FA Cup: Riyad Mahrez puts AFCON disappointment behind him with 5-star performance against FulhamFootball
Manchester United’s top four hopes dented after frustrating 1-1 draw vs Burnley at Turf Moor
- Jay Rodriguez’s goal cancelled out Paul Pogba’s opener in the first half as Manchester United dropped more points
- United were looking to tighten their grip on the top four and were on course to do so when the Frenchman gave them the lead
- But Rodriguez’s clinical strike in the second half was enough for the bottom-placed club to claw a point against Ralf Rangnick’s side
Manchester United’s hopes for a top-four finish took a stumble as they were frustrated to a 1-1 draw by bottom-side Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday, February 8.
Paul Pogba’s first-half goal was cancelled out by Jay Rodriguez’s clever finish past David De Gea two minutes after halftime.
It proved to be the same story for the Red Devils, who once again paid the price for their wastefulness in front of goal.
A tale of two halves for Manchester United
There were some notable changes in the starting XI for Manchester United; some forced, while some were purely tactical.
Cristiano Ronaldo started the game on the bench, with Rangnick starting Edinson Cavani, who was back in the side following an extended break.
The squad tweak seemed to work perfectly for United, as they were excellent in the first half, dominating possession and creating solid chances.
In the 18th minute, Pogba put his side into the lead with a classy finish from a Luke Shaw cutback and the goal was no more than what United deserved if the overall balance of play was anything to go by.
It was a goal that calmed the nerves of the visiting fans, who had seen a Raphael Varane header ruled out as Harry Maguire was adjudged to be offside when Bruno Fernandes brought in a free kick.
Like in the Middlesbrough game days earlier, United were made to pay for their missed opportunities against Burnley, which were also due to the brilliance of goalkeeper Nick Pope.
FA Cup: Antonio Conte's Tottenham make statement with comprehensive 3-1 win over BrightonFootball
Pope was in inspired form on Tuesday as he brilliantly kept out efforts from Marcus Rashford, Cavani and Varane.
For Burnley, they took full advantage of their brief spell on the ascendancy to grab a goal just as United were settling into the second half.
"Everyone will be happy with a top-four finish"
Prior to the match, Ralf Rangnick admitted that with the current state of the club, “everyone” would be happy if Manchester United only managed a top four finish.
The Red Devils are having another extremely average season, despite the sensational acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer.
Having been knocked out by Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, the Red Devils now have slim chance for silverware, with the Champions League being their only shot at a trophy this campaign.