Mason Greenwood furthered his case for inclusion in England’s Euro 2021 squad with a brace in a hard fought Man Utd victory over Burnley.
Man Utd were handed the earliest of scares when Chris Wood beat Dean Henderson in the air to nod home inside 20 seconds. The Red Devils stopper was handed a major reprieve with the Burnley striker deemed to have strayed marginally offside.
The hosts quickly settled and began to find joy in the wide areas. Aaron Wan-Bissaka picked out Paul Pogba with an accurate cross. The Frenchman’s header looped goalwards but Bailey Peacock-Farrell adjusted his feet quickly to palm to safety.
Bruno Fernandes’ influence on the contest was growing, though his first major opportunity left a lot to be desired. Fed on the edge of Burnley’s area, the playmaker curled an effort a yard wide with his reaction suggesting he should’ve done far better.
It was Rashford’s turn next to come close after Matt Lowton’s passive defending allowed the frontman to drift into a dangerous position. His shot was powerfully struck but Peacock-Farrell was equal to the task.
Burnley’s threat revolved around the in-form Wood, but clear sights of goal were few and far between.
An accurate cross did manage to pick out the striker, but from the edge of the area, the task proved too tall to guide a header beyond Henderson.
On the stroke of half-time Man Utd were dealt a scare when Wood collided with Henderson while attempting to meet a cross.
With the Man Utd gloves hotly contested, Henderson was in no mood to relinquish his chance and dusted himself off as the sides went in goalless at the break.
Burnley’s resistance was swiftly broken once the second half resumed with a flowing attack down the left carving the Clarets open.
Luke Shaw sent Marcus Rashford scampering away down the left before firing a dangerous low ball into the box. Fernandes dummied to pass the baton to Mason Greenwood who showed great composure to sweep into the far corner.
The lead evaporated almost as quickly as it materialised when James Tarkowski bullied Harry Maguire at a corner to head home from close range.
Chances were now coming thick and fast at both ends, with the only thing stopping a potential Burnley go-ahead goal their own players.
Dwight McNeil blasted a strike goalbound but the unfortunate Josh Brownhill was positioned in the firing line and blocked his compatriot’s shot with his face.
Rashford looked to be getting back towards his best and continued to cause havoc for the Burnley backline with quick feet and direct dribbling.
Fernandes forced a smart stop from Peacock-Farrell with a near-post header. With 20 minutes remaining, a winning goal seemed an inevitability.
The potential matchwinner would come in the 84th minute when the deadly Greenwood again worked his magic.
The 19-year-old jinked inside before firing a low shot that deflected beyond Peacock-Farrell inside the near post.
Burnley threw bodies forward in the latter stages, but the fourth goal came at the other end with Edinson Cavani rounding off a flowing counter attack as Man Utd secured a 3-1 victory.
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