Manchester United looked to make amends in the Premier League, following their hammering at the hands of Chelsea last weekend, it was a must win for the home side who seem directionless under new manager Jose Mourinho. Henrikh Mkhitaryan must wait even longer for his return to the first team, as boss Mourinho believes that he is still not ready for the Premier League, and club captain Wayne Rooney started on the bench.
United were without Eric Bailly who suffered an injury in the clash against Chelsea, and Antonio Valencia, who underwent a surgery on his fractured arm, which he sustained on Wednesday in the Manchester Derby.
Former Manchester United players Heaton, the keeper for the away side, and Michael Keane made a return to Old Trafford.
Manchester United started the match in lively fashion, maintaining majority of ball possession, without really testing the opposition keeper, Heaton, the first real chance of the game came in the 16th minute when Mata put a through ball for Ibrahimović to shoot straight at the oncoming Burnley keeper, who made another comfortable save in the 23rd minute from a Juan Mata shot.
Paul Pogba, the most expensive footballer in the world, who is enduring a torrid return to England combined well with Ibrahimović, back-heeling the ball back to the swede after a quick one-two in the area, which was headed out by a Burnley defender.
The best moment of the first half came in the 41st minute when an Ander Herrera cross was met by Jesse Lingard, making his 50th appearance for the club, who headed it goalward, but was brilliantly denied by Heaton.
The first half ended with the score as the teams had started it, with the home team dominating most of the match, without producing much of a clear-cut goal scoring chance.
At the start of the second half, Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands, after an animated show of his displeasure at Mark Clattenburg’s decision to not award a penalty at the stroke of half time.
Manchester United started the second half well, but couldn’t get past a resilient Burnley defence, and when they did find a way through, Heaton was ever ready to stop the shots. Ibrahimović was more composed than he was in the first half, and created a great chance for Mata to score, in the same style he did in midweek against Man City, but the Spaniard could only manage to shoot straight at Heaton.
Majority of the match took place in Burnley’s half, with David de Gea a mere spectator, who didn’t have to do much throughout the game.
Ibrahimović had a great chance to score in the 61st minute, after a great cross in from Herrera found the unmarked Swede who attempted a powerful scissor kick which was saved by Heaton, while 3 Burnley defenders stood guard at the goal mouth.
Juan Mata hit the post in the 65th minute after a great turn in the area, followed by another headed effort by Ibrahimović which hit the post in the 66th; Herrera, who was already on a yellow card after a foolish tackle in the first half was given his marching orders for another tackle on a Burnley player, which appeared to be a slip, rather than an intentional sliding tackle.
Reduced to 10 men, Manchester United made use of all three substitutes, to no avail, but could’ve scored in the 89th minute when Pogba provided a marvelous ball for Ibrahimović who only had to tap the ball in, but could only find the side netting.
The match ended all square, and Burnley would be especially happy and proud of their defensive display, especially after conceding a plethora of corners, 19 in total, and managed to keep the home side at bay, after a very robust performance from Manchester United, who still haven’t won in the Premier League in their last 4 matches.