Anthony Martial was quite dreadful as Manchester United slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Burnley at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
Manchester United were the dominant team from the get-go, creating chance after chance, only for poor finishing to keep the score at 0-0. Their profligacy would indeed come back to haunt them as Chris Wood broke the deadlock in the 39th minute to put Burnley ahead against the run of play.
Manchester United’s pursuit of a comeback became even tougher as ten minutes into the second half, Jay Rodriguez double Burnley’s advantage with a thunderbolt of a striker. United would find no way back into the game, limping to a second successive loss. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
David de Gea: 5.5/10
In fairness, de Gea was left stranded for both the goals thanks in large part to some poor defending in front of him. Having said that, while he could not have done anything for Burnley’s first, he could have perhaps been positioned better for Jay Rodriguez’s driven shot, seeing as he was beaten at his near post. Distribution was better, but there is room for improvement.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 7/10
Quite easily the standout player for Manchester United. Wan-Bissaka was on a roll in the first half, creating chances for fun from the right flank. On another day, he could have even had a hat-trick of assists, but against Burnley, he saw Anthony Martial and Juan Mata miss inexplicably while Daniel James’s effort was tipped over by Nick Pope, much to his frustration.
Not as influential when bombing forward post the interval, and Burnley’s two goals seemed to have taken the life out of his attacking pursuits. Defended well, as always, for the most part.
Phil Jones: 5/10
A surprise starter at the heart of the Manchester United defence, with Victor Lindelof missing out due to illness. Decent enough for the most part, winning 11 aerial duels while also putting in some strong tackles.
However, Jones had his part to play in the defeat, conceding the free-kick for Wood’s goal before not staying alert enough to stop the exchange between Wood and Rodriguez in the lead-up to the latter’s strike. Such minor errors have gone a long way in making Jones a bit-part player instead of a regular.
Harry Maguire: 3/10
Quite a horrible evening for the Manchester United captain. Maguire was caught napping for both the goals that Burnley scored on Wednesday, first being slow to react to Wood’s run before leaving acres of space for Rodriguez to pounce on.
Had also allowed Wood to beat him in the air earlier in the game. Absolutely unacceptable, at a time when Manchester United desperately need leaders on the pitch.
Brandon Williams: 6/10
Exasperation was the name of the game for Williams on Wednesday. Far too often, the young left-back was not spotted on his overlapping runs which could have helped create openings, especially in the second half. Hardly put to work at the back, with Burnley concentrating most of their attacks through the opposite flank.
Fred vs Burnley:
87/94 passes completed (92.6%)
— 42/46 forward passes completed (91.3%)
— 29/32 final third passes completed (90.6%)
— 4/4 long passes completed (100.0%)
6 duels won
3/3 tackles won (100.0%)
Tough times. pic.twitter.com/UBUjxbjSiy
— UtdArena. (@utdarena) January 22, 2020
One of the better players on the night for Manchester United, Fred concentrated on making quick transitions in order to ensure Burnley did not get into their shape. The Brazilian had the most touches on the night and almost always got his pass to the intended target.
One area that he needs to address is his finishing, as presently, Fred’s shots are either too powerful to stay on target or limp towards the goalkeeper. If he manages to improve on this aspect of the game, Fred will have what it takes to become a real game changer.
Nemanja Matic: 6/10
A game that saw Matic start quite strongly before he faded late on. The Serb was in his elements to begin with, playing some exquisite passes. One of those split the Burnley defence on its way to Wan-Bissaka, who set Mata up for a glorious chance. With another, he created a superb opening for Martial. Hardly overrun in the middle of the park, but the minutes are surely starting to pile up.
Andreas Pereira: 4/10
Another game, another dreadful evening for Pereira. Wasteful on the ball, the Brazilian had an atrocious passing rate of 79.5 percent. Often took aimless shots at goal which did nothing to help Manchester United’s cause. Rightly taken off at half-time for Mason Greenwood. At times, you wonder what he brings to the team.
Juan Mata: 5/10
A game of hits and misses for Mata. The Spaniard created a few half chances and linked up well with James. However, when Burnley settled into their shape, he struggled to thread them open, instead playing square passes. Should have done better with a free-kick from ideal range.
Daniel James: 5/10
A player who tried and tried, but it was not to be for him on the night. James was lively throughout his time on the pitch, but his end product was lacking. Needs to spot the full-back on the overlap, with plenty such opportunities being wasted. Came close with a nice headed effort in the first half.
Anthony Martial: 2/10
A horrible evening for Martial, who failed to step up in the absence of Marcus Rashford once again. Leading the line for Manchester United, Martial was caught flat-footed far too often, first missing to get his foot to Wan-Bissaka’s cut-back then failing to sort his feet out when Matic sent him clean through on goal.
Took three further shots at Nick Pope, but never really managed to put the Burnley goalkeeper under an ounce of pressure. These are times when Martial really needs to step up and prove his worth but just casually lets the game pass him by on most occasions. Disappointing.
Mason Greenwood: 6/10
On for Pereira at the interval, Greenwood brought an injection of energy with him and was whiskers away from finding the back of the net. However, the youngster faded as well, as the rest of his teammates threw the arms up in defeat.
Luke Shaw: 6/10
Given the final 20 minutes, Shaw created a couple of half-chances and headed the ball into the net, but his goal was ruled out for a foul in the build-up.
Jesse Lingard: 5/10
Introduced along with Shaw, Lingard failed to make any sort of impact. An ineffective substitution.