Burnley – Manchester United: Paul Pogba’s tremendous technique inspired a fortunate deflection as Manchester United broke through to beat Burnley 1-0 on Tuesday at Turf Moor.
Bruno Fernandes slipped Marcus Rashford into the right side of the box, and the Englishman’s cut back pass to the top of the 18 was side-volleyed off two Burnley players and beyond the reach of Nick Pope.
United goes atop the Premier League table with 36 points, three points clear of Liverpool ahead of a trip to Anfield on Sunday (Watch live at 11:30 am ET streaming online via Peacock Premium).
Burnley’s 16 points are five clear of the drop zone, having played one more match than 18th-place Fulham.
Three things we learned from Burnley – Manchester United
1. Burnley battens down hatches but Pogba storms through: It looked like the Clarets could pack in tight and claim a point at home but it only takes a moment and a bounce to defy the sea of bodies. Bruno Fernandes weighted a perfect pass to Marcus Rashford on the right side, and the forward looked likely to try and feed Edinson Cavani’s run into the six. He didn’t, though, instead chopping a pass to the top of the box for Pogba, whose technical marvel turned twice to defy Pope and give United the win. All that said, the lack of finish from the rest of the crew left the game in the balance for far too long (even after the goal) and Matej Vydra and James Tarkowski both could’ve equalized late.
2. Double VAR review of lets both clubs off red-card hook: There were flashpoints a-plenty here and an early one saw two reviews threatening to tilt the game in either direction. Burnley’s Robbie Brady was bailed out of a potential red card foul as VAR reviewed its severity but determined that an earlier Luke Shaw foul at the other end rendered it moot. Shaw will exhale that he only saw a yellow for a dreadful studs-up calf challenge.
3. Red Devils nearly frustrated despite chance production: Harry Maguire had the ball in the goal for United with a textbook header but the rest of his body was fouling Erik Pieters and the referee didn’t miss it. Burnley keeper Nick Pope made an outstanding, leaping, two-handed parry of an Anthony Martial rip just before halftime. Burnley really could’ve claimed another surprise result, though perhaps they should stop surprising us given Dyche’s demanding plans for points.
Man of the Match: Paul Pogba
Perhaps he’s making sure his market value stays high or maybe he’s found another comfort zone, but Pogba was at his very best and sensational throughout the win. We know how it looks when he’s not invested, and this wasn’t that. Pogba was downright artistic at times while grinding at both ends, completing 7-of-9 long passes, winning 12-of-14 duels, and claiming five clearances, two interceptions, and two tackles with a key pass and 104 touches.