As the fog swirled around with the rain in the Manchester air, the United players put in a performance that reflected the dreary weather with one of the most listless displays capable of a football team. Another set piece goal conceded, at the feet of Chris Wood, saw Burnley go ahead. Rodriguez doubled with a stunning strike and the game was pretty much up from that point
It hasn’t been a good few days for Anthony Martial. A glaring miss vs Liverpool followed by squandering the best we managed to carve open in the first half. The first, a squared ball that Pereira put into his path, he decided to let the ball roll across his body to take on his left but in the end, this decision meant he had to stretch for it and his strike was under no control. The second, a ball fed into him inbetween CBs and in front of goal, he took too many touches and the ball was boomed off him with a crucial tackle by the Burnley defender. The issue with these chances that the Frenchman gave up was that everyone in the ground and out of it who support United knew that a chance like that was not coming again. What’s more frustrating was that even his general play was not there to placate the misses on the night. His passes were short, the movement was too laboured and done so in areas too deep to have any effect on the Clarets’ backline. It isn’t easy fronting up the team who are dire in chance creation but in order to be given the faith of being stuck with when the team hopefully becomes better in that aspect, you have to perform in the big moments. He passed up an obvious one on Merseyside but these nights are just as important because who knows what might have happened if he stuck away one of those chances.
The whole air around United going into the game was sorry to start with. The news of Rashford being out for probably the rest of the season, the lack of movement in the transfer market, away losses to rivals of Arsenal and Liverpool didn’t put the fans in the best of moods. It filtered onto the pitch, despite the best efforts of the crowd to begin. It was a sad performance from a team in a pretty sad state. The passing lacked even less zip than it usually does, the pressing was a bit more leggy than we regularly see, the shooting lacked any sort of belief – Martial’s effort blazing into the stand epitomised the wayward shooting we have come accustomed to from the whole team in recent years. It would be unfair to mention any players outside of Martial and Maguire, poor for both goals conceded on the night, because the confidence has been drained out of every sinew. It is a task to watch United at the minute, so you can only imagine having to go through those motions on the pitch. The stadium emptied more than 20 mins before the end of play and the chants that rang around focused on the board’s part to play in the embarrassing situation the club is facing at the moment.