BURNLEY 1, MAN UNITED 1
It was deja vu as Manchester United displayed the same failings as in their Emirates FA Cup defeat against Middlesbrough as they were held at bottom-club Burnley, a result which sees them slip out of the Premier League’s top four.
It was a tale of two halves on another frustrating night for interim manager Ralph Rangnick who again must be wondering how his side failed to pick up maximum points.
In a terrific opening period, they scored once, had two goals disallowed and Clarets’ keeper Nick Pope made three important saves as United could and should have had victory sealed.
Burnley, awful in the first half, were a completely different side after the restart as they grew into the game as United faded and were largely second best.
And in the end Burnley deserved some reward for their battling display on a historic night in which they became only the second side to Preston North End to reach 5,000 professional league games.
It was once more a case of what might have been for Rangnick who has failed to win in six of his first 12 games in all competitions since succeeding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
On the evidence of this performance, they have plenty to do if they are to secure a top-four finish for Champions League football which is deemed a must.Embed from Getty Images
Rangnick said: “We scored three goals! That is different to Friday. The second one that was disallowed, the linesman flagged foul, but 10 seconds after that incident. This was a very soft decision I must say.
“Again, we played an excellent first half. We controlled and dominated the game. We scored the three goals, but two were disallowed.
“In the second half we were not aggressive enough. It was clear they would come out and be aggressive. The way we allowed them to score, we didn’t defend the whole situation.
“A frustrating night for us because we should have won that game comfortably.
“We scored three goals in the first half so I couldn’t blame the team for not having a killer instinct in the first half.
“In the end it was also a little question of luck. One point for a performance like this is just not enough.”
United captain Harry Maguire said: “I think you saw the first half. We had control. We have got to win the game with the amount of chances we created. We had to get that second goal. It is two points dropped.
“We wanted to dominate the game but for sure when you come to Burnley away you are not going to dominate for 90 minutes. We had to see it out better. We conceded like against Middlesbrough when they had that spell of pressure. We have got to be that bit more clinical.
“It was a disappointing goal on our behalf to concede. We came out in the second half a bit sloppy. We had long enough in the game to come back from that and try and find the winner.
“We demand on ourselves to win the football match, so it is disappointing.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche said: “It is only a point, but a positive point.
“We didn’t get to grips in the first half and got a really good reaction. You cannot wait for the game to come your way, you have to take it to them.
“I was really pleased with our second half performance.”
Rangnick made two changes from side which started the Emirates FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough.
Dean Henderson and Cristiano Ronaldo made way for David de Gea and Edinson Cavani while Jesse Lingard returned on the bench,
Burnley made two changes from the draw with Watford.
Josh Brownhill and Jay Rodriguez came in for Dale Stephens and Aaron Lennon.
Clarets’ keeper Nick Pope was called into early action to turn an angled shot by Marcus Rashford behind for a corner.
There was also controversy as the Reds had a 12th minute goal chalked out.
Raphael Varane headed home Bruno Fernandes’ free kick with great aplomb, but it was subject to two lengthy VAR checks for a possible foul and offside.
The first ruling was no foul, but the second saw Maguire ruled to have blocked Jay Roriguez from an offside position as the free kick was taken.
There was no mistake in the 18th minute when United found the net, and this one counted.
Fernandes released Rashford down the left and Luke Shaw continued with an overlap before cutting the ball back for Pogba to fire into the roof of the net from 12 yards for his first league goal since January 2021.
United had a second goal of the night ruled out. Rashford pulled the ball back on the right and it deflected off Clarets’ defender Ben Mee past his own keeper, but it was disallowed after a foul in the build-up by Pogba on Erik Pieters.
The rampant Reds had another great chance to double their advantage when Shaw’s cross deflection and looped to the far post where Cavani looked certain to score from a couple of yards but Pope made an incredible point-blank save.
Pope then kept out Rashford’s fiercely struck effort with his legs as it remained one-way traffic in a hugely impressive opening period in which they had almost two thirds possession and 12 goal attempts to none from the hosts.
Burnley came out a completely different team at the restart and were level within two minutes.
New German striker Wout Weghorst released Rodriguez who got goalside of Maguire as he raced into the box before firing low past David De Gea for his sixth goal of the season but first in the league.
Burnley, buoyed by the goal, almost went ahead minutes later when a half volley from 25 by Weghorst forced a terrific save from De Gea low to his right and the same player also flashed another effort into the side netting.
United, desperate to get a foothold back in the game, made their first change in the 67th minute as Cavani made way for Ronaldo.
They gradually began to reimpose their authority as Varane had a cheeky back heel blocked and Ronaldo headed over from six yards when he ought to have hit the target.
United made their second change with nine minutes left as Lingard replaced Scott McTominay soon followed by Anthony Elanga on for Rashford.
Maguire had a chance to win the game in the dying seconds of four added minutes but the ball flew wide off his shoulder from Fernandes’ corner.