On paper Saturday’s result at Old Trafford looks like something from the David Moyes/Louis van Gaal United era. A newly promoted side with a squad that cost a small fraction of United’s comes to the Theatre of Dreams and leaves with a point, but that didn’t tell the whole story of the nil-nil draw.
United battered the visitors in one of the most one-sided games witnessed at Old Trafford in recent memory, the Reds having a staggering 37 shots – 11 on target- yet failing to get past United graduate Tom Heaton who was inspired in goal for the visitors.
The Reds cause wasn’t helped by referee Mark Clattenburg who sent off Ander Herrera for two ‘bookable’ offences, the second of which was clearly an unfortunate slip, it wasn’t just the midfielder who saw red, Jose Mourinho was also sent off for remonstrating with the referee at half time after he failed to award what looked like a penalty to United in the first half.
Even when down to ten men United continued to bombard the visitors goal but it wasn’t to be thanks to the ability of Tom Heaton and the profligacy of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who should have bagged at least a brace.
Here’s how the United side fared:
David De Gea- Had almost nothing to do but when rarely called into action was his usual reliable self. 7
Matteo Darmian- Judging from this performance, maybe the Italian international’s United career isn’t over. Could have had a penalty and did an admirable job of getting forward. 7
Daley Blind- Much better than the previous week’s horror show at Stamford Bridge, it may be time to admit the Dutch international is a centre back and nothing else, commanded the back four with ease. 7
Marcos Rojo- Another player who seems to be much better in central defence than at left back – played well. 7
Luke Shaw- Made a match saving challenge on Andre Gray and was always willing to get forward, not quite at his pre-injury levels yet but getting there. 7
Ander Herrera- Yes he was red carded but he’d been running the midfield prior to that and it was an extremely harsh second yellow. 4
Paul Pogba- Poor first half, much better second one, but he needs to start finding some consistency and stop wasting possession. 6
Juan Mata- Easily the best player on the pitch, caused Burnley constant problems making it all the more baffling that Mourinho decided to take him off. 8
Jesse Lingard- Not the best of game for the Warrington-born youngster who needs to start showing more composure when on the ball. 5
Marcus Rashford- Not his best day in a Red shirt but caused Burnley a lot of problems and grew into the game, which made his substitution all the more confusing. 6
Zlatan Ibrahimovic- What has happened to Zlatan? The former PSG striker was something of a revelation when he arrived at Old Trafford but is now teetering on disaster, as his wastefulness knows no bounds. Another day to forget. 5
Marouane Fellaini – for Mata- gave away the ball and free kicks, completely counter-productive substitution when United were down to ten men. 4
Wayne Rooney – for Lingard- wasteful and missed a good chance to give United the win. 4
Memphis for Rashford- too late to make a difference N/A.
Referee- Mark Clattenburg- Quite possibly the worst performance by a referee since Cüneyt Çakır visited Old Trafford. United should have had a penalty- maybe even two- and Herrera shouldn’t have been sent off. 1
Jose Mourinho – Started the right team but his substitutions were a shambles. 3