A truly awful result that surely puts United out of the title race. The manager got it wrong with his starting 11 and formation but corrected it at the start of the second half. Unfortunately his players weren’t arsed.
I have been saying it for years but this year the chickens really have come home to roost. Our defenders are absolutely awful. Burnley went in at half time two goals ahead and both can be blamed on United being naive. The first goal came as a result of schoolboy defending from a free kick on the edge of the box. The cross found its way to the edge of the six yard box, the goalkeeper HAS to claim that. When he didn’t come to catch/punch the ball the players at the back need to deal with it. Our powerhouse striker once again made a cock-up at the back allowing Ashley Barnes to fire home from close range. That was 2 minutes into the game.
Burnleys second came from a spectacular free kick by Steven Defour. There was nothing the goalkeeper or the wall could do. There is a “but”! Ashley Young gave away a needless free kick with a stupid foul which led to this. Much like Rojo giving away a stupid free kick for the first goal it was United creating their own problems. These are supposed to be experienced pros. United were unlucky not to pull one back right after Defours goal when Rashford had a shot cleared off the line. Great defending at Old Trafford for once.
Jose hooked Zlatan and Rojo at half time in favour of Mkhitaryan and Lingard. Matic, who is so very clearly injured, was moved back to centre half.
The impact was immediate. Lingard (after missing a sitter from 3 yards) tucked away United’s first with an incredible Lee Sharpe style flicked finish. It only took 9 minutes for the reshuffled United to get back into the game.
After the 54th minute the race was run for United. The intensity fell off and United lost any belief. Burnley were on the ropes all United needed was another left jab to right cross combo to put them down. Burnley took too long to adjust to the tactical changes but once they did United couldn’t break them down.
The difference in atmosphere between the 55th minute and the 80th onward was startling. United got a late equaliser though Lingard again after a scramble in the box. It was deserved but even then United didn’t look likely to push for a winner.
Lukaku was terrible again today but he was far from alone. Twice he had a free header and twice he put the ball closer to the player who crossed it than the goalmouth. He cannot control a ball under pressure, I am struggling to see what he actually can do? He gets the service, that arguement is null and void.
United badly need to sign centre halves and wingers. It will be tough to get any top class players in January but something needs to be done. The title race is gone, finish second and don’t fall away. I found it easier to watch us under Van Gaal.
Marcus Rojo has to be sold in the summer. That, or raffle his contract off for charity. Out the gate.