Former Everton player Leon Osman believes Manchester United’s win at Burnley, which took them top of the Premier League for the first time since they last won the title in 2013, could be a pivotal moment in their campaign.
“You felt the way United celebrated that goal and the unity they showed that it was a huge moment for them in their season,” Osman told listeners on BBC 5Live.
The victory at Turf Moor, courtesy of Paul Pogba’s 71st minute goal, stretched United’s unbeaten away run to 22 domestic games, of which 15 are in the Premier League.
The last one they lost was at Anfield – where they go on Sunday – when Liverpool beat them 2-0 on January 19, 2020.
The Reds have had two longer top-flight away unbeaten runs – December 1998 to September 1999 (17) and March 2010 to January 2011 (16).Embed from Getty Images
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted, declaring: “We are getting better and better. We are almost half the way through the season, and it is a little indication where we are.
“However, nobody remembers the table on January 12, though we are enjoying being where we are.”
The Reds’ manager admitted his side was unsettled by having Harry Maguire’s goal disallowed.
He explained: “Harry scored a perfectly good goal, and we should not be talking about it.
“It was a difficult first half hour. Half-time helped us and we came out and played well in the second half and Paul (Pogba) and Nemanja (Matic) played as though they knew what it was all about.
“I’ve always said Paul is a big player for us. He’s a good character in the dressing room, he’s someone the lads look to, he’s a world champion.
“We’re seeing the best of Paul at the moment – he’s been injured and he’s had Covid so it’s natural to need to get back to fitness after that.”
Asked about the ability to grind out a slender win, Solskjaer continued: “I would rather it been 4-0 than 1-0 as we had to see out one or two big moments which we did.
“Maybe we were a bit fortunate, but you expect it at Turf Moor when you see the quality of the players they have.
“Our mentality was strong and we are getting better.”
Solskjaer is looking forward to Sunday’s trip to Liverpool.
“We are playing the best team in the country by a mile in the last one-and-a-half years. They are champions by right, but a test of where we are at and we are in a good position going into it,” he said.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche was not unhappy saying: “It was a decent performance and effective against a top side on decent form. We are growing into our season. Performances and results have improved
“United came out second half with more tempo and they have spells when they will do that. They scored a very good goal via a deflection and (Nick) Pope would save it otherwise. The reaction was terrific.
“These players give everything, and you can see that at the end when we were creating chances and half chances.
“We had a tough start and we’ve calmed that down. It bodes well but we have to maintain it.”
And of the two incidents which were reviewed, Dyche said: “I’m a fan of VAR, it can be improved and will be streamlined over time but that’s a tricky one with incidents at both ends.
“He had to look at both. We want it to be quicker but on that one it’s not easy. It was a foul by Luke Shaw, the modern game would suggest you are in trouble with that one.”