- Manchester United hosted Championship side Burnley, at Old Trafford in the EFL Cup
- This was Manchester United’s first match after the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar
- Manchester United eased to the quarterfinals of the EFL cup with a 2-0 victory over Burnley
With goals from Christian Eriksen and Marcus Rashford, Manchester United defeated Burnley 2-0 to go smoothly to the EFL Cup quarterfinals on Vincent Kompany’s return to Old Trafford.
The legendary Kompany of Manchester City frequently defeated United in derbies, but on Wednesday, his return to Manchester United as manager of Burnley resulted in a defeat in the fourth round.
In United’s first game after the World Cup, Rashford extended the lead in the second half after Eriksen had given the team the lead in the 27th minute.
While Erik Ten Hag’s team secured a spot in Thursday’s round of 16, Championship leaders Burnley were penalized for their wasteful finishing.
As Bailey Peacock-Farrell sprinted out to stop a poor finish after Bruno Fernandes’ sharp assist, Alejandro Garnacho missed a great opportunity in the eighth minute.
For Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fernandes delivered another defence-splitting diagonal ball, and Wan-Bissaka skillfully hooked the ball across for Eriksen to tuck in a well-deserving opening goal.
A curling Manuel Benson shot required a deft stop from Martin Dubravka, who then nearly scored himself from the next corner before Antony Martial was denied at the other end by Peacock-Farrell.
After the break, Scott McTominay blasted a decent effort over, but Rashford increased United’s lead with a strong move that culminated with a drilled strike into the lower left corner.
Burnley’s poor performance ensured that the Clarets had no chance of returning, as Darko Churlinov wastefully prodded wide on the counter-attack and Ashley Barnes blasted over.
United back firing after World Cup
Before the World Cup break, United finished the first half of the Premier League season firmly to sit three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who have played one more game.
Ten Hag’s team continued where they left off, although they occasionally lacked conviction in the first half, as United advanced from a sixth consecutive EFL Cup match against Burnley.
Before this triumph, United had lost three of its previous four home matches in the league. Despite this win, Ten Hag will continue to call for progress because the Premier League will soon resume with more complex challenges.
Fernandes on form
Before Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract was terminated in November, concerns were raised about Fernandes’ influence at United alongside his Portugal teammate.
In his first game without Cristiano Ronaldo, playmaker Fernandes excelled, generating three chances, the most in the game, including the precise ball that set up Wan Bissaka’s assist in the first half.
David de Gea remains Ten Hag’s first-choice goalkeeper and the Spain goalkeeper may have little concern over his position after an unconvincing performance from Dubravka.
The Slovakia international almost punched into his own net before a poor touch nearly gifted Burnley an equaliser and was caught out again in stoppage time, though those errors proved to be irrelevant.
On Tuesday, Burnley hosts Birmingham City in the Championship, while United hosts Nottingham Forest at home.