Mason Greenwood's finishing allows Manchester United to dream of catching bitter rivals

Mike McGrath
·16 min read
Manchester United vs Burnley, Premier League: live score and latest updates - GETTY
Manchester United vs Burnley, Premier League: live score and latest updates - GETTY
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  • Chris Wood scores in first minute but Var narrowly rules out goal for offside

  • Mason Greenwood scores opener soon after half time from quick, flowing attack

  • James Tarwkowski hits back immediately with header from a corner

  • Greenwood scores deflected effort in second half

  • Edinson Cavani seals the game with late third

Mason Greenwood’s two goals put Manchester United within eight points of the Premier League summit and gave a reminder to Gareth Southgate ahead of this summer’s European Championships.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted before this clash that he was refusing to give up on the title and his team are at least applying a little pressure to Manchester City.

Greenwood has now scored five goals in his last six games and is staking a claim for a place in the England squad this summer, having been dropped early in the season for breaking Covid-19 safety rules then finding himself in the Under-21s.

United broke the deadlock after the interval with a goal created by Marcus Rashford’s 40-yard dribble with the ball glued to his feet, plus a dummy from Bruno Fernandes that turned the Burnley defence without using a touch.

Rashford’s run saw him nutmeg Matt Lowton before heading towards the penalty area and delivering a cross. Fernandes casually left the ball, allowing Greenwood to tuck away his fourth goal in six appearances.

The foundations were laid for a routine victory but Burnley have enjoyed some recent success at the Theatre of Dreams, getting results in their previous five visits. They were level within two minutes with a straightforward set-piece goal that Sean Dyche has practiced thousands of times on the training ground.

Ashley Westwood swung over the corner and James Tarkowski escaped the attention of Aaron Wan-Bissaka before climbing above Harry Maguire to head into the top corner.

But Greenwood put United back in front after Paul Pogba chipped the ball out to the left flank following a partially cleared corner. The England Under-21 forward cut inside and his shot flicked off Jack Cork into the near post.

Donny van de Beek came on to set up fellow substitute Edinson Cavani with a tap-in during stoppage time to wrap up the win.

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04:55 PM

FULL TIME

And that's it! United win and Burnley are still in a bit of trouble at the bottom. Why do Man Utd wait until the second half to start playing?

04:51 PM

GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL

Brilliant passing move by United. And that's the game!

Man Utd 3 Burnley 1

Cavani scores but it's all about Fernandes and Van de Beek, who link superbly in the final third to quickly open up the defence and give Cavani a tap in.

04:51 PM

90 mins+3 - Man Utd 2 Burnley 1

Burnley putting in a proper meat and tatties end to this game, giving Pogba a little extra mince as he tries a few too many silky skills in the corner. I can't think of a food to continue this analogy.

04:50 PM

90 mins +2 - Man Utd 2 Burnley 1

A quick, flowing move by United almost makes it three as McTominay underlaps and finishes off a move. Good save by the goalkeeper at the near post.

A mistake by a defender gives Fernandes the opportunity to shoot one v one with the goalie but he takes a little too long and then takes the ball wide. Blocked on the line but only because of the narrow angle.

04:48 PM

89 mins - Man Utd 2 Burnley 1

Brownhill off, Vydra on. Rodriguez on, Gumundsson off. Burnley really going for it but honestly how does Dyche keep them in the Premier League with a squad like this? It's phenomenal. Wilder got all the praise in England for having one good season in the PL, while Dyche has been doing it on a budget of £10 a week for the last like eight years.

04:46 PM

88 mins - Man Utd 2 Burnley 1

You know who's good at football? Paul Pogba. He strides up the pitch then slows down all of a sudden to take a couple of teeny tiny touches to evade a tackle then move the ball on.

04:43 PM

GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL

GREENWOOOOOOODDDDDDD. Oh he's so good.

Man Utd 2 Burnley 1

Greenwood takes the ball down as it's switched out to him, faces up to a defender and drills a shot low at goal. It takes a deflection and bounces past the helpless goalkeeper.

04:42 PM

84 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

I can already hear the post-match reaction interviews.

"Yeh, Burnley are a very good team, made it difficult for us. Not the ideal result but we go again"

"Old Trafford is a tough place to come, thought the lads dug in well and got the point we deserved"

And there's no way anyone here is getting asked about the Super League is there? The press officers will set the fire alarms off at full time to prevent that.

04:40 PM

81 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

Wait, apparently there have only been seven corners all game long. Now eight. Feels like a million.

04:39 PM

80 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

This is The Game of 1000 Corners.

04:35 PM

77 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

It seems to be a problem with Tarkowski's head? The physio has his hands round his jaw so possibly that. Aaaaand he's back and fine to play. United passing the ball about. Tap tap tap, a couple of tricks, Burnley clear it, corner, corner is headed away. Repeat.

04:32 PM

74 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

Tarkowski's gone down off the ball. I'm not sure what's happened to him but he needs treatment.

04:30 PM

71 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

Pfffffffttttttt. United coming close to creating chances but Burnley defending well and slowing things right down when they get the chance.

04:27 PM

68 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

This game really needs a crowd. It feels very flat.

04:23 PM

65 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

McNeil has just battered a shot from 20 yards directly at the head of his own teammate, making him collapse like a toy that has just realised its owner is in the same room.

Rashford has then just done a brilliant flip flap to sprint past Tarkowski and win a corner. Love that he's started pulling out the tricks more this season.

04:20 PM

62 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

Rashford almost scores a super solo effort, nutmegging a defender before opening up his foot to try and bend a shot into the far corner but ends up hitting a Burnley player in the box. Man Utd have had 71 per cent of possession in this game so far.

04:19 PM

60 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

Burnley break quickly and Cavani is one of the few United players to realise the danger, running back to add bodies in defence. That's what you need from your superstars.

04:15 PM

57 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

Henderson is having an absolute nightmare here. If it was Football Manager he'd be on a 5.0 of a performance and now he's just run about 30 yards off his line to attack a high ball and been beaten to it by Lindelof. He bashes into the defender and not even the baseball cap can make him look cool.

04:13 PM

55 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

I've just realised I'd forgotten to even mention that Cavani came on earlier to replace Fred. Pogba has moved to central midfield, Rashford out to the left wing.

04:11 PM

53 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

Well this is already a lot better than the first half. Both teams have turned up!

04:09 PM

GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL

TARKOWSKI EQUALISES!

Man Utd 1 Burnley 1

I'm not quite sure how United have defended this so badly. Tarkowski just easily out muscles Maguire inside the box and jumps slightly higher. A well placed header.

04:08 PM

50 mins - Man Utd 1 Burnley 0

Burnley go straight up the other end from kick off as McNeil waves his way into winning a corner.

04:07 PM

GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL

GREENWOOD! Told you Man Utd only play in the second half.

Man Utd 1 Burnley 0

So much better. More intent, more speed, quicker passes, more drive. Rashford races up the left, skips past a challenge and plays a low ball into the box. Fernandes dummies it to free up an easy finish for Greenwood.

04:05 PM

47 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

Henderson has come out wearing a bright red baseball cap to keep the sun out of his eyes. Also because it makes him look cool.

04:04 PM

KICK OFF 2

We're back!

04:04 PM

More on that Super League

If you wanted to find out some more about the potentially enormous news that there is a European Super League coup of sorts underway, read this article on it:

03:53 PM

Analysis

Man Utd fans needn't worry. They only turn up in the second half of games these days anyway.

03:48 PM

HALF TIME

I can't tell if I like this game or not. It's been pretty dull but some things have happened... and I can't really make it more specific than that. The teams are fairly equal. If it ended 0-0 I think we'd all say that was fair.

03:46 PM

44 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

Wood has had a decent game so far. Another shot, this time on the volley, misses the target again.

03:42 PM

41 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

Gary Neville has just said Manchester United and the rest of the Premier League clubs who have signed up for this proposed breakaway European Super League "should be ashamed of themselves".

03:41 PM

40 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

GREENWOOD!!!!!! Oh man that's close. Greenwood misses the ball whilst sliding to connect to a simple tap in inside four yards. Rashford might have been offside anyway before making the pass.

03:38 PM

37 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

Rashford is played in over the top by Rashford, the goalie comes out towards him and the striker anticipates contact... but the goalie pulls out of the challenge and so Rashford just goes flying. Burnley are furious and think he's dived but Rashford is giving it back at anyone who tries to tell him off.

03:36 PM

35 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

United's centre-backs are not enjoying playing against Wood today. He goes down in the area after a hand on his back from Wan-Bissaka but that's never a penalty.

03:33 PM

32 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

Another early cross sent in from the right finds Wood breaking between Maguire and Lindelof, just as he did at the start of the game. He heads it across goal but just can't hit the target.

03:31 PM

30 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

Rashford tries to surprise attack the goalie with a powerful shot at the near post and wins a corner from it. Would have had to be special to beat him from there.

03:28 PM

27 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

Fernandes is upset that he's been tackled then taken a ball into the back from Cork. He reacts so easily to everything.

And another reaction we have to deal with is Burnley's to Wan-Bissaka's clumsy foul on Brownhill. Var confirms a yellow card is the right punishment.

03:25 PM

24 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

Lindelof tries to let a ball roll out for a goal kick but there's not enough pace on it and he ends up having to concede a corner. The cross is headed but Burnley keep the move alive.

03:23 PM

21 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

The replay of that early Chris Wood goal shows he's about an inch offside. It's so tight.

03:20 PM

18 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

United pretty much in control of this one now. Burnley trying to slow things down when they can to avoid being picked off by Rashford and co on the break.

03:16 PM

15 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

Wood tries to catch Henderson out at his near post with an early shot but the goalkeeper is ready for it. United attack quickly but Fernandes curls a shot wide of the far post. Didn't quite connect properly.

03:14 PM

13 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

Wan-Bissaka is really improving as a player. His attacking play is much better than it was a couple of a seasons ago, in terms of decision making, drive, and ability to go past players too. Just looks more confident, perhaps.

03:12 PM

10 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

Great save! Wan-Bissaka crosses into the area and Pogba is at the back post to head at goal! His header loops towards the top corner and forces the goalie into a fingertip save to deny him.

03:08 PM

7 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

United have woken up now. Wan-Bissaka tries to get a cross in from the right, Shaw does from the left, United win a corner. Burnley get everyone behind the ball but push up the pitch the second there's a chance to do so and push United backwards.

03:05 PM

4 mins - Man Utd 0 Burnley 0

This is a weird start to a game. Wood has already bullied Maguire out of a couple of challenges in the air and Burnley are going at United, who - as usual - have started slow.

03:03 PM

GOOOOAAAAL-----?

Ehhhh what? Burnley have the ball in the net within 39 seconds. An early cross is clipped in and Henderson is miles off his line... beaten easily by Wood's header. But he's just offside! What a life saver Var was there.

03:02 PM

KICK OFF

Burnley get the game started.

02:57 PM

Roy Keane vs Micah Richards

Have Sky commissioned a travel show starring these two yet? It's golden TV just waiting to happen.

Keane is on the windup about Man Utd changing the colour of banners in Old Trafford from red to black and how Richards wouldn't understand how quickly players need to react in midfield. He's even struggling to stop smiling as he grinds the gears now. Lovely stuff.

02:45 PM

Sean Dyche on how Burnley can win

"You have to play with a body language of intent, even with no fans it's a tough place to come."

02:24 PM

Team news

Marcus Rashford was deemed fit enough to start for Manchester United as Edinson Cavani dropped to the bench for Sunday afternoon's visit of Burnley in the Premier League.

Rashford, who has been managing a foot/ankle issue in recent weeks, is one of five changes to the side that beat Granada in the Europa League, with Dean Henderson replacing David De Gea in goal while defenders Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw and midfielder Scott McTominay return after suspension.

Charlie Taylor and Jack Cork have been restored to Burnley's XI, with Erik Pieters and Matej Vydra dropping out. Nick Pope's shoulder injury keeps him out so Bailey Peacock-Farrell starts in goal.

02:13 PM

Burnley starting XI

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02:12 PM

Man Utd starting XI

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01:57 PM

OGS still believes

"Bigger leads have been given away," said Solskjaer this week, presumably after bumping his head off a door frame on the way to the interview.

“Every game is important to Manchester United and we aren't going to just give points away easily.

“Can we catch City? Stranger things have happened in football. Bigger leads have been given away.

“Of course, they have been very strong and it's probably too much to hope and ask for.

“But as long as we do our job then that's the main thing. We have got to win every game in the league. We know that.

“After that we can only hope that something happens to City. We can't control what they do. We've got to play it one game at a time because we've got some difficult matches left ourselves.”

This is clearly not going to happen but it's good to hear the Man Utd manager has changed his approach to these sorts of questions. Rather than giving his players room to lose, the standards are being altered. Man Utd are supposed to win.

A player who might help with that is Paul Pogba, who has been excellent recently. He has a new documentary coming out apparently but OGS says that won't have any effect at all on how he plays.

“Paul has been in the spotlight ever since he started at Man United, so I don’t see a problem with it,” said the manager. “Paul’s main focus is to get as much out of his career as possible. He wants to be the best player he can be and he wants to win as many trophies as possible.

“He has already won the World Cup and I can see his focus now is all about winning and playing the best possible football that he can. I know his personality. He is so lively. He gets energy from making people happy. But his main focus will always be to win football games for us.”

Kick off is 4pm and you can follow live updates with us right here.