Report: Martial and Rooney sink Burnley to keep top four chances alive


Manchester United beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Anthony Martial, the Man of the Match opened the scoring in the 21st minute after Ander Herrera set him up with the goal after the Frenchman started the attack. Martial was involved in the second goal of the match which was scored by Wayne Rooney in the 39th minute, getting the assist. United had all three points in the bag. The late injury to Paul Pogba may be cause for concern.

Jose Mourinho made eight changes from the victory over Anderlecht with David De Gea, Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind, Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney all returning to the starting XI against Burnley. United started well, but Burnley soon started to exert some pressure on them in the opening five minutes of the match. This Burnley side have earned most of their points total in the Premier League this season at home, making this a tough match for United. In the tenth minute, United burst to life with Anthony Martial on the left, sending in a low cross to Ander Herrera who set up Wayne Rooney from six-yards out. Tom Heaton managed to thwart the early effort, though.

United had another chance two minutes later with Marouane Fellaini heading towards goal, but it was straight at Heaton. Burnley had a great chance after piling the pressure on this weakened United side which saw Daley Blind give away a corner in order to stop Burnley from getting into a more advanced area. The corner amounted to nothing for the home side. Rooney had a pretty decent chance in the 18th minute of the match with United advancing. Rooney was on the left flank, put his looping shot towards goal, which just sailed over the crossbar. It could have been a sublime goal for the captain. It was not long before United scored a goal at Turf Moor though, getting rid of the chances of a 0-0 draw, at least.

Anthony Martial broke forward in the 21st minute of the match, setting up his run himself with Ander Herrera receiving the ball and providing the assist for the Frenchman, who on his 50th Premier League appearance for United, scored his 25th goal for the club, his 15th in the league and his eighth in total this season. United were 1-0 to the good and looking to drive on and ensure they leave Turf Moor with all three points this afternoon. Joey Barton is having a bad game, not that this statement will shock anyone. He’s got no ability, other than to foul his opposition, which he keeps getting away with. Out of his depth in the Premier League. In fact, he would be out of his depth anywhere.

United doubled their lead in the 39th minute of the match after Paul Pogba played a perfect pass to Martial, who shot towards goal from an angle, Heaton got to it, although he was on the floor. Rooney then came in and hit his shot between the legs of Michael Keane, which was then cleared from the line, but the ball had crossed it. 2-0 to United, who were looking to ensure all three points were in the bag by the end of the first half. It was Rooney’s 251st goal for United. Burnley had a chance to get one back in the 43rd minute of the match, but it was dealt with well by United, who looked to get on the attack again, but Burnley won possession again through Ben Mee. Two minutes were added on at the end of the first half. It ended 2-0 in favour of Manchester United.

United started the second half well, just how they finished the first – in the driving seat. United had a good chance to get another goal in the 56th minute of the match after Rooney took the corner, Herrera kept possession and tried to send the ball over the top for it to be headed home, but it went back to Rooney, for him to try the same, which was then collected by Heaton. In the 64th minute of the match, Burnley had a chance to get a goal back, but Ashley Barnes’ effort was dealt with and cleared from United’s area. Matthew Lowton was shown his ninth yellow card of the season for a challenge on Rooney. Marcus Rashford replaced Jesse Lingard in the 69th minute of the match, with United maybe needing a bit more pace on the pitch and hunger for a third goal.

United were still looking the better team in the latter stages of the match and were still looking for another goal, despite this match already seemingly being won. Pogba tried to set up Martial with another chance to score in the 76th minute, but Lowton diverted the chance, ceasing the attack. Rooney was booked in the 78th minute of the match for dissent. Henrikh Mkhitaryan replaced Martial in the 80th minute of the match – a goal and an assist for the Frenchman today. Rashford had a good chance to find himself a goal, but his shot was denied by Heaton, who tipped it out for a corner, but a goal kick was given. Poor officiating. The ball changed direction after Heaton stretched for it.

In the 88th minute of the match, United were looking good with the ball in the advanced area, looking to threaten for a third goal. Wayne Rooney had the ball at the edge of the box, striking his shot just wide of the target. Pogba had a chance to put United three up, but his effort was off target also. Burnley will be thankful of that, despite being beaten at home. Paul Pogba came off injured in the 90th minute of the match with Michael Carrick replacing him for the four minutes of added time. In the final minute of the match, Eric Bailly seemed to be struggling, but got up and continued to play. Manchester City on the horizon for United, a win will see United into the top four on Thursday night, which could be an even better position if Liverpool fails to beat Crystal Palace today.

Goals: Anthony Martial 21′, Wayne Rooney 39′

Assists: Ander Herrera 21′, Anthony Martial 39′

Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Bailly, Blind, Young; Herrera, Fellaini, Pogba (Carrick 90′); Lingard (Rashford 69′), Rooney, Martial (Mkhitaryan 80′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Shaw, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe

Bookings: Wayne Rooney 78′

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