Burnley vs Manchester United Analysis and Player Ratings


Anthony Martial scores the opening goal
Picture Courtesy of https://www.bbc.com/sport/football
Manchester United were looking to end off the Festive period and 2019 in grand style with back to back wins in the Premier League. Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League games against Burnley (W6, D4), their only loss coming in their first meeting in August 2009.The Red Devils navigated through a tough test at Turf Moor to take all three points against Burnley and win a hard-fought encounter 2-0. This allowed Man Utd to close the gap on fourth placed Chelsea to just one point and put more pressure on the Londoners whose own campaign has seemed to falter in recent matches.  Solskjaer made four changes to the side that beat Newcastle on Boxing Day most notable absentee was the French talisman Paul Pogba who is being rested as he continues to get back to full match fitness. The most satisfying statistic was the first clean sheet kept in 14 games.

The Red Devils looked comfortable in the first half with Marcus Rashford’s shot hitting the outside of the post with a great effort and Anthony Martial seeing his shot cleared off the line. Credit has to be heaped upon Andreas Pereira who was instrumental in setting up Anthony Martial opener with a brilliant through ball in the 44th minute just before halftime. The second half the Red Devils had to dig deep to hold onto the advantage Burnley, who didn't register a shot on target until after the hour mark, eventually came into the game, but David de Gea did well to save Phil Bardsley's effort, the central defender pairing of Harry Maguire and  Victor Lindelöf who dealt brilliantly with the aerial threat of Burnley strikers Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes were critical in ensuring the clean sheet. And Marcus Rashford secured the three points for United in the 94th minute. Some impressive performances from Fred in the past month have to be mentioned as he has steadily improved game after game and his partnership in central midfield with notably Scot McTominay cannot be under rated. In Football momentum is key and getting the result at Turf Moor can only spur the Red Devils onto a new challenge at arch enemies Arsenal at the Emirates on New Years day.  

Player ratings:

David De Gea – 6.5
Was mainly a spectator mostly had a few regulation saves, but saved well from Phil Bardsley to keep the Red Devils lead intact at 1-0
Ashley Young Captain - 6
Despite being injured early on he showed courage and continued  on and provided experience in the backline.
Harry Maguire - 6.5
Was really playing comfortably in the first half and ventured into opposition half to try press. Discipline lets him down at times giving away silly fouls.
Victor Lindelof – 7
Dealt well with the dual threat of Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood had a good game and is forming a good partnership with Maguire in central defence. 
Brandon Williams  – 8 Man of Match
Had an excellent game and could easily have claimed an assist from one of his teasing crosses. Won tackles and showed massive desire and heart, impressive performance. Won tackles and showed massive heart.
Andreas Pereira – 7.5
His improving and influencing the game  more effectively forced the error from Taylor to assist Martial for the opener.
Nemanja Matic - 6
Is still lacking full match fitness he did link with Fred but seemed to tire as match went on. 
Fred – 7
Needs to work on his shooting prowess, however is key in linking play and was neat and tidy. Played some superb passes forward and created some openings constantly improving game after game. 
Daniel James – 6
Burnley left-back Charlie Taylor was clearly unnerved by James pace which he used to threaten Burnley. Constantly fouled was not able to create more opportunities but found his sixth assist of the season for Marcus Rashford. 
Marcus Rashford – 7
Is playing with confidence and is having the best return of his career thus far.
Anthony Martial - 7.5
Continuing his goal scoring form 3 goals in two matches. Had a goal disallowed and could easily have claimed a second brace in almost as many days.
Subs
Jesse Lingard - 5
Replaced Andreas Pereira in 73rd minute not enough time to influence the game.
Luke Shaw – N/A
Came on as sub in 89th minute

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