Football

Burnley celebrate.

What happened just before Steven Defour's goal against Manchester United

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Burnley have been the darlings of the Premier League this season.

Sean Dyche’s side have surpassed expectations, climbing as high as fourth in the table earlier this month.

They sat seventh before this afternoon’s contest at Manchester United kicked off, just eight points short of the dream 40-point mark that is considered to guarantee safety.

Wins over Chelsea and Everton have been the highlights, although a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham served as a reminder that there will be difficult days for the club.

Still, they arrived at Old Trafford with plenty of confidence and took a 2-0 lead in the first half.

Ashley Barnes opened the scoring in the third minute after the hosts failed to clear a free-kick and Steven Defour doubled Burnley’s lead before half-time when he sent a brilliant 25-yard free-kick soaring past David de Gea.

The Clarets were organised in defence and efficient going forward. Jose Mourinho must have been stunned.

It’s worth remembering that Burnley were without Robbie Brady, Chris Wood, James Tarkowski, Stephen Ward and Tom Heaton.

But they were assisted by some rather questionable tactics from Mourinho, who started Zlatan Ibrahimovic behind Romelu Lukaku in attack.

Journalist Liam Canning noted that the partnership wasn’t working. “Making incredibly similar runs,” he wrote on Twitter. “Not fluid at all.”

What happened before Burnley's second goal

Yet there was another decision that left Man United fans confused. Juan Mata was on the pitch but it was Luke Shaw who was taking corners in the first half.

And how did Burnley’s second goal arrive? From Shaw curling a corner into Nick Pope’s arms.

What Man Utd fans said about Shaw on corners

Here’s what Man United supporters had to say about Shaw, making his second league start of the season, on corner-kick duty.

All of a sudden, the Red Devils are looking over their shoulder instead of hoping to catch Man City.

The gap between the Manchester clubs was extended to 13 after United’s 2-2 draw against Leicester City on Saturday - Guardiola’s side have been incredible, but they’re certainly being helped by their neighbours.

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Topics:
Football
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Jose Mourinho
Romelu Lukaku
Manchester United
Premier League

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