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Three things we learned as Manchester United get back to winning ways against Burnley

by Derick Kinoti

Manchester United travelled to Turf Moor to face Vincent Kompany’s Burnley this evening.

Off the back of a run of three consecutive defeats, United needed to win against Burnley to relieve mounting pressure.

Erik ten Hag started Andre Onana in goal. The backline consisted of Diogo Dalot, Jonny Evans, Victor Lindelof and Sergio Reguilon.

Casemiro, Scott McTominay and Hannibal Mejbri formed the midfield trio.

Rasmus Hojlund led the line with Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes on either side of him.

Here are three things we learned from Manchester United’s 1-0 win against Burnley.

Jonny Evans can contribute this season

One of the surprise inclusions in the team was Evans. With Lisandro Martinez the latest addition to the injury list and Raphael Varane seemingly not ready to start yet after a period on the sidelines, it almost became automatic that Evans would start.

The North Ireland international slotted in nicely next to Lindelof.

In the first half, Evans thought he had broken the deadlock from a corner kick. He headed the ball into the back of the Burnley net but VAR ruled the goal out as the referees judged that Hojlund, who was offside, was also inhibiting the rival goalkeeper.

However, just before the interval, Evans produced a stunning diagonal ball from deep to find Fernandes, who volleyed the ball beyond the reach of James Trafford.

It was the first time since February 2013 that Evans produced an assist for the Red Devils in the Premier League.

Beyond his contributions going forward, the 35-year-old was solid at the back, Whenever required to intervene, he did so well. He came up with a few crucial blocks, especially in the second period of the game, that could have proved costly.

The thing about his game that stuck out was his ability on the ball. Evans’ passing was crisp and assured.

While he should certainly not be featuring regularly for a club like United with ambitions of fighting for trophies this season, he can contribute.

No doubt Ten Hag would have been glad to have Evans at his disposal while grappling with an injury crisis within the ranks.

Major injury boost to Ten Hag and the team

Beyond the game itself, a major positive is that a number of players who were out have either returned or are not too far from making their respective comebacks.

As mentioned, Varane was part of the matchday squad for the first time since the Nottingham Forest game at Old Trafford on August 26.

Sofyan Amrabat was also part of the travelling contingent that made its way to Burnley’s home.

The Moroccan was forced to wait for his United debut due to a back injury sustained while still contracted to Fiorentina.

Like Varane, Amrabat was on the bench for the 20-time English champions but came on in the second half to help see out the match and secure the win.

Before the game, Ten Hag spoke to the media and confirmed that Mason Mount is also very close to making a return to action.

Fans will however be waiting with bated breath to find out the extent of Reguilon’s setback.

The Spaniard had to be taken off with around 10 minutes of normal time left on the clock. He was clutching his hamstring.

Hopefully, it’s nothing serious.

Much-needed win for United

That United clinched all three points will offer some reprieve for a side that had lost its last three games prior to facing the Clarets.

Ten Hag needed to stop the bleeding and in so doing, has taken some pressure off him and his players.

Nevertheless, United are never too far away from a return to crisis and they will be hoping their win against Burnley will help spur them on and finally get the season going.

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