Brandon Williams and Andreas Pereira impressed as Manchester United ended the year on a positive not, with a 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor.
In what was one of their better performances on the road this term, Manchester United dominated the proceedings thoroughly and deserved all three points. Anthony Martial’s close range strike, when put through on goal by a brilliant pass by Andreas Pereira, gave the visitors are well deserved lead after coming within whiskers of breaking the deadlock a number of times earlier in the half.
It was more of the same post the interval, with Manchester United rarely being troubled by Burnley before Marcus Rashford rounded the win off deep into injury time. United are now just a point behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who play Arsenal on Sunday. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
David de Gea: 7/10
With the wounds from last weekend’s capitulation at Watford still fresh, another potentially tough opposition in Burnley awaited de Gea on Saturday. However, the Manchester United no. 1 was hardly tested on the night and was forced into making just one save, which was a terrific reflex stop. Will be relieved after keeping a first Premier League clean sheet since September.
Ashley Young: 6/10
Back into the side in place of the rested Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Young produced a hit and miss performance. Solid at the back for the most part, the Manchester United captain negated Dwight McNeil superbly all through the game. Going forward, though, Young was hardly involved, which was disappointing considering Manchester United dominated the proceedings throughout.
Victor Lindelof: 7/10
With the visitors in control of the game, Lindelof had very little defending to do on the night. Kept a check on Ashley Barnes’s impact in the game well and combined well with Harry Maguire to shut off any and every possible opening. One of his better performances this season.
Harry Maguire: 7/10
Much like Lindelof, Maguire was much improved on the night, although he was not called into action a great deal due to midfield’s dominance in the game. Was even adventurous at times, charging up the field to add to the numbers in the opposition half, making one key pass in the process.
Brandon Williams: 8/10
Back into the side for the first time in over a couple of weeks, Williams exuded a lot of confidence and gave Solskjaer a lot to think about. Unfazed in his defensive duties, Williams prevailed in his duel with Jeff Hendrick. However, it is when he bombed forward that he made most of his impact, linking up well with the front men and sending in dangerous deliveries. A bright prospect.
Another game that saw Fred continue his upward trajectory. His solid partnership with Nemanja Matic in the middle of the park was a huge reason why Manchester United dominated the proceedings so effortlessly. Has developed that unflappable desire to not get hurried off the ball; a huge positive. Can never be found wanting for a lack of effort off the ball either. A big asset.
Nemanja Matic: 7/10
With Paul Pogba surprisingly omitted from the matchday squad and Scott McTominay out injured, Matic got a rare Premier League start. The Serb was solid on return, winning the most duels in the game and hardly being overrun, with Burnley never getting the chance to take the game to Manchester United. Superb on return.
Daniel James: 7/10
Back into the side after being rested, James was in his elements, Whenever Manchester United looked dangerous in the final third, it was down to either him or Andreas Pereira. On another day, he could have had a hat-trick of assists, although the one he did get was a fabulous pass indeed.
Has now assisted Marcus Rashford for a goal 4 times, the most frequent combination in the Premier League this season. Also won four tackles, showing the all round side to his game. Will be contesting with Mason Greenwood for one spot on the right flank for the remainder of the season in all likelihood; an engrossing competition.
Andreas Pereira: 8/10
Often chastised for the sheer inconsistency in his game, Pereira produced a stunning performance against Burnley. Always looked to make things happen, creating a game-high 5 chances. The moment of the game for Pereira was his perfectly weighted pass for Anthony Martial. A potential coming of age game for Pereira, and it is a wonder how he is not this good in most games.
Marcus Rashford: 8/10
A bundle of energy right from the get-go, Manchester United’s in-form player was in his right mind to continue his fine run. If not for Nick Pope, he might have even had a first Manchester United hat-trick, with the Burnley goalkeeper denying him on three separate occasions. Did finally get his goal in the dying embers of the game after being set up by James.
⭐️Anthony Martial (10) & Marcus Rashford (9) have scored 1⃣9⃣ goals in 1⃣6⃣ starts together this season⭐️
🔥Martial v Burnley
⚽️ Apr 2017 at Turf Moor
⚽️ Jan 2018 at Turf Moor
⚽️Dec 2019 at Turf Moor pic.twitter.com/LInotW2lE7
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 28, 2019
Anthony Martial: 8/10
A lively presence on the pitch, Martial posed a constant threat, with his movement off the ball constantly leaving the Burnley defenders on their toes. Linked up well with Pereira and on one such occasion, they created the opening goal of the game. Better first touch could have given him more goals in the game, although he was unlucky when he was thwarted off the line by Bardsley.
Jesse Lingard: 6/10
On for Pereira, Lingard was energetic in the final third and helped see the game out.
Luke Shaw: N/A
A late introduction for Martial as the minutes ticked towards full-time.