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Match Report: Burnley 0-1 Manchester United

by Mathew Cohen

Manchester United successfully held onto their 1-0 lead to grab all three points against Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday night.

With an unconventional 4-3-1-2 formation, Man United got off to a fiery start, with Rashford putting the ball past the near post after a rapid counter-attack within two minutes of play.

After minutes of slow build-up play from both sides, United intercepted the ball and launched a swift attack in the 7th minute, with Rashford slotting the ball through to Bruno Fernandes who forced a close-range save from Burnley keeper James Trafford.

On the 10-minute mark, Andre Onana redeemed himself after his disappointing showing against Bayern Munich in the midweek, crucially saving a blistering header by Zeki Amdouni.

Moments later, United showed a glimpse of their transitional capabilities when Hannibal received the ball in the box, laying it off to Hojlund, who was unfortunately too heavily marked to get a shot away.

16 minutes in, the Red Devils came close to conceding yet again as Amdouni hit the upright after catching the visitors’ back four off guard.

On the 25-minute mark, new arrival Sergio Reguilon swung in a stinging corner kick to Jonny Evans, who towered over the Burnley defence to head the ball into the back of the net.

Unfortunately, Hojlund was judged to be offside, with a VAR review prompting the referee to disallow the goal.

A few minutes later, the Danish striker sought to make up for his error as he turned Burnley’s defenders and unleashed a snapshot, only to fire wide.

The next few minutes saw the home side dominate the ball, leading to a few corners that posed little danger to United.

Three minutes before the break, Onana was called into action yet again, catching a thunderous long-range shot by Aaron Ramsey.

On the stroke of half time, United got their break, with Evans sending a soaring cross into Fernandes, who scored with a sublime volley, handing the away side a crucial lead going into the break.

Following the restart, United appeared to be on high alert, with Diogo Dalot crossing the ball across the face of the goal and narrowly missing Hojlund, who was poised to score from close range.

While Connor Roberts put a dangerous cross into the box for the hosts, Victor Lindelof had little trouble deflecting it out for a corner, ensuring that Burnley had no shots on goal for over 20 minutes of second-half action.

12 minutes before the end of normal time, Diogo Dalot slid to clear a dangerous Burnley cross to retain United’s lead.

Raphael Varane then came on for Sergio Reguilon, marking his return from over a month on the sidelines due to injury.

Minutes after coming on, Varane showed exactly why he is so crucial by blocking a close-range effort by Jay Rodriguez.

After successfully defending a corner, United launched a strong counter-attack, with Rashford catching the entire Burnley defence off guard.

Unfortunately, he was surrounded by too many defenders, with his shot being deflected out for a corner.

With a minute to go of regular time, midfielder Sofyan Amrabat came on to make his United debut, replacing assist-maker Evans.

Soon after, Fernandes pushed the ball aside to Hojlund, whose shot hit the Burnley defence and out for a corner.

With seconds to play, Amrabat gave away a soft foul, providing Burnley with an opportune free kick.

Fortunately, Benson’s strong shot was comfortable saved by Onana, with the referee blowing the final whistle.

While United may have delivered an understated performance for much of the match, this first away win of the Premier League season will no doubt deliver a boost of confidence to Erik ten Hag and his players.

Starting XI: Onana, Lindelof, Fernandes, Rashford, Hojlund, Reguilon, Casemiro, Dalot, Evans, McTominay, Hannibal

Subs: Varane, Amrabat

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