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

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

Confirmed XI: Greenwood, Rashford, Fernandes and Pogba to lead United against Burnley

Manchester United welcome Burnley to Old Trafford in the Premier League this afternoon just three days after reaching the UEFA Europa League semi-finals where they will face AS Roma. United’s 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday saw United open up a lead in second place in the league, giving them space over Leicester City, who are currently third in the league. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to see the same from his squad, who have only lost to Leicester City (Emirates FA Cup), Sheffield United (Premier League) and Manchester City (Carabao Cup) in 2021. That is good form but still some moan about this.

If United beat Burnley, which is their 32nd Premier League match of the season and levelling up with the number of matches City have played, it will leave United just eight points from City in second place with six matches left to play in the league before the end of the season. Granted, United’s chance of winning the league has long been gone but they can show good form between now on the end of the season, which could add some pressure on City and who knows what could happen. To see United finish the season strongly would benefit them next season, where they will need to start strongly, which is not what happened this season.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred;

Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

De Gea; Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, James, Matic, Van de Beek; Cavani

Burnley:

Peacock-Farrell;

Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor;

Cork, Westwood, Brownhill;

Gudmundsson, McNeil;

Wood

Substitutes:

Norris; Pieters, Barnsley, Nartey, Dunne; Stephens, Richardson; Rodriguez, Vydra

United and Burnley have played 13 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won seven times, drawing four times with Burnley winning the remaining two matches. United have scored 18 goals with Burnley scoring just eight. The Red Devils were awarded four penalties, scoring two of them with Burnley yet to win a penalty against them. United have kept eight clean sheets with Burnley keeping four. In terms of discipline, United’s players have been booked 24 times and were shown two red cards. Burnley’s players have been shown 34 yellow cards with no red cards at this time.

This season, United beat Burnley at Turf Moor in a 1-0 victory with Paul Pogba, assisted by Marcus Rashford, scoring the only goal of the match. This was a match that was delayed from earlier in the season as it was supposed to be the opening Premier League match for United. At the time this match was played, United were flying high in the league table and topped it after this result. United have been in second place since Manchester City took the top spot. In the fixture at Old Trafford last season, Burnley won 2-0 with Chris Wood, assisted by Ben Mee and Jay Rodriguez, assisted by Wood, scoring the goals.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-3-1-2] Cavani, Greenwood, Fernandes and Pogba to help United push Burnley into peril

Manchester United welcome Burnley to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday just three days after reaching the UEFA Europa League semi-finals where they will face AS Roma. United’s 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday saw United open up a lead in second place in the league, giving them space over Leicester City, who are currently third in the league. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to see the same from his squad, who have only lost to Leicester City (Emirates FA Cup), Sheffield United (Premier League) and Manchester City (Carabao Cup) in 2021. That is good form but still some moan about this.

If United beat Burnley, which is their 32nd Premier League match of the season and levelling up with the number of matches City have played, it will leave United just eight points from City in second place with six matches left to play in the league before the end of the season. Granted, United’s chance of winning the league has long been gone but they can show good form between now on the end of the season, which could add some pressure on City and who knows what could happen. To see United finish the season strongly would benefit them next season, where they will need to start strongly, which is not what happened this season.

How United have faired against Burnley in the Premier League.

United and Burnley have played 13 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won seven times, drawing four times with Burnley winning the remaining two matches. United have scored 18 goals with Burnley scoring just eight. The Red Devils were awarded four penalties, scoring two of them with Burnley yet to win a penalty against them. United have kept eight clean sheets with Burnley keeping four. In terms of discipline, United’s players have been booked 24 times and were shown two red cards. Burnley’s players have been shown 34 yellow cards with no red cards at this time.

This season, United beat Burnley at Turf Moor in a 1-0 victory with Paul Pogba, assisted by Marcus Rashford, scoring the only goal of the match. This was a match that was delayed from earlier in the season as it was supposed to be the opening Premier League match for United. At the time this match was played, United were flying high in the league table and topped it after this result. United have been in second place since Manchester City took the top spot. In the fixture at Old Trafford last season, Burnley won 2-0 with Chris Wood, assisted by Ben Mee and Jay Rodriguez, assisted by Wood, scoring the goals.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Burnley in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson

Dean Henderson was rested on Thursday evening with David De Gea playing in the UEFA Europa League clash with Granada, which saw United win 2-0, 4-0 on aggregate to earn a place in the semi-finals of the competition. Henderson is probably seen as the number one goalkeeper at the club which will give the manager a headache about De Gea’s future at the club. Henderson last played against Tottenham Hotspur last week and despite conceding in the 40th minute of the match, did well and helped United in victory. Henderson is a very good goalkeeper and many will be excited to see what he can achieve at the club.

The player knows his talents and has always been vocal in that way and his loan spells away from the club with his last two seasons being played out at Sheffield United, defined his career in showing what United had on their books which resulted in him showing what he’s got this season and challenging De Gea for his place in the team. Henderson has 21 appearances to his name at United this season and he has only conceded 15 goals, keeping 12 clean sheets. It is only a matter of time before other clubs start to see what a player he is and I truly believe that he will silence a lot of his critics.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United were back to barebones in terms of defenders for Thursday’s match which saw Victor Lindelof and Axel Tuanzebe start together, playing well for the 90 minutes – which was great to see. Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw were both suspended for the clash, which has allowed them just about a week’s rest before playing again, which at this stage of the season will be good for them. Aaron Wan-Bissaka will end up playing through, which I am sure he is happy with, although Solskjaer has the strength in depth to bring in Brandon Williams, just like he did one Thursday.

Against Burnley this weekend, I feel that Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire and Shaw will all feature against the team which is unbeaten in their last five trips to the Theatre of Dreams. United will need to be the better of the 16th placed club in the league who are seven points away from the relegation places. Ideally, United will be seeking to keep a clean sheet in the match, knowing that Burnley have only scored 32 goals this season with United scoring their 100th goal on Thursday evening, which was an own goal – one of five own goals scored for them this season. United’s defence needs some work but these players are able to achieve this season.

Midfield: Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba

United have played with a three-man midfield in the last two matches, which has also featured Bruno Fernandes playing inn the number ten position. I think United have played better inn this formation, which has seen them dominate and positions them strongly in the areas that they have been weak in this season. I would like to see Donny van de Beek, Scott Mctominay, who was suspended for Thursday’s match and Paul Pogba all play in the midfield as I feel the Burnley will play the majority of their player’s being the ball for much of the match as that is what these teams do when they come to the Theatre of Dreams.

Van de Beek should be starting as he has not played a lot of football this season. He has played 30 times for United this season, scoring one goal and one assist but in terms of minutes played, he has only been on the pitch for 1,174 minutes, which is an average of 39 minutes per appearance – which is not good enough for a player of his calibre. Solskjaer has tried to smoothen the transition of the rise form the Eredivisie to the Premier League but even he is capable of performing at a high level. Pogba has been in form inn his last few matches, getting three assists in his last four. McTominay gives his all when on the pitch too, which is good to see.

Attacking Midfield: Bruno Fernandes

Brunno Fernandes is the Portuguese magnifico and has been the best signing of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s. He is definitely the player that will be awarded the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award this season and has a good chance of winning the PFA Player of the Year and being shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or – but maybe not in the top three. Fernandes has been inspirational and only Eric Cantona has had a similar start to his United career as the Portuguese midfielder. Recently though, Fernandes has been laboured and probably needs a rest but he has a player that will not want special treatment either.

He has scored 24 goals this season, also achieving an additional 14 assists meaning that he has a goal contribution of 38 goals this season, which is magnificent. United are reliant on the player being in good form which is why they need to balance the squad and make the club less reliant on him. Many opposition supporters will be jealous to see a player like Fernandes in United’s squad. As much as they mock him, you have measure that level in jealousy that their club does not have him. I would not change anything and think he has been a great addition to the club and the squad and he loves it at Manchester United – which is great.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani is in form right now. He scored against Spurs (twice) and was one of the figures behind the comeback from 1-0 down in the first half of that match. He also has a good game against Granada ons Thursday evening, scoring his second goal of the week and extending his record to nine goals this season, and he has two assists from earlier in the season, meaning he has a goal contribution of 11 goals this season. It might not please some but the Uruguayan is inn form at the right time – the business end of the season. United will be seeking to achieve something and set the pace for next season which will hopefully continue with him.

Mason Greenwood is also a player that has moved on in strides this season. His goal contribution is not like it was last season but he has upped his progress at the club and is seeking to move into more of a strikers role, which has been the case in the last two matches with him playing up top in periods or on Thursday, for much of the match. Greenwood has scored 13 Premier League goals for United and is only better by Wayne Rooney in the teenage goalscoring rankings, which means another two goals before he’s 20, which won’t happen until the 1 October 2021, will see him achieve what Rooney did, in terms of league goals in his teenage years.

Substitutes: David De Gea; Alex Telles, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe; Juan Mata, Fred, Amad Diallo, Nemanja Matic; Marcus Rashford

Substitutes could play a big part in this match, keeping the squad fresh – despite having a week to ready themselves for their next match which is a trip to Leeds United, which United have not endured since 2011, although that was in the League Cup. The last Premier League match at Elland Road was in October 2003 with Roy Keane scoring the winner. Solskjaer will only be able to name nine players on the bench for Premier League matches, using three of those during the course of the match. I expect David De Gea to be back on the bench after his clean sheet against Granada with Henderson starting the match.

In defence, Alex Telles, Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe will be available but it is possible that Eric Bailly could be back after missing the last few matches after the international break because of coronavirus. He may not be fit enough to take part though. In midfield, Juan Mata, Fred, Amad Diallo and Nemanja Matic could all be called upon should they be needed. In attack, which is an area that United have a lack of cover for right now, Marcus Rashford could be available, although he was on the bench on Thursday and was not used. If he is not able to take part, Anthony Elanga, who faced Manchester City at U23 level on Friday, could be involved.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Beating Burnley is necessary to continue progression under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United -v- Burnley

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 18 April 2021, KO 16:00 BST

Referee: Jonathan Moss Assistants: Marc Perry, Harry Lennard

Fourth Official: Robert Jones

VAR: Darren England Assistant VAR: Lee Betts

Manchester United welcome Burnley to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday just three days after reaching the UEFA Europa League semi-finals where they will face AS Roma. United’s 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday saw United open up a lead in second place in the league, giving them space over Leicester City, who are currently third in the league. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to see the same from his squad, who have only lost to Leicester City (Emirates FA Cup), Sheffield United (Premier League) and Manchester City (Carabao Cup) in 2021. That is good form but still some moan about this.

If United beat Burnley, which is their 32nd Premier League match of the season and levelling up with the number of matches City have played, it will leave United just eight points from City in second place with six matches left to play in the league before the end of the season. Granted, United’s chance of winning the league has long been gone but they can show good form between now on the end of the season, which could add some pressure on City and who knows what could happen. To see United finish the season strongly would benefit them next season, where they will need to start strongly, which is not what happened this season.

Manchester United: WWWWLW

Granada 2-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 W, Granada CF 2-0 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 W, Leicester City 3-1 L, AC Milan 1-0 W

Burnley: LLWDDL

Newcastle United 2-1 L, Southampton 3-2 L, Everton 2-1 W, Arsenal 1-1 D, Leicester City 1-1 D, Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 L

Top Scorers: United have scored 100 goals so far this season and Burnley have scored just 32 goals, which is terrible.

Manchester United Goals: 24 – Bruno Fernandes, 20 – Marcus Rashford, 9 – Edinson Cavani, 7 – Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, 5 – Own Goal, Daniel James, Paul Pogba, 2 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Amad Diallo, Fred, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Donny van de Beek

United have scored 100 goals in all competitions this season, five of them being own goals. In their last six matches, Solskjaer’s side have won five and lost once. United have scored 11 goals, conceding five and keeping three clean sheets. For that that suggest United have not progressed this season, you need to look at the results, the number of goals and the different levels of achievement. Many will suggest that Solskjaer has lost five semi-finals, like they are stuck in the past. Trophies are not the only marker of progress. It seems that some ‘supporters’ only see a trophy as progression. United’s mentality has changes this season.

Burnley Goals: 7 – Chris Wood, 6 – Matej Vydra, 3 – Ashley Barnes, Jay Rodriguez, 2 – Jóhann Gudmundsson, Dwight McNeil, Ben Mee, 1 – Robbie Brady, Josh Brownhill, Jimmy Dunne, Own Goal, Kevin Long, Matthew Lowton, Ashley Westwood

Burnley have not done too well in all competitions this season. Currently, they sit 16th in the Premier League table and exited the Emirates FA Cup in the fifth round and the Carabao Cup in the fourth round. Their Premier League status is not slipping away at this time, but it could if they don’t start getting better results. In the last six matches, they have won once, drawn twice and lost three times, scoring seven goals, conceding 12 and keeping no clean sheets. They have scored 32 goals this season, one of them being an own goal, which is terrible form for a club that is just seven points away from the relegation zone in the Premier League.

Team News: United boosted with returns for Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay. Eric Bailly could be back in action this weekend too.

Anthony Martial (knee) is the only player that is currently on the sidelines through injury. Phil Jones (knee) probably will not feature but he has stepped up his recovery after undergoing knee surgery, not playing a single minute of football this season. Marcus Rashford (foot) will continue to be assessed after featuring on the bench for United in their 2-0 victory over Granada on Thursday evening. Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay will be back in action after being suspended for Thursday’s match. However, if Maguire ends up getting booked this weekend, he will be suspended for two matches. Eric Bailly could be back too.

Robbie Brady (Achilles), Ashley Barnes (thigh) and Kevin Long (knock) have all been ruled out of the visit to Old Trafford this weekend with Nick Pope (shoulder) and Dwight McNeil (knock) both doubts. Jay Rodriguez has been out due to personal reasons and his fit to face United, should he be included in the squad this weekend. Burnley have done well at Old Trafford in their last five visits with one victory and four draws. United will have to be in good form this weekend to stop them leaving the Theatre of Dreams with any points at all – which is what Solskjaer will be aiming for. United have many rested players to achieve that though.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood to continue up to with Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek in midfield?

Solskjaer has the benefit of being able to bring in four players who did not feature for the club on Thursday evening. Dean Henderson was on the bench in the 2-0 victory over Granada whereas Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay were all suspended for the match. Against Burnley, who have left Old Trafford undefeated in their last five matches, United will need to put in a big shift to take all three points as the club are just seven points away from a relegation place but have scored just 32 goals in all competitions this season. Edinson Cavani is on good form, scoring twice in his last two matches for the club, he will be seeking more.

Match Prediction: United and Burnley have met 13 times with United winning seven, drawing four and losing twice

United and Burnley have played 13 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won seven times, drawing four times with Burnley winning the remaining two matches. United have scored 18 goals with Burnley scoring just eight. The Red Devils were awarded four penalties, scoring two of them with Burnley yet to win a penalty against them. United have kept eight clean sheets with Burnley keeping four. In terms of discipline, United’s players have been booked 24 times and were shown two red cards. Burnley’s players have been shown 34 yellow cards with no red cards at this time.

This season, United beat Burnley at Turf Moor in a 1-0 victory with Paul Pogba, assisted by Marcus Rashford, scoring the only goal of the match. This was a match that was delayed from earlier in the season as it was supposed to be the opening Premier League match for United. At the time this match was played, United were flying high in the league table and topped it after this result. United have been in second place since Manchester City took the top spot. In the fixture at Old Trafford last season, Burnley won 2-0 with Chris Wood, assisted by Ben Mee and Jay Rodriguez, assisted by Wood, scoring the goals.

Manchester United 2-0 Burnley

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Pogba’s second half performance drove United to victory; United are top of the league – bring on Liverpool

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.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Will be happy with another clean sheet and United going top of the Premier League and three points clear of Liverpool going into the clash with them on Sunday.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Played well both defensively and in attack. United got forward a lot of the time with Burnley no really pushing the right-back defensively.

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3 Eric Bailly

Good to see him recover quickly from the injury which looked like it could sideline him. Lindelof could have a problem getting back into the starting XI with Bailly doing well so far. A big game is coming up though and Bailly will be ready for it.

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5 Harry Maguire

Headed the ball into the back of the net in the first half but it was ruled out for a foul. Led his team positively and broke forward when he could, especially in set-pieces.

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23 Luke Shaw

Booked in the first half for what seemed like a follow through. Did well at times throughout the match, pushing forward with United seeking that elusive goal.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Had a shot on goal in the first half but put it straight through to Pope instead. It seemed like an off day for the Portuguese magnifico. He played his part though with Pogba being the one to guide United in this match. Was replaced by McTominay in the 89th minute.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Played the defensive role in the midfield well. Burnley had a few chances in the first half, but in the second, the seemed well behind. Matic did what he needed to do and helped to protect the defence, when they needed it.

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6 Paul Pogba

Opened the scoring in the 71st minute of the match, playing the ball into Rashford, who drove forward and eventually passed to the Frenchman on the edge of the box. His effort was deflected (slightly) past Pope to put United ahead in the match. His first half was uneventful but he started to get into the game in the second half.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Playing on the right is not an area that Rashford does well in. He struggles but in the second half, received the ball and played it back to Pogba to open the scoring. He was replaced by Greenwood in the 80th minute.

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7 Edinson Cavani

Good to see him back after a three match suspension. Seemed fit and raring to go but it was a day that United needed to do more. He had a few attempts on goal, never getting there though.

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9 Anthony Martial

Did not have the best of matches. Had a fair few chances to break the deadlock before Pogba scored, but the quality was not really there. Martial has scored a few goals against Burnley in his time at United though. Came off injured in added time with Tuanzebe replacing him.

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Substitutes

11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Rashford 80'. Used his pace late in the game but it was Burnley who were pushing to get back into the match.

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39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Fernandes 89'. Came on late in the game to add more in midfield for United.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Replaced Martial 90+5'. Replaced an injured martial who seemed to struggle with an injury late in the match. Had little time to have much involvement.

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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′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Cavani, Pogba and Fernandes start against Burnley as United look to top the league

Manchester United will face Burnley at Turf Moor in the Premier League this evening, the match that was originally supposed to start the season with United and Manchester City both having a further week to recover after participation in European competition from last season, which was delayed because of the coronavirus lockdown. This match could result in United rising to the top of the Premier League just days before taking on Liverpool for the first time this season – providing they beat Burnley, of course. This would show that there has been lots of improvement at United this season – who’d have thought that!

There seems to be a lot of hostility on social media from the supposed supporters of the club that seem to think United are moving forward in spite of, not because of Solskjaer, which just shows the pathetic nature of these supporters whose agenda seems to be as deep as some in the political world right now. That said, those who back the process and support the manager and all of the players representing the club, will rightly so bask in the improvement which has seen United start to challenge in the Premier League once again, no matter how long it continues – it is the closest United have come in seven years to competing.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw;

Fernandes, Matic, Pogba;

Rashford, Cavani, Martial

Substitutes:

Henderson; Telles, Tuanzebe; Mata, Fred, James, Van de Beek, McTominay; Greenwood

Burnley:

Pope;

Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters;

Brady, Brownhill, Westwood, Gudmundsson;

Wood, Barnes

Substitutes:

Norris; Bardsley, Long; Cork, McNeil, Stephens, Benson; Rodriguez, Vydra

United and Burnley have played 12 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won six of the meetings, drawing four and losing twice. United have scored a total of 17 goals, winning four penalties and scoring two of them. Burnley have scored eight goals, winning no penalties. United have kept seven cleans sheets with Burnley keeping just four. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 22 yellow cards with two red cards being shown. Burnley have been shown 33 yellow cards with no red cards. This is an important match for United, who could sit at the top of the league before they face Liverpool next weekend.

Last season, in this encounter at Turf Moor, played on the 28 December 2019, United won 2-0 with Anthony Martial opening the scoring in the 44th minute, assisted by Andreas Pereira and with Marcus Rashford securing the victory in the 90+5th minute, assisted by Daniel James. United will be seeking for a similar result against Burnley this season, which will help them pile the pressure on Liverpool ahead of their clash next weekend. At Old Trafford, a match played on the 22 January 2020, it was a 2-0 victory for Burnley with Chris Wood opening the scoring in the 39th minute and Jay Rodriquez securing the victory in the 56th minute.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Cavani, Rashford, Fernandes and Greenwood tasked with sending Manchester United to the Premier League summit by beating Burnley?

Manchester United will face Burnley at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Tuesday evening, the match that was originally supposed to start the season with United and Manchester City both having a further week to recover after participation in European competition from last season, which was delayed because of the coronavirus lockdown. This match could result in United rising to the top of the Premier League just days before taking on Liverpool for the first time this season – providing they beat Burnley, of course. This would show that there has been lots of improvement at United this season – who’d have thought that!

There seems to be a lot of hostility on social media from the supposed supporters of the club that seem to think United are moving forward in spite of, not because of Solskjaer, which just shows the pathetic nature of these supporters whose agenda seems to be as deep as some in the political world right now. That said, those who back the process and support the manager and all of the players representing the club, will rightly so bask in the improvement which has seen United start to challenge in the Premier League once again, no matter how long it continues – it is the closest United have come in seven years to competing.

How United have faired against Burnley in the Premier League.

United and Burnley have played 12 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won six of the meetings, drawing four and losing twice. United have scored a total of 17 goals, winning four penalties and scoring two of them. Burnley have scored eight goals, winning no penalties. United have kept seven cleans sheets with Burnley keeping just four. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 22 yellow cards with two red cards being shown. Burnley have been shown 33 yellow cards with no red cards. This is an important match for United, who could sit at the top of the league before they face Liverpool next weekend.

Last season, in this encounter at Turf Moor, played on the 28 December 2019, United won 2-0 with Anthony Martial opening the scoring in the 44th minute, assisted by Andreas Pereira and with Marcus Rashford securing the victory in the 90+5th minute, assisted by Daniel James. United will be seeking for a similar result against Burnley this season, which will help them pile the pressure on Liverpool ahead of their clash next weekend. At Old Trafford, a match played on the 22 January 2020, it was a 2-0 victory for Burnley with Chris Wood opening the scoring in the 39th minute and Jay Rodriquez securing the victory in the 56th minute.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Burnley in the Premier League at Turf Moor on Tuesday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has been rested for the past two matches with Dean Henderson starting against both Manchester City and Watford in the Carabao Cup and the Emirates FA Cup respectively. De Gea will now be rested and ready to face both Burnley and Liverpool this week as United enter a defining stage of the season for them. A victory over Burnley could propel United to the top of the league, three points clear of Liverpool before they travel to Anfield. A victory there will give United a six-point cushion over the Merseyside whiners. This could either be a good week for United, or a bad one. I’d like to think there have been too many bad weeks already this season though.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles

United’s defence has done well lately despite having some unlucky injuries to both Victor Lindelof and more recently Eric Bailly. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles will start in the fullback positions with Axel Tuanzebe and Harry Maguire partnering in the centre of the defence. Tim Fosu-Mensah is expected to leave the club this month which will leave Brandon Williams vying with Wan-Bissaka in the right-back position, which will be good for both players for the remainder of the season. United have kept four clean sheets since December, so will be seeking to keep more, maximising their goal difference, which might come into play later this season.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Fred

United have some problems in midfield with Nemanja Matic unable to play back to back matches and Paul Pogba currently recovering from a knock after missing the 1-0 victory over Watford in the Emirates FA Cup at the weekend. Fred has been a player who has offered much this season, other than assists and goals, his importance on the pitch is now seen by many as he worked hard to push himself into the plans of Solskjaer after being written off by Jose Mourinho. Scott McTominay is also an important player. Those fan cam muppets may suggest McTominay is not a United player, but they are not proper United fans, are they. Supporting a club to create an avenue to make money is not supporting the club.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford

There are 32 goals and 19 assists between Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford this season, a total of 51 goal contributions between three players. Some will suggest that United rely on both Fernandes and Rashford this season, especially Spurs fans, who have just had god knows how many seasons relying on Harry Kane to drag them towards no trophies. I think this trio, aided by Cavani, could unlock Burnley and push United to the summit of the Premier League table ahead of the clash with Liverpool at the weekend, which will now be the biggest match of the season so far for United.

Forwards: Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani has scored four goals and two assists so far this season and has been missing for the past three matches due to suspension. Solskjaer will be seeking to get him involved against Burnley so that he has some match fitness to face Liverpool at the weekend, which will be the first of two meetings against the club in around a week. Cavani has had some good positioning when playing for United this season and has been able to unlock the backline and either score or create goals or start goalscoring moves to beat the opposition. At this time I see Cavani as the best striker in the squad as he offers a lot more than Anthony Martial.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw; Juan Mata, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek; Anthony Martial, Odion Ighalo

With nine substitutes named on the bench, Solskjaer will have a lot of choice on the bench to change the game, should he need to. January is going to be a big month with United now facing Liverpool twice in the Premier League and the Emirates FA Cup, so keeping players fresh for what lies ahead will be needed. United will also have Amad Diallo to get involved in the squad, which may not come in this match. Dean Henderson will be back on the bench after starting twice in the past week. In defence, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw could be called upon. In midfield, Juan Mata, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek will be available. In attack, Anthony Martial and Odion Ighalo could also be called upon.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Burnley -v- Manchester United – Premier League – A win will take United top of the league

Burnley -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Turf Moor, Burnley

Tuesday 12 January 2021, KO 20:15 GMT

Referee: Kevin Friend  Assistants: Simon Beck, Adrian Holmes

Fourth Official: Peter Bankes

VAR: Stuart Attwell Assistant VAR: Stephen Child

Manchester United will face Burnley at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Tuesday evening, the match that was originally supposed to start the season with United and Manchester City both having a further week to recover after participation in European competition from last season, which was delayed because of the coronavirus lockdown. This match could result in United rising to the top of the Premier League just days before taking on Liverpool for the first time this season – providing they beat Burnley, of course. This would show that there has been lots of improvement at United this season – who’d have thought that!

There seems to be a lot of hostility on social media from the supposed supporters of the club that seem to think United are moving forward in spite of, not because of Solskjaer, which just shows the pathetic nature of these supporters whose agenda seems to be as deep as some in the political world right now. That said, those who back the process and support the manager and all of the players representing the club, will rightly so bask in the improvement which has seen United start to challenge in the Premier League once again, no matter how long it continues – it is the closest United have come in seven years to competing.

Manchester United: WLWWDW

Watford 1-0 W, Manchester City 2-0 L, Aston Villa 2-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Leicester City 2-2 D, Everton 2-0 W

Burnley: WWLWDW

MK Dons 1-1 (4-3) W, Sheffield United 1-0 W, Leeds United 1-0 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 W, Aston Villa 0-0 D, Arsenal 1-0 W

Top Scorers: Burnley have scored 12 goals in all competitions this season with Bruno Fernandes scoring 15 for United on his own. This says nothing as this match with be one of Burnley’s cup finals and many will expect them to play like peak Barcelona on a cold Tuesday night in Burnley.

Manchester United Goals: 15 – Bruno Fernandes, 14 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Anthony Martial, 4 – Edinson Cavani, Scott McTominay, 3 – Mason Greenwood, 2 – Daniel James, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Own Goal, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

United are doing well so far this season, despite being knocked out of the Carabao Cup in the semi-final at the hands of Manchester City. To be fair though, this is the trophy that City seem to like the most, leaving the bigger honours for the bigger clubs in both England and Europe. This clash with Burnley, should United win, will see them top the Premier League for the first time this season despite starting the season in bad form and seeing lost of criticism from those who know best, allegedly – the pundits and the ABU’s. Nothing will hurt them more than United going top of the Premier League before facing Liverpool for the first time this season.

Burnley Goals: 3 – Matej Vydra, Chris Wood, 1 – Ashley Barnes, Robbie Brady, Josh Brownhill, Jimmy Dunne, Ben Mee, Ashley Westwood

Burnley have not been in great form this season and currently sit in 16th place in the Premier League, just five points from the relegation zone. In the past, Burnley have been a club that has frustrated United, especially at Turf Moor. However, United have a much better squad at this moment in time with many players giving their all for the team. Burnley will need to win this match in order to propel themselves away from the relegation zone in the league, which could well be their fate this season. if things do not improve. Its is possible that they become prime Barcelona in this match, as is the case in their cup final against United.

Team News: Three players ruled out for United, two with a good chance and two with a 50/50 chance; Burnley has two players with a good chance of featuring with four players having a 50/50 chance.

Phil Jones (knee), Facundo Pellistri (coronavirus) and Marcos Rojo (calf) have been ruled out of the clash with Burnley on Tuesday evening. Luke Shaw (other) and Victor Lindelof (lower back) have a 75% chance of featuring against Burnley, whilst Paul Pogba (other) and Eric Bailly (upper back/neck) both have a 50% chance of being available. Edinson Cavani has served all three matches of his suspension, so will be eligible to face Burnley, which seems likely as he will need to build his match fitness ahead of the clash with Liverpool at the weekend, which could be another thriller of a clash between the two rivals.

Nick Pope (ankle) and Charlie Taylor (thigh) both have a 75% chance of featuring against United on Tuesday evening in the Premier League. Kevin Long (ankle), Jimmy Dunne (knock), Jay Rodriguez (knee) and Dwight McNeil (groin/hip/pelvis) all have a 50% chance of being available to face United. Burnley will be seeking to keep performing well against United and in the past have been a team able to stop the might of the club and frustrate them. This season though, those performances have been few and far between with them sitting five points above the relegation zone in the Premier League.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood to start against Burnley?

Solskjaer rested a number of players against Watford in the Emirates FA Cup at the weekend, which was a 1-0 victory for the Old Trafford club. United could have rested until Sunday when they face Liverpool at Old Trafford but decided to play their game in hand against Burnley, putting some pressure on Liverpool for the fixture as United are level on points with goal difference separating the two sides. Edinson Cavani has served his three-match suspension, so could lead the line, giving Anthony Martial a rest ahead of Sunday. Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood could support the Uruguayan in attack.

Match Prediction: 12 matches played with United winning half of them and undefeated in ten of the matches played. United won and lost in the two matches last season and will be seeking for better results this season, both home and away.

United and Burnley have played 12 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won six of the meetings, drawing four and losing twice. United have scored a total of 17 goals, winning four penalties and scoring two of them. Burnley have scored eight goals, winning no penalties. United have kept seven cleans sheets with Burnley keeping just four. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 22 yellow cards with two red cards being shown. Burnley have been shown 33 yellow cards with no red cards. This is an important match for United, who could sit at the top of the league before they face Liverpool next weekend.

Last season, in this encounter at Turf Moor, played on the 28 December 2019, United won 2-0 with Anthony Martial opening the scoring in the 44th minute, assisted by Andreas Pereira and with Marcus Rashford securing the victory in the 90+5th minute, assisted by Daniel James. United will be seeking for a similar result against Burnley this season, which will help them pile the pressure on Liverpool ahead of their clash next weekend. At Old Trafford, a match played on the 22 January 2020, it was a 2-0 victory for Burnley with Chris Wood opening the scoring in the 39th minute and Jay Rodriquez securing the victory in the 56th minute.

Burnley 0-0 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Review & Ratings: Poor in Burnley defeat; investment in this ailing squad massively needed to avert decline…

Manchester United were beaten 2-0 by Burnley at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening after two stunning goals gave Burnley their first victory at the Theatre of Dreams since 1962. It is a problematic period for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has already bene under pressure for the past few months. United are screaming out for reinforcements during this transfer window but just like a lack of urgency on the pitch, it seems to have spread from the boardroom.

Burnley opened the scoring in the 39th minute of the match. The visitors has a free-kick which was launched into the box from 50-yards. Ben Mee beat Nemanja Matic in the air with plenty of players forward in the United half. Chris Wood was the quickest player to react 12-yards out in United’s area and he beat David De Gea with a brilliant finish. It was a well-deserved goal for Burnley, one which silenced Old Trafford.

In the 56th minute, Burnley doubled their lead. Jay Rodriguez picked up the ball on the left and took a few forward touches before unleashing a rocket shot which caught De Gea out at the near post, sending the visitors 2-0 up, silencing Old Trafford for the second time of the evening. This has not been good enough by United, who desperately need something to make them a different team. The club is being run into decline.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one was beaten twice by Burnley.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

One of the players who could hold his head high after this defeat. He tried, got forward a lot of the time but United just were not there in the flesh

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5 Harry Maguire

Partly responsible for the first goal after he lost his man, Maguire did not have the best game for United. To be beaten by Burnley at Old Trafford for the first time since 1962 should bring shame on this entire squad.

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4 Phil Jones

He did not really put a foot wrong replacing Lindelof against Burnley. Granted United conceded two goals but neither were attributed to his errors. For a player who made his sixth appearance of the season, he was not all that rusty.

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33 Brandon Williams

The left-back can hold his head high as he was an effective player on the pitch in terms of the fact he tried to do something. When a 19-year-old is playing in this way, it should put a rocket up the more experienced players, but it hasn't.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian stuck with It against Burnley. His improvement has been clear to see this season. However, he's not a magician and cannot do anything on his own. When the team is to performing, there is not a lot he can do. This has become more than a bad day at the office.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian has been a good player to have recently but he was not as effective as he could have been against Burnley. The performances of the team lately just scream an ailing team in need of funding to increase the productivity on the pitch.

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Andreas Pereira

Terrible performance. Pereira lacks everything needed to be a professional footballer and should not be at Manchester United. Where is his strongest position? Off the pitch completely!

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8 Juan Mata

He's the football brain in the team but when few of his teammates share the same attribute, it just will not work. He's been in good form of late but tonight the entire team was terrible.

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21 Daniel James

The Welshman was not the star of the show but he tried to get into the game. He was not expected to be playing this much football in his debut season at the club and he's in need of a rest but with a thin squad, there is nobody to play ahead of him, especially now. The criticism he's getting from the Twitter massive is piss poor and reactionary at best.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman is not a striker. He was never in the box when he needed to be. He lacks the cutting edge and the capability to lead the line for Manchester United. Martial FC may not agree but I'm not all that arsed, in all honesty.

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Substitutes

11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Pereira 46'. He tried but creativity is at an all time low in this team. The owners need to back the manager now or start thinking about leaving this cash cow alone.

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23 Luke Shaw

Replaced Williams 69'. Got the ball in the net but it was ruled out because of a foul in the run up.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced James 69'. Pointless bringing him on. He's done nothing of note in an entire calendar year, bringing him on a goal down was always going to end in this way. This young lad's career is in decline.

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Goals: Chris Wood 39′, Jay Rodriguez 56′

Assists: Ben Mee 39′, Chris Wood 56′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Jones, Williams (Shaw 69′); Fred, Matic; Pereira (Greenwood 46′), Mata, James (Lingard 69′); Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly, Dalot; Gomes

Bookings: Charlie Taylor 67′, Ashley Westwood 68′

Confirmed Starting XI: Martial, Pereira, Mata, and James lead the line; Jones back in the team against Burnley

Manchester United face Burnley in the Premier League at Old Trafford this evening in a bid to get back to winning ways after a 2-0 defeat to league leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor at the end of December, finishing the month in style but a tough January has seen them win just twice so far in 2020.

United have lost many players to injury at different stages this season, which is all part of the game but it has left the team in a position whereby they have no creativity and no ability to drive forwards, which can only be attributed to the ownership of the Glazers and Ed Woodward’s incompetence at running a football club with only a business brain. United will need to delve into the transfer market to find solutions.

Failure to do this will result in the club finding themselves in a position whereby their season will be over inside the next six weeks as they could well be out of the Carabao Cup, if they do not find a way to come back from a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in seven days time. Next weekend, they will be back in action in the Emirates FA Cup, returning to UEFA Europa League action next month. Things need to change and quickly.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Jones, Williams;

Fred, Matic;

Pereira, Mata, James;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Dalot, Shaw; Lingard, Gomes; Greenwood

Burnley:

Pope;

Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor;

Hendrick, Cork, Westwood, McNeil;

Wood, Rodriguez

Substitutes:

Hart, Long, Pieters, Brady, Lennon, Goodridge, Vydra

United and Burnley have played a total of 129 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1892. United have won 62 times, drawn 23 times and lost 44 times. The last defeat to Burnley came in the Premier League back in August 2009, a 1-0 defeat at the Turf Moor with Robbie Blake scoring the only goal of the game in the 19th minute of the match. Since that defeat, the two teams have faced each other ten times – all in the Premier League.

Of those ten matches, United are undefeated; winning six times and drawing four times. The Red Devils scored a total of 17 goals, conceding five goals – keeping five clean sheets. Last season in this fixture it was a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford with United beating Burnley at Turf Moor, as they did this season. The last match, a 2-0 United victory at Turf Moor, saw Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford on the scoresheet.

copyright: JW