|Source: The Guardian|
This game saw Manchester United once again look to bounce back after a defeat, this time at the hands of Spurs at Old Trafford. Following that defeat, much had been said in the week leading up to this game about the club, the team, the players and Mourinho given the disappointing start to the season. However, there seemed to be a clear shift of blame from the fans at Mourinho to Ed Woodward and the board, and though not all fans want him at the club it’s fair to say that many are now fully backing him and his teams. I for one am fully behind him and what he is looking to do at United at this current time.
The team sheet saw a few changes from the defeat against Spurs, with the formation going back to a 433 and Victor Lindelöf and Marouane Fellaini coming into the team replacing the injured Phil Jones and Fred. The squad saw Mourinho keep faith with several players who seemed to under perform in the previous game such as the likes of Pogba, Matic and Lukaku, and in turn Mourinho looked for a response from them. Another notable inclusion in the match day squad was the return of Anthony Martial to the bench, he was missing from the squad completely against Spurs.
Manchester United XI: David De Gea, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelöf, Antonio Valencia (c), Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard, Romelu Lukaku
Burnley XI: Joe Hart, Charlie Taylor, Ben Mee (c), James Tarkowski, Phil Bardsley, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Christian Eriksen, Jeff Hendrick, Chris Wood
After all the stressing and worrying pre-match, the game turned out to be very comfortable for United in the end. United ran out 2-0 winners with a confident and professional performance which saw them created chance after chance after chance against a poor looking Burnley team.
United for the first time this season looked solid and comfortable at the back, with good performances from each member of the back four. However, the star man of the United defence was Marouane Fellaini who put in an excellent performance in a deep laying midfield role, where he was able to almost completely nullify any attack that Burnley managed to muster up. Fellaini was solid in the air, winning many of his aerial duels and was surprising with passing ability as he kept it simply and helped to recycle the ball forwards many times throughout the game.
A star man on the day for Manchester United was definitely Romelu Lukaku who bagged only his 2nd ever brace for United. Overall, Lukaku had a very good game as he held the ball up very well through out the game and he also managed to give the team a little more width on the right-hand side whenever he passed out into the channel. It does have to be said that he should have probably got at least a few more goals and got his hattrick in the game, but as long as he is getting into the positions to score the goals we can’t really complain. It was puzzling however, that Lukaku didn’t step up and take the penalty, that was eventually missed by Paul Pogba, as that would have given him his first United hattrick if he would have managed to put it home.
Another huge talking point from the game was the sending off of Marcus Rashford for a ‘headbutt’ on Burnley right back Phil Bardsley. It was poor judgement from a naïve Rashford to allow Bardsley to get in his head and square up to him. However, Bardsley did kick out at Rashford after the initial challenge, subsequently leading to Rashford lose of control. So, though Rashford takes the blame some must be put on the referee for not controlling the situation and ultimately not sending off Bardsley who was also in the wrong. In the end the red card didn’t affect the game too much and United still ran out comfortable and deserved winners in the end.