Bruno Fernandes’ stunning volley gave Manchester United a much-needed victory as they edged past winless Burnley in the Premier League.
United were in desperate search for inspiration following three straight defeats and received it on 45 minutes courtesy of captain Fernandes, who brilliantly volleyed home a first-time finish from Jonny Evans’ lofted pass.
The sublime strike was worthy of winning any game and gave United their third win from six league games this season, leaving Vincent Kompany’s side bottom of the table with only a point so far.
Burnley played some delightful football in periods and Zeki Amdouni gave the visitors a scare with a free header that was pushed away by Andre Onana at full stretch.
The Burnley frontman had an even better chance when he was played through by Aaron Ramsey, but a low shot cannoned off the foot of the post.
Evans thought he had given United the lead when he headed in a corner, but the effort was ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR) for Rasmus Hojlund’s block on goalkeeper James Trafford.
Burnley went hunting for an equaliser in the second period and Sander Berge narrowly headed over as United held on for victory.
Fernandes comes to the fore
United had shipped three or more goals in each of their three consecutive defeats against Arsenal, Brighton and Bayern Munich, and they badly required a positive result to get their faltering season back on track.
Marcus Rashford’s effort into the side-netting after just 45 seconds may have given indications that this was a side rejuvenated, but it was another largely insipid and lethargic showing from the Red Devils.
Burnley grew into the game after Rashford’s early opportunity and will be left wondering about the outcome had Amdouni converted either of the chances that fell his way in the first half.
Under-fire goalkeeper Onana did superbly to keep out a header from the Swiss striker, who also struck the woodwork after a fine team move.
The hosts were playing some eye-catching football but were undone by a moment of magic from Portuguese midfielder Fernandes on the stroke of half-time.
The skipper, who had tested Trafford earlier, peeled away from his marker before letting Evans’ pinpoint pass drop into his path and unleashing an unstoppable volley into the bottom corner.
Fernandes could have netted a second even more spectacular strike in injury-time, but his effort on the hook was kept out by Trafford.
Defender Evans, who rejoined the club this summer, was making his first United start since March 2015 and had headed in, but the goal was chalked off by VAR.
The Northern Ireland international was part of the Leicester side that finished in the bottom three last season and Burnley will be looking to avoid the same fate this time.
They have lost all four home games so far this season and it took them nine matches for their first victory in 2021-22 – a campaign which ended in relegation to the Championship.