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Manchester United 0-2 Burnley: Three wrong decisions Ole made in their miserable defeat | Premier League 2019-20 

  • 3 ways Solskjaer got it wrong against Burnley in humiliating loss.
Modified 24 Jan 2020, 00:40 IST

Manchester United were abysmal once again in front of their home fans
Manchester United were abysmal once again in front of their home fans

Manchester United handed Burnley three easy three points on a stormy Wednesday night at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men put in an abysmal performance which eventually handed them a 2-0 home defeat on a wet surface.

Before the start of the game, United had a chance to close the gap between them and 4th-placed Chelsea. And it was also expected that they would go strong against Sean Dyche's men after getting humiliated at the hands of their arch-rivals Liverpool last Sunday.

But all the expectations went in vain as the strikes from Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez sealed the victory for the travelling side. As a result of their latest victory, Burnley have got that much-needed breathing space as they are now 7 points off the relegation zone.

On the other hand, Manchester United are still at the 5th position with 34 points from a possible 72. While United's defensive vulnerability caused them another setback, there were some mistakes in Ole's decision making. Without further ado, let's see which were the decisions Ole got wrong in their shambolic 2-0 defeat to Burnley.

#3 Brought on Shaw and Lingard but not Angel Gomes

Angel Gomes should be given more chances
Angel Gomes should be given more chances

Despite having 73% possession on the ball, Manchester United failed to unlock the opposing defence and got defeated for the second time in a home fixture this season in the Premier League. After falling 2-0 behind from Jay Rodriguez's outstanding hit in the 56th-minute of the match, all eyes were on Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Yet, fans had to wait until the 69th-minute of the game to see any further changes after the arrival of Mason Greenwood at the start of the second half. Ole brought on Jesse Lingard for Daniel James and Luke Shaw for Brandon Williams.

Although Ole has heaped praise on Angel Gomes many times this season, the reflection of his backing for Angel Gomes is yet to be seen when it comes to picking the starting eleven. He has played only twice in the 2019-20 Premier League for Manchester United.

When Man United needed the spark of creativity and decent supplies into the box, Ole looked at the bench and chose a safe option in Jesse Lingard over Angel Gomes.


Jesse Lingard - who had not scored a single Premier League goal in the 2019 calendar year - came up with nothing special. And hence, Ole proved that he is still too naive to manage a gigantic club like Manchester United.

#2 No Mason Greenwood at the start

Mason Greenwood has been superb for Manchester United
Mason Greenwood has been superb for Manchester United

When Manchester United announced the line-up one hour before the start of the Burnley game on their official social networking sites, fans went crazy and the level of toxicity was off the charts as there was no sign of Mason Greenwood in United's starting XI. The 18-year-old sensation was in the matchday squad and started the match on the substitute bench.

Since the start of United's pre-season tour, Mason has trained with the senior squad. The reason behind letting Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez go was Mason Greenwood as it was clarified that the manager didn't want any hurdle in the way of Mason Greenwood's progression at the club. He confirmed as quoted by Sky Sports,

"For me, it was the right decision (to sell Lukaku and Sanchez). Because I think for the club and for him (Mason Greenwood), I think he's going to be important for us this season. He's not played a lot so far but he'll get his minutes and he'll grow and develop."

Mason Greenwood has been impressive for the Red Devils this season and is the third top-scorer for the club with 9 goals behind Marcus Rashford (19) and Anthony Martial (11). In the absence of Marcus Rashford, it was believed that Mason would take some responsibilities and showcase his lethal goal-scoring attributes once again. Disappointingly, it was not the case on Wednesday.

The fans didn't have to wait too long to see Mason Greenwood's arrival on the pitch as Ole decided to substitute Andreas Pereira off the field during the half-time break. Despite having Mason Greenwood on the pitch, Man United failed to dominate the game due to the lack of productivity from the midfield region.

Anthony Martial and Juan Mata missed numerous clear-cut chances in the first half. But, if Ole had picked Greenwood from the first minute of the game, we could have seen a different result. Hence, Ole should take the blame. 

#1 Fielding Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira in the same line-up

Juan Mata was a waste in the right-midfield position against Burnley
Juan Mata was a waste in the right-midfield position against Burnley

On Wednesday night, when the team-sheet came under the spotlight, there was hardly anything more strange than seeing Andreas Pereira and Juan Mata in the same line-up. Solskjaer opted to field his side in a 4-2-3-1 formation where Martial was the lone striker and Daniel James was a right midfielder.

It was expected at first that Mata would play in the no.10 position and Andreas Pereira, who hasn't performed constantly well for Manchester United this season, would occupy the right-midfield position. Anyway, United fans left stunned when they saw Mata playing on the right-midfield position and Andreas occupying the no.10 role for United.

Right-midfield becomes a pivotal position when a team plays in a 4-2-3-1 formation. And a right midfielder needs to have speedy legs to threaten his opponents' full-backs. Mata, 31, certainly offers no pace in the wing. 

While we are examining Juan Mata's poor display against Burnley, we should appreciate his commendable services against the likes of Norwich and Wolves. Henceforth, Solskjaer should have started him in the no.10 position and launched Pereira in right-midfield.

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Published 24 Jan 2020, 00:40 IST
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