·23 September 2023
·23 September 2023
You would be stretching it to say it was a hard fought win over Burnley because Manchester United took total control of the game after taking the lead just before the interval.
Burnley hardly threatened after the break because United defended in a disciplined manner. Erik ten Hag’s side deserve credit for that as they showed great team spirit as they worked as a unit to block out any danger from Burnley.
Vincent Kompany’s men did have chances to score and Andre Onana was made to work for his clean sheet at Turf Moor.
With both full-backs booked, United did well to prevent Burnley from getting at them with Jonny Evans leading by example.
Speaking to BBC Sport after the match, Ten Hag was quick to hail the spirit shown by United in what he considered a must-win game after a slow start to the season.
“It was clear, of course, we needed that win. We had a tough run of games against good opponents. It wasn’t necessary to lose those games. Today was a must-win.
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“The team spirit and how they fight together [was impressive]. It was a team attacking with 11 and defending with 11. They supported each other.
“A lot has been against us, like injuries and decisions. Like tonight, Murphy’s Law where everything goes against us. You have to fight and find a turning point. It shows the dressing room is together. They fight together.
“In stages of all of the games, we’ve played good football but, if you want to win, you have to do it consistently. That was a brilliant spell of the game – the pass from Evans was brilliant, the movement and finish from Bruno too.
“Last year we had the most clean sheets in the Premier League. We were disciplined and followed the rules. When we do that, it’s difficult to play against Manchester United.
“He [Evans] gave the team calmness. His skills were brilliant, as with the goal.”
United need to carry this type of team spirit into the back-to-back games against Crystal Palace next week. It goes without saying that the Reds need to build momentum.
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