Pogba starred for United
No Burnley bother
A home defeat is a disappointment like always, but this game won’t define Burnley’s season despite leaving them only five points above the drop zone.
But with a game in hand and a recent run which included three wins in five before this game, there’s no question of Sean Dyche panicking or looking over the team’s collective shoulder with worry.
One area of concern might be a lack of ability to fight back; Burnley haven’t won a point after falling behind, or scored a goal in the final 10 minutes of games this season.
It took 86 minutes for them to get a shot on target on home soil, with their one-dimensional attack proving incapable of opening up the gaps.
Manchester United’s summer transfer priority was said to be an elite right-sided wide forward, with the failure to land Jadon Sancho having an ongoing effect.
Mason Greenwood is quality, but inexperienced and still learning, while Dan James has proven mostly ineffective from that flank. It falls now to Marcus Rashford to fill that void, but he too is ill-at-ease playing as an outside-running outlet.
He got the assist for the winning goal, true, but otherwise it was over an hour of toil and discomfort and very little threat in the final third. He could well be swapped over to the left at Anfield, however, as Anthony Martial appeared to go off injured just before the final whistle.
Onto the top-two clash
A point here would have been enough to send United top; instead they took three and are clear.
Next up, it’s on to Anfield and perhaps the biggest Premier League game of the season so far: Liverpool against United, champions against challengers.
It’s likely to be, now, a game where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might opt to be more conservative in, even with United’s good away form this season.
Anfield might well be the stage where United prove whether they are genuine contenders for the title race this season, or if it’s still a step too far for a team who finished 33 points off the pace last year.
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