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Manchester United blow out of top four with Burnley draw

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Man Utd 1 1 Burnley
Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at Burnley. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Manchester United bowed out of the Premier League’s top four after being held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday.

An immediate back to winning ways from their shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Middlesbrough appeared to be on the cards for United when Paul Pogba rifled home early on.

Ralf Ragnick’s side were kept at bay for the rest of the first half by the officiating and the exploits of Nick Pope, setting the stage for Jay Rodriguez’s equaliser in the second period.

United were unable to find a winner in the closing stages, meaning they fell to fifth with West Ham winning at home against Watford replacing them in the Champions League qualification places.

After Raphael Varane saw what would have been his first United goal disallowed by the VAR for Harry Maguire straying offside, Pogba fired Luke Shaw’s cutback into the top-right corner to give the visitors the lead in the 18th minute.

Burnley 1-1 Manchester United

Manchester United players celebrate after Paul Pogba fired in the opener against Burnley in a Premier League clash on Tuesday, February 8 2022. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Ralf Rangnick’s side thought they had a second when Josh Brownhill put Marcus Rashford’s delivery into his own net, but Pogba was deemed to have fouled Erik Pieters in the build-up.

Burnley would have been out of the game by half-time had it not been for Pope, who brilliantly denied Edinson Cavani and Rashford.

Rodriguez made the most of Pope’s good work two minutes after the restart by slotting home Burnley’s first shot on target.

Wout Weghorst set up the equaliser and saw an ambitious 25-yard effort parried by David de Gea, while Maxwel Cornet hobbled off for Burnley.

Burnley 1-1 Manchester United:

Jay Rodriguez (centre) scored the equaliser for Burnley against Manchester United in the Premier League clash. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Cristiano Ronaldo came on from the bench but was unable to inspire United, who failed to register a single shot on target in the second half as bottom side Burnley held on for a valuable point.

Defeating West Ham – who beat Watford on Tuesday – in their previous Premier League outing was huge for United, but they failed to consolidate that success at Burnley and have now won just two of their five top-flight outings since beating the Clarets at Old Trafford in December.

They may still be unbeaten away from home in the league since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s exit, but they have won just two of their six matches, and cannot afford to keep dropping points if they want to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.

Rodriguez’s goal was his first in the Premier League since February 13 of last year, ending a barren run of 360 days.

For Pogba, it was his first since a 2-1 success against Fulham in January 2021. Two of his past three goals in the top flight have now come against Burnley.

It has not been a convincing season for Maguire, who disappointed once more at the heart of United’s defence. His weak challenge enabled Weghorst to set up Rodriguez’s goal and he gave away possession 13 times – over twice as often as Varane (six).

United will seek to recover when they take on Southampton at Old Trafford on Saturday, while Burnley host second-placed Liverpool a day later.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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