Mason Greenwood stole the show as Manchester United moved to within eight points of the Premier League summit with a 3-1 win over struggling Burnley at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils made it five league victories in a row for the first time since January 2019 but it still remains highly unlikely they can provide a realistic late challenge to leaders Manchester City with just six games to play.
It was actually the visitors who enjoyed a promising opening to the contest and they almost got off to a dream start inside 20 seconds, but Chris Wood’s effort after out-jumping Dean Henderson was ruled out for offside.
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United had their moments in a feisty, hard-fought first period with Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Greenwood all going close before they made the breakthrough three minutes after the restart. Greenwood provided the composed finish after Bruno Fernandes had brilliantly dummied Rashford’s cross.
The lead didn’t last long, however, as Burnley levelled two minutes later when James Tarkowski headed home a left-wing corner.
United continued to probe as the clock ticked down and they claimed the points six minutes from the end when Greenwood’s low shot was deflected in by Jack Cork before substitute Edinson Cavani made doubly sure in injury time.
Next up, United visit Leeds on Sunday while Burnley, who remain six points clear of Fulham in 17th spot, travel to Wolves.
Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT - United win but all talk will be about the Super League
The post-match discussion will no doubt centre around the rumoured breakaway European Super League and the six English clubs said to be involved, including Manchester United. That story looks set to run and set the agenda for the days ahead, but it's a shame the focus won't be on United continuing their fine form. They have lost just once in 26 top-flight matches and have a Europa League semi-final looming on their horizon. Once again, they took a while to get going but another improved second-half proved too good for Burnley.
The Clarets have managed just two wins in their last 13 league matches and are still looking over their shoulder despite a six-point cushion over Fulham. It would take a real turnaround for them to end up slipping through the trap door now, but Sean Dyche won’t be happy until they pick up the points required to ensure another year of safety.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Mason Greenwood (Man Utd)
Had some forgettable moments in the first-half but came up with two vital contributions after the interval to continue his improving form and once again showcase his natural ability for goal-getting.
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Manchester United: Henderson 6, Wan-Bissaka 7, Lindelof 6, Maguire 6, Shaw 7, Fred 6, McTominay 8, Pogba 7, Fernandes 7, Greenwood 8, Rashford 8. Subs: Cavani 7, Van de Beek n/a.
Burnley: Peacock-Farrell 7, Lowton 7, Tarkowski 7, Mee 7, Taylor 7, Cork 6, Westwood 7, Brownhill 6, Gudmundsson 6, McNeil 6, Wood 7. Subs: Rodriguez n/a, Vydra n/a.
1’ – BURNLEY CHANCE! Wow! Burnley have the ball in the net within seconds as Wood beats Henderson to a ball from the right and heads home. The forward was offside though and it won't count. That’s a let off for Henderson.
11’ – MAN UNITED CHANCE! Pogba loops a header from Wan-Bissaka's cross towards the top corner that Peacock-Farrell flicks around the post.
39’ – MAN UNITED CHANCE! Greenwood can't quite time his slide in the six-yard box to convert Rashford's superb volleyed cross from the right.
48’ - GOAL! Man United 1-0 Burnley. Greenwood coolly guides the ball into the far corner after Fernandes brilliantly dummied Rashford's low cross from the left.
50’ - GOAL! Man United 1-1 Burnley. What a response! Tarkowski out-jumps Maguire to power a header home from a left-wing corner.
84’ - GOAL! Man United 2-1 Burnley. Greenwood cuts in from the right and sees his low shot deflect in off Jack Cork.
90’ - GOAL! Man United 3-1 Burnley. It's three and all over! United break at pace. Fernandes feeds Van de Beek who puts it on a plate for Cavani to tap home inside the six-yard box.
- Tarkowski's equaliser was the 1000th goal Manchester United have conceded in the Premier League, and came just 114 seconds after the Red Devils had opened the scoring.
- Since his maiden Premier League campaign in 2012-13, Ashley Westwood has assisted 16 Premier League goals from set plays, the fourth-most over this period behind Christian Eriksen (24), Chris Brunt (24) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (20).
- Cavani has now scored four goals as a substitute in the Premier League this season, with only Chicharito (5 in 10-11) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (5 in 98-99) netting more in a single season for the Red Devils.
- Greenwood is now the joint-top scoring teenager in Premier League history for Manchester United (15, level with Wayne Rooney).
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