Manchester United extended their winning run to four games in 2018, with a 1-0 over Burnley on Saturday
Manchester United earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Burnley, at the Turf Moor, in matchweek 24 of the Premier League.
The Red Devils were some way off from their best, but a second-half strike from Anthony Martial was enough for United to return home with all the three points.
It was a performance that lacked bite and creative spark in the final third for the 20-time English champions and they had to withstand a great deal of pressure from the home side to protect their slender lead and emerge winners on the day.
Despite the win, United remain twelve points behind runaway leaders and bitter rivals Manchester City, who defeated Newcastle United in their fixture on the day.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 20, 2018
And here’s how we rated the performances of the United players at the Turf Moor on the day.
David De Gea: 5.5/10
Had very little to do between the sticks, apart from a couple of straight forward stops in the first period. His kicking though, wasn’t as accurate as one has grown to expect from him. Recorded his 14th clean sheet of the season.
Antonio Valencia: 6/10
The captain on the day defended well for most parts of the game, against the threat of Scott Arfield. But, was somewhat reluctant to get forward as regularly as he does usually. Solid display, but lacked adventure.
Chris Smalling: 6/10
The England international did not start in the most convincing manner, as he got caught on the ball at times in the first half. But, he showed much more strength and fight as the game wore on and was a strong physical presence after the break. Got a crucial touch on a Johann Berg-Gudmundsson cutback to take it away from the Burnley players waiting in the centre.
Phil Jones: 7.5/10
Smalling’s international teammate and partner at the back, Jones, had another solid game in the heart of the defence. Jones set the tone early on with a brilliant tackle on Ashley Barnes inside the box to deny him a goal-scoring opportunity. And he continued to build on it, making crucial blocks and interceptions throughout the game.
— CloudSports Football (@CSportsFootball) January 20, 2018
Ashley Young: 6.5/10
The former Aston Villa man returned from his three-match suspension and was handed a surprise start by Mourinho, ahead of Luke Shaw. Was more adventurous than Valencia on the other flank and looked to get forward at every occasion possible. Came close with a strike from close range, after a smart run into the box from the left.
Found it hard to keep Berg-Gudmundsson in check though.
Paul Pogba: 6/10
The Frenchman did not have the best of the games. Coming into the game on the back of a solid display last week, he showed plenty of positive intent to drive United forward, but things did not always fall in place for him in the final third. Tried a deft finish after a great run in the box in the first period, but the ball ended on the roof of the net. Booked for a bad challenge.
Should have played Martial in after a darting run forward, but went for the glory.
Nemanja Matic: 5.5/10
Another lethargic display from the Serbian man mountain in the middle of the park. Looked rusty, kept giving away the ball on a regular occasion and his distribution too was quite passive at times. Booked late on. Has waned off recently and could do with a rest for a couple of games.
Juan Mata: 5/10
Got into promising positions on a couple occasions very early in the game, but the end product was a letdown. Was too slow and unimaginative at times, as he struggled to get himself into the game. Most likely to be made the scapegoat once Alexis Sanchez signs.
Jesse Lingard: 5/10
The in-form man for United struggled to get anywhere near the goal as Burnley managed to keep him pegged in the middle for most parts of the game. Ran around with great energy and purpose, but was not able to have any sort of impact in the final third for the Red Devils.
Anthony Martial: 7/10
Was marshalled well by former Manchester United man Phil Bardsley in the opening exchanges. Did not seem very willing to take his man on as usual and as a result had little effect in the first period. But, turned it on after the break and scored with a sumptuous strike to seal the game for United. Tested Nick Pope in the Burnley goal with another powerful hit late in the game.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 20, 2018
Romelu Lukaku: 6/10
Cut an isolated figure at the top, with hardly any meaningful service coming his way. Lost the ball in a dangerous area leading to a chance for Burnley in the second half. However, managed to make an impact as he turned provider for Martial, with a wonderful pass after some brilliant hold-up play.
Marouane Fellaini: N/A
Brought on for Mata in the 72nd minute to add more brawn to the midfield.
Marcus Rashford: N/A
Replaced Lingard with ten minutes left. Wasteful in possession at times.
Ander Herrera: N/A
Injury-time substitute for Martial.