Manchester United continued their brilliant run of form in the Premier League as they dispatched Burnley in stunning style to register their 19th win of the campaign. A brace from in-form star Mason Greenwood and a late third from Edinson Cavani proved too much to handle for the Clarets, whose only goal in the 3-1 loss was scored by James Tarkowski.
The Red Devils were the dominant side by some distance in the first 45 minutes as they had over 70% of the ball and created a host of opportunities, but couldn't breach Burnley's defence despite having the upper hand.
Mason Greenwood finally managed to break the deadlock on 48 minutes after a sublime team move from Manchester United.
After winning the ball back in their own half, Marcus Rashford received the ball and blitzed past Mathew Lowton, and set up Bruno Fernandes near the edge of the area. The Portuguese' clever dummy dragged the onrushing Clarets defenders out of position to free up an unmarked Greenwood, who smashed the ball past Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
However, Burnley retaliated just two minutes later after James Tarkowski headed the ball into the net from a corner after beating Harry Maguire in the air.
With just five minutes left on the clock, Greenwood notched his second of the game as his deflected strike breached the visitors' defence. As Burnley attempted to commit bodies forward to find a late equaliser, Manchester United compounded their misery by adding a third goal after Cavani finished a slick counter-attacking move to see off Burnley.
The result takes Manchester United to within eight points of league leaders Manchester City. It was their fifth consecutive Premier League win, and the hosts have lost just one game in their last 26 league games this season.
Here, we take a look at five major talking points from the game.
#5 Manchester United's set-piece woes at the fore once again
It is no secret that Manchester United have struggled to deal with set-pieces in the box. The Red Devils have often conceded goals from set-piece situations, and many of them have come in crucial situations. Against Burnley at Old Trafford, this weakness was on display once again.
Burnley are a side renowned for their threat from such situations, and they capitalised on a corner by finding an equaliser just two minutes after going behind. James Tarkowski — one of the most aerially strong players in the league — proved his worth to Sean Dyche's men as he rose highest to give Burnley the goal despite being up against a colossus in Harry Maguire.
The Burnley man bullied the Manchester United captain and left Dean Henderson with no chance of saving his powerful header. It was ultimately of little consequence against the Clarets as they went on to win the game, but this has been a recurring problem for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.
This season alone, Manchester United have conceded a host of goals from similar situations — Simon Kjaer's late equaliser for AC Milan, Jan Bednarek's opener for Southampton, John Stones' winner in the EFL Cup semi-final for Manchester City, among others. Their inability to defend set-pieces has to be dealt with sooner rather than later.
#4 What is Paul Pogba's best position?
Paul Pogba is arguably in the midst of one of his best campaigns for Manchester United and much of it has to do with the freedom he's been given by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian has allowed the Frenchman to be more expressive on the pitch by deploying him high up alongside Fernandes, playing off the left-hand side. With Luke Shaw providing width, Pogba has wreaked havoc in that area of the pitch.
When Cavani came on for Fred at half-time, Pogba was pushed from his role on the left to central midfield next to Scott McTominay, and the difference in his game was noticeable, to say the least. Pogba took a while in the second half to get going once again after a superb first half.
This isn't to say that Pogba played poorly in the second half as he was still impressive and it was his pass that led to the winner. However, he is evidently beginning to get accustomed to an attacking role, giving Solskjaer a selection dilemma. With everyone fit, will the Frenchman start on the left over Rashford? Will Solskjaer switch to a three-man midfield next season if they manage to sign a talented defensive midfielder?
Only time will provide the answers to these questions, but the difference in his productivity on the evening from a deeper role and that on the left will be something for Solskjaer to mull over.