Burnley trash Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford

Chris Wood scores for Burnley
Chris Wood scores for Burnley

Manchester United were jeered by their own supporters as Burnley registered their first ever Premier League win at Old Trafford.

Burnley took the lead just before half-time when Chris Wood spun off Harry Maguire to meet Ben Mee’s knockdown and smash into the top corner from the edge of the six-yard box.

Jay Rodriguez doubled the Clarets’ advantage when he played a one-two with Wood before firing into the top corner of David de Gea’s near post with a venomous strike from the left-hand corner of the penalty area.

It was the third season in a row Burnley had gone 2-0 up at Old Trafford, but for the first time they hung on for all three points.

United, who were without the injured Marcus Rashford, were lacklustre for large periods and barely threatened Nick Pope in the Burnley goal.

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They were booed off at half-time and full-time and large parts of the ground emptied with five minutes left.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side remain six points behind Chelsea and off the top four, while Burnley climb to 13th, seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Martial spurns opportunity

A lot of pre-match conversation was focused on how United would cope without Rashford, who is sidelined for at least six weeks with a stress fracture of the back.

That gave an opportunity to Anthony Martial to stake his claim to be United’s long-term number nine, but the Frenchman looked off the pace throughout and wasted two good first-half opportunities from Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross and Nemanja Matic’s throughball.

Solskjaer turned to 18-year-old Mason Greenwood at half-time, and the teenager at least showed glimpses of his potential with a brilliant turn past Charlie Taylor followed by a driving run and shot which went just wide.

However, the fact Solskjaer is regularly turning to a teenager in a desperate attempt to turn around games is a damning indictment of the quality of his squad, and could prompt United to act in the final nine days of the transfer window.

Burnley back to vintage selves

Burnley’s second-half display in their 2-1 win over Champions League-chasing Leicester on Sunday signalled a return to the grit and character that has been the Clarets’ blueprint since they returned to the top flight in 2016.

There was more of the same in Manchester on Wednesday as Wood and Rodriguez showed the ruthlessness up front the east Lancashire side have sorely missed at times this season.

Behind the front two it was a disciplined and well-organised display, with Mee and James Tarkowski superb at the heart of defence, married with a tenacious midfield display from Jack Cork and Ashley Westwood.

Back-to-back wins mean Burnley move level on points with 10th-placed Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Everton and Newcastle – all five teams locked on 30 points.

Man of the match – Ben Mee (Burnley)

‘It is not good enough’ – what the managers said

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, talking to BBC Match of the Day: “There are loads of thoughts going through my mind. At one point it felt like we were creating openings and didn’t take them. Now, it’s one of disappointment. We hold our hands up, it is not good enough.

“The players are giving everything, they have done absolutely fantastic so far this season but they know it wasn’t good enough tonight.

“The boys they looked mentally tired towards the end, we didn’t find that creativity. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. When you are at Man Utd you are privileged because you are playing for the best club in the world. Sometimes you go through periods like this and it is a test I am sure they are going to come through.”

Burnley manager Sean Dyche, talking to BBC Match of the Day: “I am very pleased with that. We know it’s a tough place to come and it was a good performance from us. We scored two very good goals.

“They didn’t find any killer moments, which was very pleasing. Strong, fit and organised will never go out of fashion.”

Grim reading for Solskjaer – the stats

  • Burnley ended a run of 15 away league matches without a win against Manchester United, tasting victory for the first time since a 5-2 win in September 1962.
  • Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was made permanent manager in March, United have lost more Premier League games (12) than they have won (11).
  • Manchester United suffered consecutive Premier League defeats for only the second time under Solskjaer, losing back-to-back games for the first time since April 2019.
  • Burnley manager Sean Dyche has now beaten 27 of the 29 teams he has faced in the Premier League, failing only against Arsenal (9 games) and Sheffield United (1).
  • Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Burnley striker Chris Wood is one of only 12 players to have scored 30+ Premier League goals (30 in total).
  • Three of the last seven occasions Manchester United have trailed by at least two goals in a home Premier League game have been against Burnley (also December 2017 and January 2019).
  • Chris Wood’s goal in the 39th minute was Burnley’s first goal in the first half of a Premier League game since November, when they scored twice against West Ham.
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