Burnley 0-1 Manchester United: Fernandes stunner ends losing run
Bruno Fernandes’ stunning volley secured absentee-hit Manchester United a much-needed victory as Burnley’s wait for a Premier League win continued.
Injuries and off-field issues have been compounded by poor performances in some tough fixtures, with the Red Devils losing four of their opening six matches in all competitions for the first time since 1986.
United ended a run of three successive defeats at Vincent Kompany’s Burnley, where Erik ten Hag’s team were not entirely convincing but ran out 1-0 victors thanks to Fernandes’ moment of magic on Saturday night.
The Portugal midfielder showed exceptional composure and technique when providing a fitting finish to a brilliant pass from Jonny Evans, who was making his first start for the club since 2015.
The 35-year-old recently rejoined the club and thought he had scored shortly before Fernandes’ goal, only for the VAR to intervene in a first half that Burnley had held their own in.
Zeki Amdouni struck a post during the opening period and Kompany’s side threatened towards the end of the second half, but the Manchester City great was unable to celebrate a late equaliser.
United made a bright start after making the short journey up the M66, with Marcus Rashford striking into the side-netting and Fernandes forcing an early stop from James Trafford.
“We want Glazers out” bellowed the away end as Burnley fans attempted to unsettle visiting goalkeeper Andre Onana days on from his costly clanger at Bayern Munich.
The summer signing soon quietened those goading him, reacting well to stop Amdouni’s goalbound header into the ground from a Connor Roberts cross.
Burnley were growing in confidence and ambition, nearly going ahead in the 17th minute when Aaron Ramsey slipped in Amdouni to hit a strike off the far post.
Many inside Turf Moor had expected the net to bulge – something the majority were disappointed to see when it did in the 25th minute.
Sergio Reguilon swung in a cross from the right that Evans was able to meet with a header past Trafford from four yards.
The defender was mobbed but his celebrations were short-lived as the VAR ruled Rasmus Hojlund had interfered with play from an offside position.
Burnley settled after that scare as lively Luca Koleosho mishit wide and Ramsey called Onana into action, only to go behind on the stroke of half-time.
Evans took the ball and showed fantastic vision to clip a diagonal, left-footed pass from just outside the centre circle in Burnley’s half over to Fernandes behind.
The United skipper tracked the ball over his shoulder and hit a perfect volley across Trafford from the right-hand side of the six-yard box to stun Turf Moor.
Unfortunately for the neutral that moment of quality did not take the game up a level.
There was a sharp intake of breath after Diogo Dalot’s lasered cross just evaded Hojlund, with Ameen Al Dakhil soon getting back just in time to stop the striker connecting with a Rashford header.
Scott McTominay’s hopeful effort was easily stopped as the game petered out, with Burnley making a triple change in search of an equaliser.
Two of those introductions were soon involved, with Onana rushing out to stop Jacob Bruun Larsen following a heavy touch before Jay Rodriguez and Evans collided following up.
Sander Berge was the other alteration and directed narrowly over from an 82nd-minute corner, with Rodriguez blocked out by fellow substitute Raphael Varane soon after.
Rashford and Hojlund saw efforts blocked before an acrobatic Fernandes attempt was saved in stoppage time as United won and kept a first clean sheet since beating Wolves in their opener.
The final whistle went straight after substitute Manuel Benson’s hopeful effort was gobbled up.