Football Features

Miserable Manchester United “get Wouted” as Burnley come from behind to secure 1-1 draw at Turf Moor

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:27, 8 February 2022

Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley at Turf Moor, with Wout Weghorst starring.

The Red Devils took the lead through a superbly worked Paul Pogba goal during a first-half that they absolutely dominated. But just as in the FA Cup against Middlesbrough a week ago they couldn’t hold the lead in the second-half.

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Ralf Rangnick’s men were lucky that this game ended at 90 minutes and didn’t go to extra-time and penalties or they’d have probably fallen to another loss just like they did against Boro.

When picking out a player to “blame” it’s impossible to point the finger at one man. Does the fault like with Harry Maguire for his weak defending on the goal? Social media certainly thinks so, but as much as Maguire was poor, Luke Shaw was deeper than his team-mates playing goalscorer Jay Rodriguez onside. And to compound issues David de Gea remained rooted to his line when coming out to confront a player who has yet to score in the Premier League this season would have been the smart move.

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And then after that goal there was still 42 minutes of the second-half left to go. A second-half where United didn’t manage to register a single shot on target despite letting fly with 10 shots. Cristiano Ronaldo in particular missed two great chances with his head.

But that’s just it, isn’t it? It’s not one player, it’s loads of players.

It’s almost every player, really. With the exception of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane who are both hitting fine form after tricky starts to life in Manchester, and Bruno Fernandes who created a whopping 6 chances tonight, every United player was poor.

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For Burnley, it was the complete opposite. Where United were an omnishambles, Burnley were omnipresent. After getting diced up all first-half, Burnley rebounded in the second-half to hammer the Red Devils.

Burnley began using the power and presence of Wout Weghorst to unsettle United. Their new Dutch no. 9 was phenomenal, overpowering the Red Devils defenders to the point where everything he did worked.

Weghorst completed 3/4 dribbles, contested 7 aerial duels, smashed three shots De Gea’s way and of course set-up the goal with the purest moment of class in the match.

Picking the ball up and running parrallel to the goal-line, Weghorst took McTominay and Maguire for a ride then Cruyff-turned them to death before reverse-passing it beyond Raphael Varane for Jay Rodriguez. It was the kind of thing you’d have expected from Edinson Cavani, or Paul Pogba, or Bruno Fernandes.

But no, it was Wout Weghorst who capped a superb performance with a great assist, showing a glimpse of what he has to offer. Could it be enough to save Burnley from relegation? On the evidence of tonight there’s a few more teams in the Premier League that will be Wouted.