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Man Utd & Mourinho emphatically answer critics with Lukaku-led victory over Burnley – football news

After back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Tottenham, there were plenty of debates as to what Manchester United needed. A new manager? A new direction within the boardroom? A renewed vigour from their players?

One thing that couldn’t be questioned was their need to bounce back with a win at Burnley on Sunday, and boy did Jose Mourinho’s side deliver.

The action-packed 2-0 victory at Turf Moor was a showcase of many of the best traits of Manchester United. They took the game to their opponents, got themselves into a winning position and threatened to score plenty more than their final tally. And even after going down to 10 men after Marcus Rashford’s second-half red card they continued to make chances while also showing the guts necessary to deal with Burnley’s desperate attacks at the other end.

It couldn’t have been scripted better by Mourinho no matter how hard he tried. The manager had got himself worked up in the week, referring time and again to his previous honours in a bit to build a siege mentality between himself and the Manchester United supporters.

There was even a pre-match plane protest by a group of United fans, with the words ‘Ed Woodward: A specialist in failure!’ being displayed in the skies as the debate over the executive vice-chair’s relationship with the manager intensifies.

But it was the performance on the pitch that was always going to speak loudest, and here United provided the perfect answer to the critics.

They started with purpose and desire, even if their play didn’t always have the same slick feel about it which had been evident in the first half at Old Trafford on Monday night. Jesse Lingard had a trio of opportunities early on, while Alexis Sanchez regularly got into good crossing positions and both Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw were getting forward at will.

United eventually got the goal they had threatened when Sanchez waited and waited on the ball before delivering an inch-perfect cross for Romelu Lukaku to head home. It was a much-needed goal for a striker whose first-half miss against Spurs had been pinpointed by many as a key moment in the embarrassing defeat.

Manchester United celebrate

He would have another before half-time, sweeping home from inside the six-yard box after Jesse Lingard’s initial shot had been partially blocked. The 2-0 lead was a more than fair reflection on proceedings as a jaded Burnley barely laid a glove on United.

The visitors were equally dominant to begin the second half and should have had a third when substitute Marcus Rashford was fouled by Aaron Lennon in the Burnley area. But Paul Pogba’s penalty was saved by Joe Hart and within two minutes Rashford’s afternoon would be at an end.

The England attacker responded to Phil Bardsley’s niggle in a challenge on the bye-line by planted his head on the ex-United defender. After showing Bardsley a yellow card, Jonathan Moss produced a red for Rashford just 10 minutes after he had replaced Sanchez.

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Even down to 10 men United were on top. Lukaku was somehow being denied a hat-trick by Ben Mee and Pogba dragged a shot just across goal, underlining even further how superior Mourinho’s side were.

As the final whistle approached the chant of “Mourinho’s red and white army” could be heard long and loud from the away end, just as it had in the Stretford End on Monday. It carried much cheerier tones this time around though, and nobody will be more relieved than the manager himself.

His side did the business for him in a game he could ill-afford to lose.

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Burnley vs Manchester United: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview – football news

Two loss out of three opening fixtures is not the way in which Jose Mourinho envisioned his third season at Old Trafford to go, and Manchester United could be in danger of losing a spectacular third game in a row if they fail to recover against Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday.

The Red Devils will need to regain confidence following an abysmal 3-0 home loss to Tottenham and a 3-2 loss to Brighton to leave them languishing in 13th place in the table.

Burnley will also have added incentive to win the fixture as they are also off the backs of two successive losses – to Watford and newly promoted Fulham.

Game Burnley vs Manchester United
Date Sunday, September 2
Time 4pm BST / 11am EST

TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch

In the United States (US), the game will be shown on NBC Sports and streamed online via the NBC Sports Live app.

The game will not be shown in the United Kingdom (UK).

US TV channel Online stream
NBC Sports NBC Sports Live
UK TV channel Online stream

Squads & Team News

Position Burnley players
Goalkeepers Hart, Etheridge, Smithies
Defenders Tarkowski, Lowton, Mee, Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Morrison, Bennett, Peltier, Cunningham
Midfielders Lennon, Cork, Taylor, Ralls, Paterson, Murphy, Arter, Camarasa,
Forwards Hendrick, Wood, Zohore, Ward, Madine

The Clarets will be without Steven Defour, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and goalkeeper Nick Pope due to injury.

Both Anders Lindegaard and Robbie Brady are also sidelined.

Potential Burnley XI: Hart, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward, Lennon, Cork, Westwood, Taylor, Hendrick, Wood.

Position Man United players
Goalkeepers De Gea, Grant, Kovar, Romero
Defenders Lindelof, Bailly, Jones, Smalling, Rojo, Young, Dalot, Shaw, Valencia, Darmian
Midfielders Pogba, Mata, Lingard, Andreas, Fred, Herrera, Fellaini, Matic, McTominay, Gomes, Hamilton
Forwards Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Sanchez, Chong, Bohui

The quarter of Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez were all in the XI included in the loss to Tottenham but Mourinho would want to rotate his squad to avoid three consecutive defeats.

Defender Phil Jones was was forced off the pitch on Monday and is a doubt for the clash against Burnley, which could provide a chance for Eric Bailly to be given a starting berth.

Marcos Rojo, Diogo Dalot and Sergio Romero remain out for United.

Potential Man United XI: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Shaw, Matic, Pogba, Fred, Lingard, Lukaku, Sanchez.

Betting & Match Odds

Manchester United are priced at odds of winning 7/10 according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 11/4. A win for Burnley is up for 5/1.

Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.

Match Preview

Alexis Sanchez Manchester United 2018-19

Mourinho’s terrible week started at the 3-0 home loss to Tottenham (which marked his worst ever home defeat) and has seemed to be on a downward spiral throughout the opening weeks of the season.

Following his clashes with the Manchester United board due to their inability to supply him with the players he wanted to sign in the summer, the Portuguese manager was subjected to a shock loss away to Brighton and then a devastating defeat at Old Trafford to Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

The press conference that ensued seemed to perfectly encapsulate the mayhem in which he has been embroiled with at Man United this season – stating that he demands ‘respect’ due to having won three Premier League titles despite losing by a scoreline of 3-0 at home.

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In his most recent press conference, Mourinho cited philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in his latest bizarre rant.

The Red Devils will need to bounce back fast and hard if they want to continue to remain in the race to challenge for the title, as their rivals Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea already occupy the top half of the table.

Sean Dyche’s Burnley will be disappointed following their exit from the Europa League after failing to beat Olympiakos, and are yet to register a win this season in the Premier League after drawing to Southampton on opening day.

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Mourinho: Alexis to use international break to help lift Man Utd – football news

Jose Mourinho says Alexis Sanchez will use the upcoming international break to help lift Manchester United’s season.

The Red Devils have made a stuttering start to the new Premier League season, losing back-to-back games against Brighton and Tottenham.

Alexis has also endured early-season struggles, having missed United’s 3-2 defeat against Brighton through injury.

However, the forward came off the bench against Tottenham and will not play any part in Chile’s double-header against Japan and South Korea, in a major boost to United.

And Mourinho says the 29-year-old is planning to use the two-week international break to improve his fitness ahead of a busy schedule for United.

Mourinho told the club’s official website: “He’s [Alexis] not going to the national team for these two friendlies in Japan and South Korea, which is good news for us because after that we play Watford and then immediately play [in the] Champions League [away at Young Boys].

“He’s committed, he’s focused, he works hard. I believe that he will improve.

“I didn’t ask [Alexis], I never ask players not to go [on international duty] and I never contact national teams for players not to go.

“It’s a personal thing between him and the national manager.

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“At the same time, coming [back] from injury, he feels that for him it’s a much-needed two weeks in spite of his conditions to play against Burnley.

“He feels that, after that [the game at Turf Moor], he needs two weeks to put himself in good shape and, because of the friendly matches in Asia, they made the decision for his good and, in consequence our good, for him not to go.”

United take on Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday as Mourinho’s men look to answer recent criticism with a positive result at Turf Moor.

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Video: Premier League: 5 things you didn’t know – football news

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