaten.

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5 Harry Maguire

Coped (just) with Wood but was beaten by Tarkowski for the equaliser. Will be thankful of the break this week, despite not playing for the past week himself.

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23 Luke Shaw

Lacked adventure at times and needed to be told by the manager. His second half performance was better than the first.

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39 Scott McTominay

Had a chance on goal in the first half but that came to nothing. Could to set the tempo with Pogba playing further forward.

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17 Fred

Played the first half of the match before being replaced by Cavani at half time. Completed 100% of his passes (35) with ten of those in the attacking third of the pitch. It was not a positive performance but one for him to at least build upon.

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10 Marcus Rashford

I thought he would be rested for this match but he seemed to be fitter and more in play against Burnley. Got his 13th assist of the season which saw Greenwood open the scoring - 114 seconds before Burnley equalised.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Burnley got under his skin. They wound him up. He got the better with a dummy for Greenwood's goal.

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6 Paul Pogba

Should have scored in the first half with a precise header into the top corner. Did what he needed to do at times and got the ball forward as much as possible.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season and also made it three goals in his last two Premier League matches. Rashford played the first into him, getting the assist, Pogba played the second in but there was a slight deflection for the goal. but the assist stood too. He has matched Wayne Rooney's 15 goals for the club as a teenager.

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Substitutes

7 Edinson Cavani

Replaced Fred 46'. Came on at half time to add more threat on the attack. Sealed the victory with a tap in which became his tenth goal of the season.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Replaced Rashford 84'. Got his second assist of the season playing the ball into Cavani for United's third goal. Good to see him able to raise his confidence. Needs to be playing more football though.

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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′

Written by John Walker

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