Manchester United are making sure Manchester City feel their breath on their necks as they attempt to win a third title in four years. The victory narrows the gap to eight points and all eyes are now on Wednesday when Pep Guardiola’s side are at Aston Villa.
With six games to go, the odds remain remote that City will make a Devon Loch, but at this point United have the same margin after 32 games as they did in April 2012 when the tables were turned and Roberto Mancini’s side were turned. overtook Sir Alex Ferguson’s side on the final day via goal difference, thanks to Sergio Agüero’s 94th-minute winner against Queens Park Rangers.
For this chance to keep dreaming, United must thank Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani whose goals at 83 and 93 minutes sealed a late victory. By halftime, Burnley had been as saddened as any brochure for Sean Dyche’s team could tell.
Yet while United have been more adept, the visitors have also advanced with a pace and control not always associated with them. At Chris Wood, they had a No.9 who was looking for a third goal in three visits and scared Dean Henderson with the clock not yet 20 seconds into a clownish moment for the No.1.
Matthew Lowton threw a long diagonal from his own half, and Henderson ran 10 yards from his line to strike clearly before being beaten to the ball by Wood, who took the lead. It was ruled offside so Henderson escaped but it was no way to calm his defense.
The keeper’s teammates responded by taking the ball from the other end and threatening Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s goal. Marcus Rashford dragged back and swept the ball straight at Aaron Wan-Bissaka. As Greenwood screamed for a pass, Scott McTominay ran towards the right-back delivery and saw his shot blocked.
It was good from United: it showed an intention that was evident when another ball from Wan-Bissaka found Paul Pogba leading and Peacock-Farrell flipped around his right post. With a hot sun shining on the grass, Burnley then pointed out. The wood turned inside to the left and unloaded at Henderson, who was grateful to come down cleanly low.
Rashford – excellent everywhere – was racing behind that Luke Shaw and Greenwood saw too late or not at all. One of those missed opportunities prompted the No.10 to unleash a big curse.
Burnley, supported by Arsenal’s late equalizer against Fulham, couldn’t match United in quality – a jink-and-shot Rashford from an angle illustrates this. Shaw’s next corner was led by Pogba, meaning an entertaining contest went scoreless. As the column of chance until a dazzling cut in the approach of the cut.
Rashford slapped a pass to Pogba on the right and rushed for a comeback that sidelined Burnley. His cross was aimed at Bruno Fernandes and Greenwood and found neither. But, moments later, Rashford hit a slip ball from the same flank past Peacock-Farrell only for Greenwood to miss the connection in an open net.
Solskjaer put Edinson Cavani on for Fred for the second half in a positive move that saw the striker move up to No.9, Rashford wide on the left and Pogba in midfield. He reaped a rich dividend as the players matched their manager’s positivity by tearing Burnley apart to score.
Rashford hit Lowton, rushed to the left and threw a cross at Fernandes. He made a fake and there was Greenwood to beat Peacock-Farrell. Still, the joy for United quickly turned to despair.
This comes directly from the Route One manual. Ashley Westwood curved a corner from the left and first Wan-Bissaka lost James Tarkowski, then Maguire couldn’t hold back the center-back and his header came in, to Henderson’s left. This was in addition to the catalog of strikes allowed on set pieces by Solskjaer’s men, who had to shake themselves up and seek to break Burnley again.
In Rashford, a man intended to do this alone. A touch that made the ball squirm under his boot and then slack past the banked yellow shirt defense took his breath away inside the stadium. His control let him down, however, when Maguire shot him a pass past Peacock-Farrell, the ball slipping out.
The keeper then made a sharp save to his right from a Fernandes header, but now has intervened Greenwood – scoring via a Jack Cork deflection – and Cavani’s, who rounded up a quick break, to leave City something to think about, at least. .