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Manchester United 2 Burnley 2 | Talking Points

Victor Lindelof scored an injury-time equaliser as Manchester United came back from 2-0 down to draw at home to Burnley for the second season in a row.

The result marked the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s winning start as manager, and they can count themselves fortunate to have claimed a point after a brilliant defensive display from Burnley.

Marcus Rashford missed a glorious first-half chance and was made to pay as Ashley Barnes smashed the Clarets in front just after the break, punishing a mistake by Andreas Pereira.

Romelu Lukaku was denied by one of a series of brilliant saves by Tom Heaton before Chris Wood powered a header home to ruin the Old Trafford mood further.

United’s pressure told however, with Paul Pogba converting a late penalty after Jesse Lingard was fouled, before Lindelof was in the right place at the right time to save his team.

Both sides freshened their team sheets from their weekend forays in the FA Cup, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer making five changes and Sean Dyche six.

Manchester United handed a first Premier League start under the new regime to Romelu Lukaku, who started in attack alongside in-form Marcus Rashford.

David De Gea returned in goal, while Phil Jones came into the centre of defence in place of Eric Bailly. Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard also made way, with Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira providing the width in a four-man midfield.

For their second trip to Manchester in the space of four days, Sean Dyche named a full-strength lineup. Tom Heaton returned in goal in place of Nick Pope, while Ben Mee, Phil Bardsley and Stephen Ward came in to form a back five alongside James Tarkowski and Charlie Taylor.

Further up the pitch, Jack Cork, Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood started in place of Steven Defour, Robbie Brady and Matej Vydra.

Solskjaer’s winning start comes to an abrupt end

After winning his first eight games in charge of the Red Devils, a Tuesday night Premier League clash against Burnley seemed very unlikely to be a banana skin for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

Burnley were unfortunate to draw in this fixture last season after Jesse Lingard’s injury-time equaliser, and deja vu struck once again as Victor Lindelof grabbed another equaliser in added time.

Having shown they have the ability to win playing in different styles over Spurs and Arsenal in recent weeks, United were on top today but struggled to break down an almost impervious Burnley defence.

This result signalled a huge setback in the Red Devils quest for Champions League qualification but may feel like a victory having been 2-0 down with five minutes to play.

If Chelsea win on Wednesday against Bournemouth, United will be five points adrift of the top four.

Lukaku and Rashford experiment fails

Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival in December, Marcus Rashford has been in prolific form for the Red Devils. Romelu Lukaku has been reduced largely to substitute appearances since then, but the two started in attack against Burnley for the first time under Solskjaer.

Despite starting brightly and going close on several occasions, the clinical edge that had typified their recent resurgence escaped them.

Rashford missed a first-half sitter, while Tom Heaton incredibly clawed away a goalbound header from Lukaku at 1-0.

After Pogba bagged his ninth goal of the season to give the Red Devils hope, Victor Lindelof proved the unlikely saviour to spare Rashford and Lukaku’s blushes.

Burnley back to last season’s best

After a dreadful start to the season having suffered a Europa League hangover, Burnley have emphatically turned a corner in recent weeks.

This performance bore a resemblance to many of their best displays as they finished 7th last season, with Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood clinical and Ben Mee and James Tarkowski imperious until the closing stages.

The Clarets are still in danger of relegation and will rue this cruel result, but if they can turn in more displays of this calibre they will surely be safe.

Tom Heaton a mountain in goal

After missing the World Cup and the start of this campaign through injury, Tom Heaton has fully cemented his position as Burnley’s number one with a series of momentous performances in the Burnley goal.

Having been peppered throughout the game, facing nine shots on target, Heaton’s Man of the Match display looked to have sealed the points for Burnley.

Cruelly, after brilliantly saving a goalbound header from Alexis Sanchez, Victor Lindelof spoiled Heaton and Burnley’s party.

United show the spirit of Fergie Time

The days of Sheringham, Solskjaer and Owen (to name but a few) are long gone, but this incredible late turnaround showed that the fighting spirit is well and truly back at Old Trafford.

At 2-0 down with minutes to play, it seemed United’s pressure would fail to tell and Burnley would dramatically end the Red Devils’ resurgent run.

But they refused to give up and were rewarded when first Paul Pogba and the Victor Lindelof beat Tom Heaton.

The result, though not what fans would have hoped for at the start of the game, must be viewed positively. It continues the momentum that United need heading into a make or break series of games in February and March.

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Sam Hanys

Ipswich Town fan and Loughborough University student.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Liverpool 29 27 1 1 82
2 Manchester City 28 18 3 7 57
3 Leicester City 29 16 5 8 53
4 Chelsea 29 14 6 9 48
5 Manchester United 29 12 9 8 45
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 10 13 6 43
7 Sheffield United 28 11 10 7 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur 29 11 8 10 41
9 Arsenal 28 9 13 6 40
10 Burnley 29 11 6 12 39
11 Crystal Palace 29 10 9 10 39
12 Everton 29 10 7 12 37
13 Newcastle United 29 9 8 12 35
14 Southampton 29 10 4 15 34
15 Brighton & Hov… 29 6 11 12 29
16 West Ham United 29 7 6 16 27
17 Watford 29 6 9 14 27
18 AFC Bournemouth 29 7 6 16 27
19 Aston Villa 28 7 4 17 25
20 Norwich City 29 5 6 18 21

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