Match Report: Burnley 1 – 1 Manchester United

Manchester United had to settle for just one point after a frustrating 1-1 draw away to Burnley. Paul Pogba scored his first Premier League goal of the season to put United in the lead in the first half.

The hosts managed to pull one back very soon after half-time through Jay Rodriguez and continued to frustrate United for the remainder of the game. United left Turf Moor with only one point and return to Manchester in fifth place.

The story of the game

United had the ball in the back of Burnley’s net three times in the opening 21 minutes, although two goals were ruled out. Raphaël Varane thought he had scored his first United goal in the 12th minute, with an exceptional header from a Bruno Fernandes freekick; referee Mike Dean decided, however, that Harry Maguire had interfered with play from an offside position.

United’s only goal of the game came through Varane’s France teammate, Pogba. The midfielder’s goal was arguably one of United’s best this season. It was Fernandes who kickstarted the move, picking up a loose ball, before hooking a pass across to the left-hand side, to Marcus Rashford. Rashford played a perfectly timed ball to an overlapping Luke Shaw, whose pinpoint cross arrived in the path of Pogba. United’s number six made no mistake, firing his shot into the roof of the next to complete a high-quality move.

Embed from Getty Images

Rashford had a goal of his own ruled out just minutes later after Pogba committed a foul in the build-up. The Englishman converted another Shaw cross at the back post, but Pogba was penalised for nudging a defender out of the way.

Whilst there were some good chances for United in the remainder of the first half, the Red Devils failed to capitalise, although Edinson Cavani did come close. Nick Pope made an excellent close-range save with his left knee to deny the Uruguayan from just a few yards out. Fernandes and Rashford also forced Pope into saves, although they were relatively routine for the England international.

The home side had a whirlwind start to the second half. Burnley equalised just two minutes after the break, with new signing Wout Weghorst managing to beat two United players before sliding a through-ball to strike partner Rodriguez. The Burnley forward carried the ball into United’s penalty box, before lifting it over David de Gea to level the score.

Weghorst almost gave Burnley the lead, just five minutes after their equaliser. The Dutchman forced de Gea into a low save to his right-hand side, with a vicious effort from outside of the area.

United struggled to create any substantial chances as the second half went on, and Pope was barely called into action. Following some exceptional work by Jadon Sancho, Fernandes managed a shot from distance, but it went out for a corner. Weghorst had another chance, this time from inside the area, but his shot hit the side netting and did not trouble de Gea.

Arguably United’s best chance of the second half came from Varane. The centre-back almost scored an audacious flick from inside the six-yard box, following some mesmerising play by Rashford. Varane’s effort was on target but blocked by a Burnley defender and out for a corner.

Embed from Getty Images

With the game seemingly headed for a draw, United had one more big chance in the 90th minute, after two substitutes combined. Anthony Elanga whipped in an inviting cross for Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the Portugal captain failed to direct his header on target, and United had to settle for just a point.

The race for a top four finish continues

The two points dropped tonight makes things less comfortable for United in the race for top four, after West Ham United beat Watford 1-0 this evening. The Hammers leapfrogged United and now occupy the fourth Champions League spot. A few teams below United also have games in hand.

With a busy fixture list ahead for all the clubs vying for fourth place, it is certain to be an interesting race for the final Champions League position. Next up in the league, United host Southampton at Old Trafford on Saturday, and will be desperate for three points, especially after tonight’s draw.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: