The last time that these two teams met at Turf Moor was in the 2009 Premier League season, with Burnley coming away as 1-0 winners. The Premier League newcomers were hoping to produce another shocking result, even if it comes against a struggling Manchester United team still trying to find their feet.
The first half was a flat 0 – 0 with both teams just trying not to concede more than anything else. Still, Burnley looked the more dangerous team and needed only to be tidy and compact in the central and attacking areas.
United offered very little in the final third and the only real danger came from Angel Di Maria who looked like he was still adjusting to his teammates. The first half saw United get off just one shot (at least it was on target), compared to Burnley’s six shots with two on target and one off the bar.
While my own Premier League predictions put this at a 1-1 draw, I must say that I was still expecting more out of this match than what was on show. The match finished somewhat livelier with Manchester United starting to create more chances. They should have had a penalty from a Matthew Taylor handball, but, despite good positioning, Chris Foy decided against giving it.
Still, this was a match result that Burnley fully deserved and it’s hard to say that Manchester United deserved to even get the point. While United did finally step up towards the end of the game Burnley still created more, and better, chances with three of their nine shots on target.
This compares to Manchester United who managed just seven shots with two of those on target. Not much point in having 64% possession if you’re not going to do anything with it. It was another match in which Manchester United focused on crossing with 30 sent in and only 3 connecting (Burnley had 10 with 4 completed).
Tom Heaton – Good save against van Persie in the first half, but had very little to do all match long with just two shots on target. Rating: 7/10
Ben Mee – Didn’t have a whole to do in the first half with Valencia no longer the same danger he once was. He did do well to push Valencia to close off most of the crosses. Rating: 7/10
Jason Shackell – Composed enough and did his job to keep United’s forwards under wraps. He did benefit from United’s long ball game with his heading ability. Rating: 8/10
Michael Duff – Like Shackell, played composed and compact with his partner in keeping United’s forwards quiet. 8/10
Kieran Trippier – Got forward often and made it difficult for Young at both ends of the pitch, which is what his job was for the game. Rating: 7/10
Matthew Taylor – Rather quiet and probably should have done more on the left side against Valencia. Was lucky not to have been penalized for a clear handball in the box. Rating: 6/10
David Jones – Was the primary catalyst for Burnley’s midfield and had the best chances for Burnley in the first half. Rating: 7/10
Dean Marney – One of the more quiet Burnley players. Mostly stuck to the center of the pitch to distribute and close down routes through the center, which was basically what his job was. Played primarily as a defensive midfielder. Rating: 7/10
Scott Arfield – Caused problems for Young on the flanks and looked dynamic at times. Created one of the better first half chances for Burnley and provided two key passes. Rating: 7/10
Danny Ings – Looked lively enough closing down the United defenders, but really did little else. Was subbed off in the 78th minute for Ashley Barnes. Rating: 5/10
Lukas Jutkiewicz – Was dangerous at times and caused a real headache for United’s defense in the first half and start to the second. Became more isolated as the second half wore on, though this was hardly his fault. Rating: 7/10
Ashley Barnes – By the time Barnes came on United was pushing for a goal and Burnley were sitting back meaning he had very little to do. Rating: 5/10
Steven Reid – Only had a few minutes on the pitch which were unremarkable except for a yellow card. Rating: 5/10
Manchester United (3-5-2)
David De Gea – Did well early on with his defenders leaving him with much to do. Made the saves he needed to and bailed out the defense more than once. Rating: 7/10
Tyler Blackett – Continues to be one of the more composed defenders for United. His youth can let him down at times, but is learning more rapidly than some of his more veteran compatriots. Rating: 8/10
Phil Jones – Has started to show signs of adapting to playing 3 at the back and was probably the best player for United on the day, which says a lot for the way they played. Rating: 8/10
Jonny Evans – Still looks very uncomfortable in the 3 back system. His poor passing and lack of composure were apparent all match long. Rating: 5/10
Ashley Young – His defensive wing back duties look to have sapped him of the confidence to take on players, however, as the game progressed he did seem to grow into it and worked to create a few chances. Rating: 7/10
Darren Fletcher – Has become very adapt at the back pass. Really knows how to find his defenders with a crisp pass. He did do a job defensively. Rating: 6/10
Antonio Valencia – Seems to have lost the ability to dribble past players or put in a decent cross. Still, he is a better defensive winger than Young. Rating: 6/10
Angel Di Maria – Handled early pressure well, looked as though he was adjusting to his teammates still. United’s best chances were worked through Di Maria who was by far their best attacking player. Came off in the 70th minute for Anderson. Rating: 7/10
Juan Mata – There was so little contribution from Mata that I’m not even sure what to say. In the 86 minutes he was on the pitch he had 46 touches with 39 passes and not a single key pass. Rating: 3/10
Robin van Persie – Had one good early chance, but put it too close to the keeper. Like Rooney he was too often used as a target man with long balls being hit towards him. RvP still doesn’t look fully match fit and his first touch let him down far too much, but he also had very little in the way of decent service, especially considering how much he prefers the ball at his feet. Rating: 4/10
Wayne Rooney – Seemed to drift in and out early. Mostly stayed up front waiting for a pass and far too often was used almost as a target man. Should have done better. Rating: 5/10
Anderson – Like Mata it was hard to tell if he was even on the pitch despite getting a full 30 minutes to get into the match. Rating: 4/10
Danny Welbeck – Continues to be pacey, but disappointing at times with his first touch. Rating: 5/10
Adnan Januzaj – The youngster had very little time to contribute having come on in only the 87.’ Rating: 5/10
It was largely a very disappointing match without much in the way of true highlights.
Burnley: 8/10 – As a newly promoted team earning a 0-0 draw against a team with this much attacking firepower is a massive result.
Manchester United: 5/10 – Much more is expected of this team and today’s result is not at all good enough for a team like this.
What did you think of the match? Agree or disagree with my ratings in the comments below and feel free to share your views on what changes can be made for both sides.