After almost three weeks away from club football Manchester United stars returned from the World Cup in fine form as they beat Burnley 2-0 in the Carabao Cup to progress to the Quarter Finals.
It was Burnley who had the first real chance of the game. The Clarets launched a counter-attack and Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s cross found Barnes, who cut in between Casemiro and Lindelof but his shot was tame and didn’t trouble Dubravka.
Next, it was United’s turn to counter but Garnacho took a heavy touch which saw the the ball go out for a goal kick.
Burnley were comfortable in possession and pressing high when they didn’t have it, they were really bringing the game to the Reds.
It was the home side who made the breakthrough though. Despite Burnley’s best defensive efforts, United’s patient play paid off. A late run from Wan-Bissaka was picked out by Fernandes and the England man volleyed the ball to Eriksen, who smashed it goalwards.
Burnley’s Benson, a lively player, was causing United all kinds of problems though. He forced Dubravka into a good save, tipping it round the post. However, the second choice keeper made an error in the resulting corner, tipping it almost into his own net but Casemiro hooked it away to save his keeper’s blushes.
In the second half, Burnley looked sharp, intercepting United’s sloppy passes and getting themselves into good attacking positions.
But United remained calm, putting in some good blocks and creating chances for themselves too.
Fernandes played a beautiful ball floated to the feet of Rashford who put it on a plate for McTominay on the edge of the area but his shot was just over the bar.
Moments later and it was Marcus Rashford who doubled the Reds’ lead. He went on a superb run, changing up his pace to fool Burnley’s players, sitting them down and rounding them with ease before slotting it in to the far corner.
The United players were growing in confidence, especially Rashford, who nutmegged a Burnley defender and once again tried to dance his way into the danger zone, this time on the left, but he was dispossessed this time.
Burnley followed with a good spell, with two perfect chances but the first was slotted wide and the second was dinked over the bar by Barnes.
Antony went on a superb run which got the Old Trafford crowd excited but he slipped as he tried to find Fernandes and it was just behind the Portuguese international.
The Burnley fans thought they had got one back, a stray pass from Casemiro allowed the Clarets to attack and Barnes from just yards out had a glorious chance but it was inches wide.
Into injury time, moments away from a clean sheet and Dubravka made another mistake which almost proved costly for the Reds as he tangled with a Burnley player to the left of his area. Luckily his team-mates tracked back to cover his goal as he found his feet again.
United had played well for the most part, though the scoreline made it look comfortable, they had to work hard for the victory as Burnley pressed well and had a number of chances but the difference came as United were more clinical in the final third.
Team: Dubravka, Wan-Bissaka (Shaw 72), Lindelof, McTominay, Malacia (Williams 85), Casemiro, Eriksen, Rashford (Fred 85), Fernandes, Garnacho (Antony 59), Martial (Elanga 72)