MAN UTD SMASH AND GRAB AT BURNLEY 1-0
Amidst all the hot air about the transfer of just on man from one Obscure Club in London the boys still managed to get the important business of Winning a football game done. Not to be distracted the Boys went to the notoriously difficult Burnley ground Turf moor and and grabbed 3 points.Not the easiest place to go and do that
Anthony Martial made it clear he won’t give up his place to Alexis Sanchez without a fight as his goal stretched Manchester United’s unbeaten league run to eight matches.
A few of Jose Mourinho’s forwards will be fearing the worst once Sanchez completes his move from Arsenal, and Martial is aware he holds the position on the left of a 4-2-3-1 that the Chilean has occupied most of his career.
Yet on this season’s form, the manager will not want to ditch the Frenchman willingly. After United had failed to register a shot on target for 54 minutes, Martial took a pass from Romelu Lukaku, shifted the ball inside the penalty area and curled a finish past goalkeeper Nick Pope off the underside of the crossbar
Burnley (4-4-1-1): Pope ; Bardsley , Tarkowski , Mee Taylor 7; Gudmundsson Cork , Defour Arfield 6 (Nkoudou 81); Hendrick 5.5 (Vokes 81); Barnes 6.5 (Wells)
Unused subs: Lindegaard, Long, Lowton, Westwood
Bookings: Mee 30, Bardsley 67, Defour 70
Manchester United (4-1-4-1): de Gea ; Valencia 6.5, Smalling , Jones , Young ; Matic ; Lingard (Rashford 80, ), Pogba , Mata (Fellaini 72, 6), Martial (Herrera 90); Lukaku
Unused subs: Romero, Marcos Rojo, Shaw, McTominay
Goal: Martial 54
Bookings: Pogba 70, Matic 77, Valencia 90
It was Martial’s 11th goal of the season, his third in four games, and Mourinho thinks the impending arrival of Sanchez will raise the standards of all his attackers because of the competition.
‘At the moment there’s no competition,’ Mourinho said. ‘We have four attacking players for three positions. We need that extra internal competition.’
He meant Martial, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata, who all started yesterday, and Marcus Rashford, who came off the bench. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was not in the squad ahead of his move to Arsenal as part of the Sanchez deal and was clearly already persona non grata.
James Tarkowski and Ashley Barnes had half-chances early on. Referee Michael Dean, who recently gave a controversial handball penalty against Arsenal’s Calum Chambers, waved away Burnley appeals after Johann Gudmundsson’s header struck Chris Smalling on the arm.
The Icelander was also unfortunate when his curling free-kick flew over the United wall soon after the visitors had scored and thudded against the crossbar.
‘Small margins,’ said Dyche, who tried to remain upbeat despite a fifth consecutive loss for his team. On the Smalling incident, he said: ‘It was half a shout for a penalty. Not that we were going to get one, because we haven’t had one all season.’
pogba Collcting orders from Mourinho
We know the way Burnley play. They are better than anyone playing that way and we adapted well from a defensive point of view. We need to adapt to be successful,’ said Mourinho. Yet United were slack in the opening 15 minutes and Phil Jones came to the rescue of his snoozing team-mates with a great block tackle on Barnes in the box.
The visitors reached half-time without laying a glove on Burnley — the recalled Ashley Young often looked our best attacking outlet from left-back.
It didn’t matter. Mourinho knew patience would be rewarded and with United showing more urgency attacking the end where their own supporters were gathered in the second half, they struck.
Lukaku slipped as he played a pass into Martial on the right angle of the penalty area but it still turned out to be a fine delivery. The Frenchman showed composure and class to rifle home with his right foot.
Burnley couldn’t quite replicate it at the other end. When Mata gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box with a rash challenge, Gudmundsson curled a free-kick over De Gea but hit the crossbar. Lucky escap.
There was the controversy shortly afterwards when the Icelander headed Charlie Taylor’s cross against Smalling. Loud Burnley appeals for a penalty followed but referee Dean decided the United defender couldn’t have got out the way of the ball before it struck his left arm. The incident sparked the game into life.
Burnley had a great chance to level when Gudmundsson fired across goal from the left and Barnes threw his body to try to make contact only for the ball to fizz by his outstretched boot.
Marouane Fellaini was sent on to see the game out and United resisted despite Burnley throwing goalkeeper Pope up for a couple of late set-pieces. It wasn’t pretty but they are collecting points in a very Mourinhian way – and with Sanchez to come.