Manchester United slipped to another disappointing defeat at home to lowly Burnley on Wednesday night, losing 2-0 to the impressive Clarets.
The first real chance for the hosts came in the opening 15 minutes, when Anthony Martial sent the ball wide after receiving an excellent pass from Aaron Wan-Bissaka inside the box.
Manchester United appeared to be better going down the right-hand side, with Wan-Bissaka constantly looking a threat. The right-back created yet another chance for his team when he crossed the ball in for Juan Mata who completely missed the shot. Just moments later, he crossed it in for Daniel James who came close, but headed the ball just over the bar.
However, it was Burnley who broke the deadlock as Chris Wood found the back of the net in the latter stages of the first half. Ben Mee won the header from the free kick, sending the ball towards Wood, who produced a superb left foot finish beyond David de Gea.
In the second half, the Clarets managed to get another – a wonder goal by Jay Rodriguez. The forward rifled the ball into the top of the net from a tight angle, leaving De Gea completely helpless.
United looked more dangerous after the second goal, creating more pressure with a disallowed Luke Shaw strike in the final minutes of the game – but all in all, it was a disappointing night for the Manchester side.
Key Talking Point
Despite the Red Devils dominating possession, they continue to lack that quality in front of goal. The home side struggled to get forward throughout the match and haven’t been clinical enough with that all-important finish.
It appears that United are severely missing Marcus Rashford, after the forward picked up a back injury earlier this month, causing him to miss months of action.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was desperate to make a difference in attack, bringing on Mason Greenwood for Andreas Pereira at the start of the second half. However, his side were unable to get anything out of the game.
Starting XI: De Gea (6); Wan-Bissaka (7), Jones (5), Maguire (6), Williams (5); Fred (5), Matic (4), Pereira (4); Mata (5), James (5), Martial (4)
Substitutes: Greenwood (6), Lingard (4), Shaw (5)
The right-back put in another great performance for the Red Devils. The defender was constantly trying to create chances for his side, however it was his teammates who let him down.
Down the right-hand side, he looked confident and composed as he crossed balls into the box. But as previously mentioned, the Red Devils lacked the finish.
Key Talking Point
As always, Burnley appeared extremely organised on the pitch, with all their players taking on their designated roles. They were comfortable without possession and able to counterattack at any given opportunity.
The Clarets are also excellent from set pieces, taking into account their first goal from Wood. They were able to keep their shape against the Red Devils, conjuring up a superb away victory at Old Trafford.
Starting XI: Pope (7); Lawton (6), Tarkowski 7(), Mee (7), Taylor (7); Hendrick (6), Cork (6), Westwood (6), McNeil (5); Wood (7), Rodriguez (8)
With the Clarets currently missing striker Ashley Barnes, they needed their other forwards to put a shift in against Manchester United. Fortunately for Burnley supporters, they did just that as both Wood and Rodriguez managed to get on the scoresheet.
The goal from Rodriguez was particularly impressive, with the 30-year-old shooting with superb force from his left foot, sending the ball into the top of the goal. The Englishman has now scored seven times this campaign, just three behind fellow teammate Wood.
Since the second goal, Burnley were much more comfortable going forward, with both strikers oozing confidence in the final third.
The Red Devils will face either Tranmere Rovers or Watford in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hoping to book a place in the last 16 of the competition.
Meanwhile, the Clarets will host relegation battlers Norwich City in the cup on Saturday, before facing Arsenal the following weekend.