Manchester United ended their losing run with a 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday evening, picking up a much needed three points thanks to a brilliant strike from captain Bruno Fernandes.
It was far from a convincing win for Erik ten Hag’s side, but a brief reprieve from what has been a very worrying start to the season. The squad was shuffled again due to injury and fitness, but in the end they overcame a bit of a dysfunctional setup to go home with the win.
The poor video quality and a 30 second audio delay on the stream made the match almost as difficult to watch as the football. United had an early look at goal in the opening minutes, but struggled for a decent stretch to get out with the ball and attack Burnley. The Claret and Blue side meanwhile saw a chance hit the upright, nearly capitalizing on their early possession against a very out of form United.
Jonny Evans somewhat fittingly opened the scoring in the match from a corner, and the goal was also fittingly ruled out by VAR due to Rasmus Hojlund’s interference in the play from an offside position.
Burnley kept up the pressure and United continued to struggle finding a way through the midfield. Hannibal was typically energetic but the Casemiro and Scott McTominay pivot offered very little. Thankfully, around the 37 minute mark, the feed cut out entirely.
Best thing to happen in this match pic.twitter.com/sBw0TBF6jK— Pauly Kwestel (@pkwestel) September 23, 2023
Unfortunately coverage resumed a few minutes later, but the audio was finally in sync with what was happening on screen after only forty minutes or so.
It was just in time for Bruno Fernandes to save us from the droll with a goal. He ran onto the end of a lofted through ball from Jonny Evans, hitting it first time into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0 just before the break, for real this time.
Another chance from another Evans ball over the top saw Bruno set up Hojlund, but the Portuguese Magnifico was offside and the shot was off target anyway.
The second half began with a bit of back and forth play, and United were clearly trying to set up more chances for their new center forward. Hojlund was inches away from connecting with a nice low, driven cross from Diogo Dalot on the right, and a few minutes later was beaten to a ball by James Trafford after Rashford did well to head a cross down toward his strike partner.
However United once again lacked a killing move to put the game away, and their habit of fading late in games unfortunately continued into the final minutes. Burnley didn’t exactly create much for themselves as the match went on, but the longer things went without a knockout blow the more emboldened they and the crowd felt about their chances of taking something from the match.
The chance to seal things came on the counter, when Hannibal sent a gorgeous pass forward with the outside of his boot for Rashford to run onto, but the England forward couldn’t get the space to put a shot on target. Hannibal had another nice performance on the day, but unfortunately wasn’t matched by his midfield counterparts. (It would be nice to see how he does with more structure around him)
United will look to continue their recovery, both on and off the pitch, in midweek with an EFL Cup meeting with Crystal Palace, followed by another matchup with Crystal Palace in the Premier League at the weekend.