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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020


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Good evening and welcome to our liveblog.

Eighth-place Man United face Burnley in 13th, and ordinarily, the Red Devils would be favourites for this clash.

However, it’s been a strange season for the Red Devils. They’ve often punched above their weight against the top teams, while struggling against the so-called weaker clubs.

After the disappointment of the recent defeat to bottom-of-the-table Watford, Ole Gunnar Solkjaer’s men recovered well to earn a convincing 4-1 win over Newcastle.

Solksjaer will be hoping for a similar outcome tonight, though it may not be easy against a Burnley team who can be awkward to play against, particularly at Turf Moor.

Who do you think will win?

Poll Results:

Man United (665)
Burnley (308)
Draw (213)

We’re underway…

It’s been a relatively subdued opening.

Burnley have already launched a long ball into the United box, though the Red Devils’ defence dealt with it comfortably.

It’s been a decent start by Burnley.

They’ve yet to carve out a clear-cut opening, but the United defence has been under pressure on more than one occasion.

Rashford’s free kick from about 30 yards out needs to be parried away by Pope.

That’s the first time United have really threatened with 13 minutes played.

Fred takes a free kick from a difficult angle and curls it well over from the left-hand side, just outside the penalty area.

It’s been a less than convincing start by United.

Pereira lays it to Rashford, whose powerful shot from the edge of the area goes just wide.

United are starting to up the intensity now, following Burnley’s bright start.

burnley-v-manchester-united-premier-league-turf-moor Sir Alex Ferguson in the stands during the Premier League match at Turf Moor. Source: Martin Rickett

Martial’s hopeful shot from distance is blocked by Cork.

Burnley have been well-organised, looking very solid at the back so far.

Man United have had five attempts so far with just one on target.

Burnley have had a grand total of zero attempts on or off target.

It hasn’t been the most entertaining of starts to this game.

Big chance for United!

Williams does well down the left. His chipped cross falls to Martial after James’ initial shot is blocked, but the French attacker’s effort is cleared off the line by former Red Devils player Bardsley.

Williams’ low cross eludes everyone, with Martial sliding in but failing to get on the end of it.

The 19-year-old full-back has been comfortably United’s best attacking outlet in this first half.

Meanwhile, there’s concern for Burnley, as Pope is down receiving treatment.

Pope is unable to continue.

Burnley have an experienced goalkeeper coming on though in the form of Joe Hart.

It’s a poor goal from a Burnley perspective.

Taylor loses possession cheaply in a dangerous area on the left, allowing Pereira to play an incisive through ball and Martial then finishes calmly when one-on-one for his 10th goal of the season.

Half-time and it’s not been a classic.

United haven’t been particularly good, though capitalised well on Taylor’s error to take the lead.

The Red Devils have been far better in this position than they are at chasing deficits, so they will be confident of finishing the job after the break.

Burnley have been reasonably well organised for the most part when defending, but have offered almost nothing in attack.

The second half has begun…

Hendrick receives the ball in plenty of space but fires a shot from distance well over despite decent options either side of him.

The crowd’s frustration is audible, as the hosts continue to labour in attack.

burnley-v-manchester-united-premier-league-turf-moor Manchester United's Andreas Pereira (centre) battles for the ball with Burnley's Jack Cork (left) and Charlie Taylor. Source: EMPICS Sport

Pereira plays it to Martial, whose powerful shot forces Pope into a decent save.

United, who are counter-attacking with increasing menace, currently look comfortable and far more likely to score than their opponents.

As I type, Hendrick blazes another shot well over.

Half chance for Burnley!

McNeil gets the ball in a decent position on the edge of the box, but drags his effort wide when he would have been better off crossing.

Meanwhile, the Clarets make a change — Jay Rodriguez is on for the disappointing Hendrick.

Ben Mee has just been booked for a late challenge on Daniel James.

Just under half an hour remains.

Rashford runs ominously at Bardlsley, but Rodriguez does well to get back and make a clean challenge to stop the England international.

Burnley continue to defend well even if they still look rather toothless down the other end.

There are claims for a penalty, as Rashford goes down under a challenge from Bardsley.

Replays reveal it was an innocuous coming together and the referee’s decision was correct.

Meanwhile, Burnley make another change, with Ashley Barnes replaced by Berg Gudmundsson.

Still no sign of Ireland international Robbie Brady, who is on the bench.

Burnley are belatedly starting to threaten.

David de Gea does well to parry away a powerful strike by Bardsley from the edge of the area.

James is down receiving treatment, after a late challenge by Taylor, with the full-back seeing yellow as a result.

Meanwhile, Lingard has replaced Pereira, who produced that exquisite assist for the goal.

Burnley go close!

Gudmundsson’s free kick from the edge of the area is curled just over the bar.

The Clarets have improved as an attacking force in this second half.

Burnley break through Rodriguez but his cross aimed at Wood is woefully overhit.

The hosts have just lacked the quality needed to break Man United down so far.

United break!

James does really well to play through Martial.

However, the French star dwells on it for too long, allowing Burnley to get defenders back in numbers.

Less than five minutes remain.

Burnley make a final change, and it is Robbie Brady, who replaces Cork.

They look desperately short of an attacking spark that the Dubliner will hope to provide in his short time on the pitch.

Brandon Williams does well to block McNeil’s dangerous run.

The teenage full-back is a strong contender for man of the match.

The visitors make another change, and it’s a defensive one, with Shaw replacing Martial.

There will be five minutes of stoppage time…

Brandon Williams has just been booked for diving.

There was minimal contact as he went past Bardsley and dropped to the ground.

Amid a late rally by Burnley, United break.

Daniel James plays through Rashford, who takes it round Pope and slots it home.

It’s a deserved win for United in the end.

They were clinical when it mattered and defended well to pick up their first clean sheet since September.

A brief late flurry aside, Burnley didn’t look like scoring and lacked the necessary quality in attack to trouble United.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

We’ll have more reaction to follow and you can read our match report here.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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