Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal and an assist, perhaps as easy as they’ve come in his illustrious career, as Manchester United beat Burnley 3-1 at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Scott McTominay scored to join a Ben Mee own goal on the United half of the score sheet, and Aaron Lennon scored Burnley’s lone goal in a decidedly one-sided affair.
Burnley’s 11 points leave them two points back of Watford, who sits 17th on the table. United has 31 points after then win, level with fifth-place West Ham. Both West Ham and Man United have played 18 games.
United hosts Wolves on Monday, while Burnley goes to Leeds on Sunday.
Manchester United vs Burnley final score, stats
Manchester United 3-1 Burnley
Scorers: McTominay 8′, Mee 27′ (o.g.), Ronaldo 35′, Lennon 38′
Shots: Manchester United 18-10 Burnley
Shots on goal: Manchester United 6-3 Burnley
Possession: Manchester United 58-42 Burnley
Three things we learned from Manchester United vs Burnley
1. This is Manchester United: With Ralf Rangnick at the reins, the days of United losing to inferior teams aren’t gone but they are no longer going to be a regular thing. Remember that this team has world class players at goalkeeper, center back, attacking mid, and several forward positions. That’s a lot to ask of the Burnleys of the world and why United will stay in the top four discussion right down to the wire. Even if things aren’t back to standards at Old Trafford, the new standard is reasonable given their history and standing in the Premier League.
2. Not betting against Burnley is merely based on history: Burnley without Maxwel Cornet is like Newcastle without Allan Saint-Maximin, and that’s a big problem. At this point, the only reason we’re not betting against the Clarets to go down is because Sean Dyche is a bad-@$$ and he’s proven us wrong so many times before. Will their best players be tempted to leave in January? And if they don’t, are there three worse teams in the league? Our guesses are yes and yes.
3. Seeing better days: Opta tells us that Manchester United has taken 14 points from their last six games (W4 D2 under Michael Carrick and Ralf Rangnick), 10 more than they managed in their final six matches for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (W1 D1 L4). While it’s no surprise to see United’s improvement come in dramatic form, especially given the fixture list, the top-four battle is going to be a treat with big improvement at Spurs, United, and Arsenal this season.
Man of the Match: Scott McTominay:
McTominay stars as Ronaldo gets rare assist
Relatively-speaking, Ronaldo’s helper stats are down in recent seasons so it’s kinda humorous that his third assist of this Premier League season is courtesy of a heavy first touch.
Ronaldo now has 14 goals and three assists in 20 appearances across all competitions and — while we know what you’re thinking right now — only two have come from the spot.
Both the goal and the assist were as easy as you like and we’re willing to bet they’ve rarely come easier.
No, not Neil Lennon. Not John Lennon. It’s Aaron Lennon!
The 34-year-old scored his first goal since he had a goal and an assist for Burnley at home to Bournemouth on Jan. 22, 2018.
Before that, his last goal was in the League Cup or Everton in 2016.
And it’s a quality goal for the former Tottenham star.