Manchester United took a three-point lead at the top of the English Premier League (EPL) table following a 1-0 win against Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday night, thanks to Paul Pogba’s deflected second-half strike.
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The win makes it the first time since August 2018 that Manchester United will be top of the EPL.
It is also the first time in eight years the Red Devils would be at the summit of the EPL after New Year’s Day since 2013, the year Sir Alex Ferguson won the title and left the club.
The win also ensured Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side remain the only team still unbeaten away from home in the EPL this season and are also unbeaten in their last 15 away league games on the road.
Man United have avoided defeat in their last five visits to Burnley and kept clean sheets on each occasion, and a similar outcome happened today despite the profligacy of United’s attackers, especially Edison Cavani who returned from a three-match suspension to start the match.
In a VAR-dominated match, the Red Devils had the better chances and also had a goal ruled out while Luke Shaw escaped a red card for a dangerous tackle.
The 20-time league winners’ first chance came in the 17th minute through a patiently crafted move that ended with a Bruno Fernandes’ tame first-time shot which was easily held by Nick Pope.
Anthony Martial had an overhead kick blocked and squandered the best chance of the half when clean through on goal moments later with the French striker curling just wide.
It was VAR-drama afterwards with Luke Shaw escaping a red card for a dangerous tackle while Tom Brady also got the luck of a review for scything down Cavani as the striker bore down on goal.
Harry Maguire then had his goal chalked off in the 35th minute for an alleged foul on Erik Pieters as he tried to meet Luke Shaw’s cross.
While Cavani wasted two opportunities early in the second period, United finally found the breakthrough in the 71st minute through Pogba’s deflected strike.
The rejuvenated France international midfielder met Marcus Rashford’s cross with a first-time volley that deflected off Burnley’s Michael Lowton on its way past Pope for the match-winner.
Man United saw off the remainder of the contest to earn a hard-fought win that takes them to 36 points from 17 matches, three more than Liverpool whom they face in their next game.
- Sheffield United 1-0 Newcastle United
- Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Everton
- Burnley 0-1 Manchester United