Manchester United travelled to Turf Moor for a win that would take them to the top of the table. And they did it. They defeated Burnley 1-0 and now sit 3 points clear of their arch-rivals Liverpool, who they will meet on Sunday.
The game was entertaining from all aspects, along with a few VAR controversies. But the delicious goal from Paul Pogba was enough for the visitors to grab the win. This is the first time United has topped the Premier League table in a season after the new year since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club, that is 2013.
The Red Devils completely dominated the game and were just unlucky to not break the deadlock early. But there was another interesting thing that happened, VAR. This technology has really messed up football. Six minutes were wasted in the first half in order to get to a decision.
The incident occurred when Luke Shaw made a tackle to win the ball from Johann Berg Gudmundsson and the play was continued till Edinson Cavani was fouled at the opposition’s end. While VAR was investigating for a potential red card, Luke Shaw’s tackle was also noted, and he was given the yellow card, while Robbie Brady’s yellow card was scrapped.
Another involvement of VAR saw Harry Maguire’s brilliant effort to give United the lead go in vain as it was given a foul. United finally found the breakthrough by Pogba who was assisted by Marcus Rashford. Burnley came in hot after conceding the goal with a string of brilliant chances. But their lack of sharpness along with United’s defensive brilliance saw the scoreline remain the same.
MANCHESTER UNITED PLAYERS RATING AGAINST BURNLEY:
DAVID DE GEA – 6/10
The Spaniard was not at all troubled as Burnley didn’t register a single shot on target. However, he had to be on his toes for the final third of the game. The opposition’s inability to convert helped him keep a clean sheet.
AARON WAN-BISSAKA – 6/10
Was exposed most of the time. He failed to win the crosses played by the opponent resulting in a little panic in the defence. Other than that, he was hardly troubled.
ERIC BAILLY – 8.5/10
He once again put up a brilliant display. Thanks to him, most of the shots were deflected, which would have otherwise definitely ended in the back of the net. Hope he remains injury-free.
HARRY MAGUIRE – 8/10
Manchester United skipper was brilliant and he barely made a wrong move against Burnley. Made some crucial tackles. He was unlucky to have his splendid goal disallowed.
LUKE SHAW – 7/10
He gave proper performance as usual. But he was lucky enough to not see a red after the tackle he made on Johann Berg.
NEMANJA MATIC – 8/10
The physical barrier ahead of the defence. Made brilliant passes and delivered a great through ball. He hardly made a wrong move and his passes were spot-on.
PAUL POGBA – 9/10 (MOTM)
We can finally admit that Paul Pogba is back at his best. He used his strength to his advantage and kept the ball with him. His beautifully timed volley gave Manchester United the only goal of Burnley game in addition with his second of the season.
MARCUS RASHFORD – 8/10
Played the role of a winger by providing the ball, but he still lacks the final touch in front of the goal. His main contribution was the assist he provided to Pogba. He was substituted in the 80th minute.
BRUNO FERNANDES – 6.5/10
Looks like fame is messing with his head. This was another dull display by the Portuguese. He lost possession many times. His only positives were that he had a few shots that troubled the goalkeeper a bit.
ANTHONY MARTIAL – 6/10
Another sluggish performance from United’s number 9. He had a lot of open chances which he wasted on multiple occasions. But certainly an improved performance from the one he displayed against Manchester City.
EDINSON CAVANI – 7/10
Returned from his 3-match ban and was instantly included in the starting line-up. He looked lively in the game, with continuous pressure against the hosts. He also missed a couple of chances.
MASON GREENWOOD -6/10
Came in for Rashford to provide some extra attack. Although, didn’t make any notable impact.
SCOTT MCTOMINAY – N/A
Came in late in the game to provide the physical boost against Burnley’s final attempts for the equalizer.
AXEL TUANZEBE -N/A
Coming in the 95th minute for Martial was just Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plan of wasting some time.