Manchester United close out 2021 with a convincing 3-1 victory against Burnley, with first half goals from Scott McTominay, Ben Mee (OG) and Cristiano Ronaldo, keeping Ralf Rangnick unbeaten as Interim Manager.
Rangnick: “As expected it was a very tough physical game against a team who play very physical. We also showed the qualities we have in our team. It was important today to raise the energy level.”
Rangnick: “It is all about energy for me, about passion and if we show that – especially at home – we have a good team which is not so easy to play against us. It is about sustainably delivering that kind of performance.”
Manchester United Starting XI: David De Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Edison Cavani, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Burnley Starting XI: Wayne Hennessey, Matthew Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Dwight McNeil, Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood, Johann Gudmundsson, Aaron Lennon, Chris Wood.
United started the game very strong, Ronaldo got an early chance, Shaw played a great through ball to put him one-on-one with the keeper, Ronaldo tried to place the bouncing ball and he hit it over the bar, but it was a promising start after the Newcastle game.
United soon took the lead through McTominay, Greenwood had the ball at the by-line, he cut it back to Ronaldo at the edge of the box, his mis control put it perfectly on the plate of McTomniay who fired the ball into the bottom corner for his first goal of the season.
United doubled the lead in the 27th minute with a Mee own goal, it was good play from Shaw on the left hand side to win the ball back and play Sancho in down the wing, he then cut inside and fired a low shot, it was heading wide until it deflected off Mee’s foot into the bottom corner.
Only eight minutes later United went three up through Ronaldo, Sancho laid off a shot from McTominay thirty yards out, Hennessey made a fantastic save to keep out the shot, his save then rebounded right to Ronaldo for a tap in.
Burnley quickly replied for their goal, a poor touch by Bailly let Lennon get a hold of it with space to run at Maguire, he then shot going away from goal perfectly into the bottom corner to stop United from keeping a clean sheet.
The game really slowed down in the second half, Burnley weren’t threatening United’s defence and United were happy to control the game with their two goal advantage.
United’s best effort of the second half came from McTominay, Ronaldo laid the ball back, he took another first time shot from thirty yards out, his shot was heading for the top corner, but Hennessey made another great save to keep the score down.
It was an impressive first half performance, especially from Scott McTominay, he brought an energy to United’s midfield that was felt throughout the team and helped move the team up the pitch into attacking areas many times throughout the match, making him well deserving of the man of the match award.
McTominay: “Probably first-half as a team [best display under Rangnick]. We were a bit flat second-half for whatever reason. We need to get that for a full 90 minutes which we haven’t really had this year. But we are learning and adapting.”