Ralf Rangnick played the changes and got a much improved performance from his Manchester United players in a 3-1 win over Burnley, which takes his team up to sixth in the Premier League standings.
After a disappointing draw in Newcastle on Monday, Rangnick made six changes to his lineup and went from his favorite 4-2-2-2 to a 4-4-2. The move was rewarded within eight minutes, when Scott McTominay fired from the edge of the area.
A rejuvenated United played much more smoothly and looked like he ran away when Ben Mee deflected Jadon Sancho’s shot (27) and Cristiano Ronaldo intercepted (35) after McTominay’s shot was pushed to the crossbar.
Burnley had caused trouble at the other end, however, and Aaron Lennon’s (38) quick response was a strong reminder of United’s defensive vulnerabilities.
However, a quieter second half was ultimately comfortable for United, with impressive Wayne Hennessey keeping McTominay from upping the score.
United will end the year four points from fourth-placed Arsenal with one more match. Meanwhile, Burnley – who hadn’t played for 18 days – remain in the relegation zone, two points from salvation but having played one game less than Watford.
Manchester United: De Gea (6), Wan-Bissaka (6), Bailly (6), Maguire (6), Shaw (7), McTominay (8), Matic (6), Greenwood (6), Cavani (7), Sancho ( 7) Ronaldo (7).
Subtitles: Varane (6), Dalot (N / A), Fred (N / A).
Burnley: Hennessey (7), Lowton (7), Mee (6), Tarkowski (6), Taylor (6), Gudmundsson (6), Westwood (6), Cork (6), McNeil (6), Wood (6), Lennon (7).
Subtitles: Stephens (6), Otter (6), Pieters (N / A).
Man of the match: Scott McTominay
How did it happen…
Burnley, who had seen matches against Watford, Aston Villa and Everton postponed due to COVID, was thrilled to be back on the pitch in the early stages, with Wood approaching before shooting a shot just outside goal from a position of offside as the visitors pressed United frantically.
However, while they were left out by Ronaldo’s resounding one-on-one mistake at the other end, moments later the Portuguese’s touch helped McTominay break the deadlock for the hosts, with the Scotsman curling into his first of the season from 18 yards.
- Man Utd made six changes since the draw in Newcastle. Raphael Varane, Diogo Dalot, Alex Telles, Fred, Marcus Rashford took the bench and Bruno Fernandes was suspended. Entered Eric Bailly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani
- Burnley made two changes, with Wayne Hennessey replacing Nick Pope in goal, while Aaron Lennon came in on offense in place of Jay Rodriguez.
Luke Shaw impressed on his return to the team and hit the side net after a driving run. He was also involved in United’s second, catching the ball before serving Sancho, who cut to his right and fired at the far post, with Mee unintentionally passing Hennessey.
Ronaldo wasted his second good chance of the half when he failed to send the shot away fast enough, allowing Mee to block, but there was no mistaking it when McTominay’s leading shot came back off the crossbar and is fell gently for him to push home.
A little bit of control from Eric Bailly allowed Lennon to throw an arrow in an almost instant response to keep United fans from getting carried away, but after the interval United tightened their grip on the match, with the first few. chances after the break that saw Ronaldo head to the side and Hennessey save well from Mason Greenwood.
Hennessey was sharp again to deflect another McTominay shot on the crossbar shortly after the hour round, and somehow saved a Cavani shot with his face, even though the offside flag was raised.
Between those stops, Bailly was forced to leave with an injury that will worry Ivory Coast fans ahead of the Africa Cup, and there have been a couple of half chances for Burnley at the end, but it was a night otherwise. satisfactory for United and Rangnick to end the year.
What the managers said …
Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick: “It was about fresh legs, fresh energy, fresh bodies, more physicality against this team. We knew how difficult they were going to be, how persistent they were going to play and it was a bit of a war of attrition, a bit of a hard one to play, so for it was important for me to have six fresh players on the pitch compared to the Newcastle game.
“In the end it paid off. They were the right players in the right positions. For me it was important to have every player in their best possible position. That’s why we decided to play Jadon from the left and Mason from the right and two forwards in front and we decided to play the two 6. We had Nemanja in the team as a kind of full-back who can also calm the game and play passes from that position.
“Scotty, once again, his energy on the pitch is positively contagious. Scotty’s was an extremely good performance today.”
Burnley boss Sean Dyche: “We’re trying to work with the team in different ways, to score more goals and look more of a threat and I thought I did it tonight. Coming to Old Trafford, it’s probably one of the highest odds we’ve done here – definitely from the point of view. view of the quality – and we played a lot. There were many signs that we are doing the right things, but the details are so important and you have to get them right at both ends of the pitch. “
- Manchester United have taken 14 points in their last six games (W4 D2 under Michael Carrick and Ralf Rangnick), 10 more than their last six under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (1W 1 D1 L4).
- Burnley have won winless in their last 10 Premier League away games (4N L6), the last one having held out for a long time without a win away from August 2016 to April 2017 (17 games).
- Manchester United are now unbeaten in their last league match in each of the last 10 calendar years (W7 D3) since their 3-2 loss to Blackburn at Old Trafford in 2011.
- Burnley amassed just 11 points in their first 16 games of the Premier League season, the third lowest figure at this stage in their 59 top flight seasons, only exceeding seven points in 1970-71 and four in 1889-90 (3 points for a win).
- Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has scored his first goal in 28 Premier League games (from goal against Everton in February), with eight of his 11 league goals for the Red Devils arriving at Old Trafford, including each of its last seven.
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal and assist for Manchester United led him to 11 Premier League appearances for the season (8 goals, 3 assists), reaching double-digit goals for the 17th consecutive season in the five major European leagues, since he recorded only nine in 2004-05.
- Of the teams that have scored 10+ own goals in the Premier League, only Charlton’s Richard Rufus has scored a higher percentage for his team (41.7% – 5/12) than Ben Mee for Burnley (35.7% – 5 / 14).
- Burnley’s Aaron Lennon has scored his first goal in 33 Premier League appearances, since scoring for the Clarets against Bournemouth in September 2018, including the winger’s first goal against Manchester United in the top flight in his 23rd. match against them.
- Aaron Lennon is the second oldest player to score for Burnley in the Premier League (34 to 258 days), after Graham Alexander (38 to 182 days).
- At 30 years and 314 days, Burnley has fielded the eleven oldest Premier League starter this season and the oldest-ever Claret starting line-up in competition history.
Manchester United hosts Wolves are live on Sky Sports Monday at 5.30pm, while Burnley are back in action at 2pm on Sunday when they go to Leeds.