Manchester United seized a chance to go fifth with a 2-0 defeat of Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.
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The Red Devils sit one point back of fourth place Chelsea, who plays Arsenal on Sunday.
Burnley’s 24 points are six clear of the drop zone after 20 matches.
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Three things we learned
1. Wasteful Red Devils survive nonetheless: Anthony Martial should’ve had a hat trick, but will be one of the few Manchester United attackers able to live with his day considering he provided a goal. With 63 percent of the ball, United had plenty of time to produce chances but often made baffling choices in the final third.
2. Teen left back Williams impresses: Brandon Williams played left back in his first league start since Dec. 1, and was very lively going forward. He passed at 87 percent on the day. He has a goal and an assist in just under 800 first team minutes this season.
3. Rashford gets his goal (again): Rashford scrapped his way to a stoppage time marker and now has 16 goals and six assists in 26 matches after sliding the insurance tally over the line. He’s been held off the score sheet just four times in his last 11 league outings. It wasn’t an incredible night for Marcus Rashford, merely solid, but boy has it been a solid four months.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 28, 2019
Man of the Match: Daniel James — It was a day without a ton of starring performances, but the ex-Swansea City man was rampant up and down the wing and assisted Rashford’s late insurance goal.
United worked down the left with Martial, the ball finding its way to Rashford for a shot that curled just wide of the frame.
Martial then saw a ball cleared off the line by Phil Bardsley after a Daniel James shot deflected onto his path.
United took the lead in the 44th through Martial. Andreas Pereira picked the pocket of Burnley left back Taylor, drawing a pass behind the Clarets back line for Martial to poke past Pope.
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Martial had the ball in the net again but saw his 51st minute marker whistled for a foul. Pope saved a Martial shot three minutes later.
Burnley had a couple of chances and grew into the game. Unlikely striker Phil Bardsley tore into a low effort that required a superb save from David De Gea.
Martial and Lingard combined to throw away an 83rd minute chance to make it 2-0. James and Rashford teamed up for a stoppage time goal after United held firm against a late Burnley set piece surge.