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Monday 22 January 2018
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Burnley held Man Utd 2-2 at Old-Trafford

Report: Rakesh Sinha
Published : Wednesday 27 December, 2017 10:59 PM
Burnley held Man Utd 2-2 at Old-Trafford

Another day, another draw, another Jose Mourinho tirade. Not for the first time this season, Burnley left one of the Premier League’s leading lights sporting a bloody nose after another successful away day but, by the end of a chaotic afternoon, it was Mourinho landing the heaviest blows. 

It was an eventful game: some lovely goals, hapless defending and a flurry of cards – 10 all told on a busy day for referee Martin Atkinson. Burnley have now drawn at United, Liverpool and Spurs this season and won at Chelsea. They achieved this result without four of their recognised five-man back line, a testament to their character and growth, even if Sean Dyche admitted it was frustrating not to see his side hold on at the end.

That was largely down to the difference the introduction of Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at half-time made to United, as well as the energy and attacking endeavour of full-backs Ashley Young and Luke Shaw. The changes injected much-needed pace, penetration and quality after a lamentable first half when Zlatan Ibrahimovic looked horribly short and United gifted Burnley the lead with Romelu Lukaku again showcasing his alternative approach to defending his own area.

The Belgium striker had helped City score both of their goals in United’s recent derby defeat and almost gifted Bournemouth another.

It was much the same here when he failed to clear his lines from Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s free-kick to allow Barnes to fire home. There was nothing fortuitous about Burnley’s second goal, though, when Defour was fouled by Young and then sent a 25-yard free-kick flying into the top corner. Burnley required Ben Mee to clear off the line from Marcus Rashford but United needed some impetus.

Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo, both short of fitness after returning from knee injuries suffered in April, were jettisoned at half-time and the uplift was striking. Nemanja Matic dropped into defence as Mourinho threw caution to the wind.

Lingard should have scored ­almost immediately but Nick Pope thwarted him from close range from Young’s cross. The England ­forward was clinical, however, the next time Young drilled in a cross at his feet.

 

 

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