Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Wasteful Manchester United slip out of top four after draw at Burnley

Premier League
Referee Mike Dean reacts during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on February 8, 2022 in Burnley, United Kingdom.

BURNLEY, February 9: A wasteful Manchester United dropped out of the Premier League’s top four after they were held to a 1-1 draw at bottom side Burnley on Tuesday.
United dominated right from the off and had an early effort ruled out by VAR for offside before Paul Pogba, on his first league start since mid-October, hammered home his first goal of the season to give the visitors a deserved lead.
Ralf Rangnick’s side should have added to their advantage before the break but Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope kept them at bay with several fine saves, while the hosts did not have a single effort at goal in the opening period.
United were made to pay for their profligacy as, out of nowhere, Burnley levelled through Jay Rodriguez two minutes into the second half from their first meaningful attack of the game.
The visitors lost all of their first-half rhythm after that setback and could not find a winner despite plenty of late pressure, as they dropped to fifth in the standings on 39 points from 23 games, one behind West Ham United in fourth.
With Newcastle United beating Everton on Tuesday, Burnley fell even further behind in the race to beat the drop and now trail Eddie Howe’s side in 17th by four points, having played two games fewer.
“We had control,” United captain Harry Maguire told BT Sport. “We have got to win the game with the amount of chances we created. We had to get that second goal. Two points dropped.
“We wanted to dominate the game but for sure when you come to Burnley away you are not going to dominate for 90 minutes. We had to see it out better.”
Without veteran top goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo, who started on the bench, United’s interchangeable front three were too hot to handle for Burnley in the first half.
French defender Raphael Varane thought he had scored his first goal for United 12 minutes in, only for his header to be ruled out for offside against Maguire, following a lengthy VAR review.
The away side did take the lead through Pogba, an emphatic finish from the edge of the box after good work from Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw, with Burnley struggling to cope.
The chances kept coming for United. They had another goal ruled out, this time for a foul by Rashford, before Edinson Cavani should have scored from a close range header, only for Pope to make a stunning stop.
Rashford then forced Pope into another excellent save as United pressed, but they could not find a second before the break, finishing the first half having had 12 attempts at goal.
Rodriguez picked an opportune moment to score his first league goal of the season, before January signing Wout Weghorst almost turned the match completely on its head from distance – his volley brilliantly saved by David de Gea in the United goal.
Varane’s back-heeled effort was as close as United came to a winner as they stretched their unbeaten away league run to six – only leaders Manchester City are on a longer unbeaten streak on the road – but the draw will feel like a defeat given the balance of play.
“They made it difficult for us and I think for us to get a point shows the great character of the lads,” Rodriguez said.
“They had one disallowed and you are thinking it might be one those nights where you get your chance and take it. We took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half.”
Newcastle United out of bottom three with vital win over Everton
Newcastle United earned a huge win in their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League as they came from a goal down to beat Everton 3-1 and move out of the bottom three on Tuesday.
On what could prove a pivotal night for Newcastle, they produced one of their best displays of the season with goals by Ryan Fraser and Kieran Trippier sealing victory after the break.
A rocking St James’ Park crowd celebrated as though survival was assured at the final whistle, and although there is a long way to go before they can breathe easy Newcastle are finally moving in the right direction after a torrid season so far.
Their third victory of the season lifted them above Norwich City into 17th place with 18 points from 22 games, although Norwich host Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
“It shows massive character from the team. We know the position we are in. We got a great three points but still loads of games to go and we are taking one at a time,” Trippier said.
“To come from behind shows character and bodes well for the rest of the season.”
It had looked like being a familiar story for Newcastle when Jamaal Lascelles unluckily scored an own goal in the 36th minute after Mason Holgate’s shot had been blocked on the line but the rebound hit the Newcastle skipper and went in.
Bizarrely, less than two minutes later Holgate scored an own goal at the other end after Lascelles’s powerful header came back off the crossbar and off the leg of the Everton defender.
It lit the touchpaper for Newcastle and they ran out worthy winners as Everton’s new manager Frank Lampard suffered defeat in his first Premier League game in charge.
Had Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey been rightly sent off for an ugly two-footed tackle on Anthony Gordon shortly before Everton took the lead things might have been different.
But apart from that Lampard’s side could have few complaints and are now only three points clear of the relegation zone after a fourth consecutive league defeat.
Once again it was Allan Saint-Maximin who was Newcastle’s inspiration as he tormented Everton.
It was his surging run to the byline and cross that saw Fraser bundle the ball home in the 56th minute.
After that Everton, who gave debuts to Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek as substitutes, offered little.
Chris Wood thought he had sealed it for Newcastle when he tapped in a rebound after Saint-Maximin’s shot was saved by Jordan Pickford, before the linesman’s flag curtailed his celebrations.
But with 10 minutes remaining Newcastle did secure the win as Trippier curled a right-footed free kick inside the near post with Pickford nowhere. (Agencies)