Although it was expected to be a tough game for the visitors due to the injury problems that they had been facing in recent weeks, Manchester United comfortably won the three points against a Burnley side that currently have one of the best home records in the Premier League this season.
With the goals coming from Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney in the first half, Sean Dyche’s men failed to complete a shot on target against Jose Mourinho’s side are now only one point behind fourth-place Manchester City.
Here are the three things we learnt from Manchester United’s latest win in the league…
Martial returns with a bang
After struggling for most of the season on and off the pitch, Anthony Martial was given an important selection against Burnley and with a point to prove to manager Jose Mourinho. From the first minute of the game till he went off, the Frenchman worked tirelessly as he proved to be a constant threat within the final third and it actually felt like he was a new signing for the club.
Also, his 25th goal for Manchester United meant that the club had to pay a figure of £8.5million to AS Monaco given that there was a clause added to his contract back in 2015. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic reportedly out for quite a long time, Martial will surely receive more game time and will aim to give Mourinho many reasons to why he deserve a place in the starting line-up.
4-3-3 system proved to be effective
Since the start of his arrival, Jose Mourinho has utilised the 4-2-3-1 formation which has not actually brought the best out of Paul Pogba and this team. As it limited the most expensive player’s abilities and the side’s dominance through the middle, the football in truth has been quite predictable and it looks like no game plan has been influenced on to the squad.
However, the performance against Burnley felt much more different as Pogba in a three man midfield looked like he was a given a free role to advance forward in order to help the side’s attack progress effectively. On top of that, Marouane Fellaini was functioned as a deep defensive midfielder to stop the long balls coming into the team’s penalty box whilst Ander Herrera played as the side’s playmaker, showing his abilities on both sides of the pitch.
Red Devils did not miss Ibrahimovic
Despite top-goalscorer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, being out of the rest of the season and possibly out till 2018, the question was quickly mentioned about whether Manchester United will struggle from now till the end of the campaign. Going from today’s display at the Turf Moor, it had everything a Manchester United fan would have wanted, especially the quick counter-attacks as well as playing football at full speed.
Even though the aerial presence and leadership will be missed of the Swedish international, the Red Devils can still rely on Marouane Fellaini to be a nuisance in the opposition’s box if needed and having Wayne Rooney in and out of the starting line-up tends to help the young players in Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Ibrahimovic’s time at Old Trafford might be over, however, the Red Devil’s already have the ideal young and rising talents that can take them to the next level.