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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 24 February, 2020


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Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

Just seven points separate fifth-place Man United and Burnley in 14th, while Sean Dyche’s men have a chance to reduce that gap this evening.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were dealt a further blow recently, when it was confirmed that key striker Marcus Rashford will be out for a substantial period.

Nevertheless, a win tonight will go some way towards alleviating the sense of gloom surrounding the club in recent days.

Chelsea could only draw last night at home to 10-man Arsenal, meaning a United victory will see them cut the gap between them and the Blues to three points, as they attempt to secure a coveted Champions League spot.

Burnley have only beaten United once in the Premier League and are winless in their last 10 top-flight fixtures.

The Clarets haven’t been in great form, though they did earn a surprising win against Leicester at the weekend. Prior to that game, they had suffered four consecutive league defeats.

Who do you think will win?

Poll Results:

Man United (357)
Burnley (249)
Draw (161)

manchester-united-v-burnley-premier-league-old-trafford The Burnley kits of Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor and Jeff Hendrick hang on the hooks in the away dressing room. Source: Nick Potts

We’re under way…

United are on the attack within the game’s first two minutes.

Fred gets a sight at goal, but miscues his shot from the edge of the area, and it goes harmlessly wide.

Worrying scenes for United fans.

Anthony Martial has fallen awkwardly after both he and Tarkowski go up for an aerial challenge.

He is limping off the pitch to receive treatment.

It’s been a pretty scrappy start, with neither side looking especially threatening.

Martial is now back on the pitch for United and looks like he’ll be alright.

Wan Bissaka finds Martial with a low cross, but the striker can’t get a proper connection with his sliding finish.

That’s probably the best chance United have carved out so far.

Burnley have looked quite solid, while not showing much ambition in attack.

United are struggling to open Burnley up the final third and are giving the ball away far too cheaply.

Brandon Williams is the latest culprit.

Fred tests Pope with a shot from distance, though the goalkeeper makes a fairly comfortable save.

Down the other end, Chris Wood gets on the end of a free kick into the box after it’s flicked on, but his header is just wide of the post.

Another dangerous cross from Wan-Bissaka is deflected into the path of Mata, but the Spaniard mis-kicks his finish.

Will United come to rue these missed opportunities?

Wan Bissaka produces a deep cross this time.

Daniel James gets a header on it, forcing Pope to tip it behind for a corner.

The former Crystal Palace right-back has been United’s best attacking outlet so far.

Matic plays an incisive through pass to Martial, after a lovely dummy from Mata.

However, the French attacker dwells on it slightly, allowing Charlie Taylor to make a vital challenge that stops his opponent getting a clean shot on goal.

Burnley take the lead, despite having barely threatened up to now.

And it’s very much a typical Burnley goal.

A long free kick is flicked on by Ben Mee. Chris Wood then meets it on the half volley, producing a fantastic first-time finish that leaves De Gea with no chance.

It’s the New Zealand international’s 10th goal of the season.

Pereira shoots from about 30 yards out, but it’s more in hope than expectation.

His curled effort drifts well over.

The same player has another long-distance effort moments later, but it’s easily saved by Pope.

So half-time and it’s been a subdued affair.

Burnley have been well-organised and solid, largely preventing United from playing through them.

They didn’t offer much down the other end until Wood’s fantastically taken goal shortly before half-time.

Solskjaer’s side’s attack play has looked laboured too often. Wan-Bissaka has caused problems with his crosses from the right, while Martial has wasted more than one decent chance.

Overall though, the hosts have looked short of ideas and creativity.

The second half has begun.

United have made a change at the break, with Mason Greenwood replacing Pereira.

Nervy moment for United.

Fred slips in the box and the ball appears to come off his hand, but the ref waves play on.

The second half so far is continuing in a similar manner to the end of the first.

United look sluggish and out of sorts, while Burnley are comfortable.

Jay Rodriguez, after a clever one-two with Wood, beats De Gea at his near post from jusr inside the box with a scintillating finish for his seventh goal of the season.

United are in serious trouble now.

Daniel James almost gets his first goal since the end of August.

The winger’s curled effort from the edge of the area goes inches wide.

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

Just after that, United make a double change — Brandon Williams and Daniel James are off, while Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard come on.

Martial’s shot from the edge of the area takes a deflection before being parried out for a corner by Pope.

United are upping the tempo now, but is it too little too late?

Matic slips through Martial.

However, under pressure from the Burnley defenders, the French attacker’s finish is tame.

United have been really toothless in the final third this evening.

manchester-united-v-burnley-premier-league-old-trafford Burnley’s Jay Rodriguez celebrates scoring his side's second goal. Source: Nick Potts

Greenwood nearly gets United back in the game.

The teenager runs at the Burnley defenders before driving a shot just wide from the edge of the area.

Martial shoots well over amid ironic cheers from a section of the crowd.

The Frenchman has had a disappointing night.

Home supporters are now leaving the stadium in their droves.

McNeil is currently down receiving treatment following a challenge from Wan-Bissaka.

Interestingly, we’re coming towards stoppage time and Burnley have yet to make a single change.

Shaw heads home Mata’s curling cross, but it’s ruled out, as he pushed over Jeff Hendrick before scoring.

BT Sport have given Ben Mee a deserved man of the match.

There will be four minutes of stoppage time…

So that’s that.

Another insipid display from Man United.

The Red Devils still sit in the healthy-looking position of fifth. However, they missed out on a chance to reduce the gap on Chelsea to three points, in a game they would be expected to win most seasons.

They were distinctively ordinary in attack, and badly missed Rashford, with Martial missing a couple of decent chances.

For the most part though, Burnley defended well and were clinical at key moments, earning a deserved victory in the process.

Solskjaer will come under increased pressure now, but United seem intent on keeping him on, at least until the end of the season, despite a series of inept displays from the club and few signs of genuine progress.

Right, that’s it from me. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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

About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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