England Forward Marcus Rashford wasted no time readjusting to club matters after his World Cup campaign as he scored a fine solo goal in Manchester United’s EFL Cup win over Burnley at Old Trafford. Rashford was one of five United players on duty in Qatar to make manager Erik ten Hag’s starting line-up.
And after one, Christian Eriksen, had put the hosts ahead just before the half-hour with a fine first-time finish after Aaron Wan-Bissaka has provided his first goal assist since May 2021, Rashford took centre stage 12 minutes into the second period.
Given too much space as Burnley’s defence backed off, Rashford started running 10 yards inside his own half and didn’t stop until he had sprinted into the box, darted between Jack Cork and Jordan Beyer and driven his ninth goal of the season into the bottom corner.
It was enough to earn United only their second home win inside 90 minutes in this competition in five years.
It was also a positive way to start a new era without Cristiano Ronaldo, whose high-profile exit was ignored by the home fans, unlike the other major storyline of United’s World Cup, a potential sale by the Glazer family, as supporters sang familiar songs demanding the exit of their American owners.
Can Martial replace Ronaldo?
With Ronaldo now consigned to Old Trafford history, Anthony Martial has the chance to show he can be the effective number nine Ten Hag believes he is capable of. Firstly, the Frenchman has to stay fit. Then he must do more than produce fleeting glimpses of his talent.
Martial brought an outstanding save out of Bailey Peacock-Farrell after twisting and turning inside the Burnley area to create space for himself when it seemed there was none. The shot seemed destined for the top corner but Peacock-Farrell had other ideas, much to Martial’s disbelief.
While he did come in for some rough treatment at times, there was a familiarity in how the striker drifted in and out of the match, although his intelligence in making the off-the-ball run that created space for Rashford to exploit for his goal did not go un-noticed by his team-mate.
Martial did not look too impressed at being replaced but with so many games coming up, his fitness cannot be risked. With Casemiro playing in central defence after Harry Maguire pulled out through illness, there was an unfamiliarity about the United side.
But their victory keeps them in with a chance of ending their five-year wait for a trophy as early as February and, against opponents blazing a trail at the top of the Championship and in the groove after playing twice after their own World Cup restart, Ten Hag will regard this as a job well done.
Ex-City skipper Kompany a Burnley man now
Burnley manager Vincent Kompany has avoided any talk of Manchester City around this tie.
The Belgian was keen to underline he is very much a Burnley man now before his first game as a manager against a Premier League club, even though, as a player, he enjoyed so much success at Old Trafford, including a 2-0 win on his last visit in April 2019 that helped the Blues on their way to the Premier League title and that famous 6-1 success in October 2011.
Burnley play a positive brand of football, in which Manuel Benson is particularly effective, even if the Belgian’s night was to end disappointingly early through injury.
The 25-year-old drew an excellent save out of Martin Dubravka, sparking a chain of events that led to Casemiro hooking off his own line as Burnley looked set to profit from some erratic keeping from the United man, who also managed to mis-control a routine back-pass which, if it had more pace, would have led to an embarrassing equaliser.
But Burnley lacked the class to truly trouble their hosts. Ian Maatsen and Johann Gudmundsson both missed chances for the Clarets late on, although Ashley Barnes was the biggest offender when he fired wide from six yards as the visiting fans were already cheering a goal.
Kompany took the applause of the travelling support at the end and despite suffering his third defeat since his arrival at Turf Moor, knows there are many more important games, against less demanding opponents, still to come.
Source – BBC
In More News – In Pics: Thembisa Mdoda – I’m a winner(again), baby🥂
In Pics: Thembisa Mdoda – I’m a winner(again), baby🥂… Yes, she is a winner and we think she totally deserved her award! The beautiful Mzansi Celeb took to Instagram to celebrate her SAFTA Award… Thembisa Mdoda won The Best TV Presenter Award. It doesn’t matter how far back she won this award… she is celebrating the moment now with these pictures…
The Mzansi Best TV Presenter took to Instagram where she was grateful and had this to say… I was in Bedfored, in the Eastern Cape, neck deep in another incredible season of #DAMShowmax when I got the news. Couldn’t attend the awards. Had to send my acceptance speech via voicenote. This baby deserved a photoshoot and a proper celebration. Again, thank you @saftassa, @brightfirepictures, @oldmutualsa and 2022 for a year I’ll never forget❤️🥂. I’m a winner(again), baby🥂😍🥳…. See More