Premier League | 29 October 2016 | Old Trafford | Attendance: 75,325
4-3-3, 8th Premier League
3-5-2, 13th Premier League
Former Manchester United youth goalkeeper Heaton was inspired on his return to Old Trafford.
Frustration was the order of the day on Saturday evening’s 29th October, 2016 football match at Old Trafford – so much so that the overriding feeling was despair as Manchester United were held to a goalless draw by Burnley at the Theater of Dreams. Burnley! Burnley!! Burnley!!! I couldn’t and I still cant believe it – humiliation!
The annoying thing about that encounter was that United was a dominant force throughout the frustrating match with about 29 shots and a near-total ball possession. It was unbelievable that we came up against our former Academy graduate goalkeeper, Tom Heaton, who manned the Clarets goal, and were left to rue a host of missed chances as Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit the crossbar and captain Juan Mata struck a post – and both men didn’t score? Right? Right!
Ander Herrera was sent off midway through the second half for a second bookable offence and he left with a deserved red card starring Jose Mourinho in the face. I was less surprised that Mourinho’s men drew a blank for the third successive Premier League game. United was denied a first English Premier League victory in four games in front of a sell-out crowd at the Theatre of Dreams. United strikers allowed Heaton to perform spectacular saves thereby frustrating his former club, Manchester United. Burnley went ahead to draw 0-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday to secure a first Premier League away point of the season – at United’s expense.
Man of the match, Burnley goalie, Heaton, dived to palm away a Jesse Lingard header and spread himself to block a powerful Zlatan Ibrahimovic bicycle-kick volley against a United side who finished with 10 men as the red-carded midfielder Ander Herrera sauntered off to the sunset – which still left me wondering what Jose Mourinho was still doing at Old Trafford.
Photo: Former United Academy graduate goalkeeper, Tom Heaton (right in yellow jersey), who manned the Clarets goal spread himself to block a powerful Zlatan Ibrahimovic bicycle-kick volley | The Red Devils’ frustrations mounted.
Possession: United 73% Burnley 27%
Shots: United 16 Burnley 4
Shots on target: United 7 Burnley 1
Corners: United 10 Burnley 1
Mourinho was sent to the stands at half-time for protesting too much to the match officials, having seen Matteo Darmian denied a penalty after being caught by Jon Flanagan’s trailing leg. Referee Mark Clattenburg allowed play to continue and I was flabber-whelmed, not flabbergasted.
This unfortunate draw means that United have gone four Premier League matches without victory and have fallen eight points behind the Premier League leaders.
Wayne Rooney, back from a thigh injury, appeared as a substitute for the final 17 minutes, but could not inspire a victory – not that I expected anything from the form-waning United captain. There was also no inspiration from Juan Mata who captained the United team from onset – but Mata and Ibrahimovic hit the woodwork severally between them and Burnley defeated Manchester United with a zero-zero draw.
As mentioned before, Mourinho protested too strongly during the interval and began the second half in the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand after he was banished by match officials. Having taken a seat near the front of the stand, the manager was then ordered to move further back by match officials prompting Mourinho to manage his team through assistant manager Rui Faria who went back to where the “banished one” was sitting sheepishly to take instructions.
Photo: United’s assistant manager Rui Faria (left) took charge as Jose Mourinho sat banished in Sir Bobby Charlton Stand at Old Trafford.
As that drama unfolded off the pitch, United briefly lost their focus on it and the beginning of the end was nigh.
Possession: United 72% Burnley 28%
Shots: United 37 Burnley 7
Shots on target: United 11 Burnley 1
Corners: United 19 Burnley 1
United: De Gea; Darmian, Rojo, Blind, Shaw; Herrera, Pogba; Lingard (Rooney 72), Mata (c) (Fellaini 73), Rashford (Memphis 82); Ibrahimovic. Subs: Romero, Young, Carrick, Schneiderlin.
Booked: Andre Herrera, Paul Pogba
Sent-off: Andre Herrera (red card)
Burnley: Heaton (c); Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward (Flanagan 44); Arfield, Hendrick, Marney, Gudmundsson (Boyd 85); Vokes, Gray (Barnes 60). Subs: Robinson, Tarkowski, Kightly, Bamford.
Booked: Flanagan, Marney, Heaton
One wonders how many times people like me will put up with Mourinho’s slow start to this Premier League season – since he came to Old Trafford. The Portuguese man’s record is now almost at par with David Moyes during the Scotsman’s tenure at Old Trafford. The destructive 4-0 defeat at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge in West London meant that Jose Mourinho had an identical record to David Moyes in his first nine matches in charge of Manchester United.
And it gets even worse for the Red Devils supporters as the Scotsman’s United side had actually scored more. Manchester United scored more in the first nine matches under David Moyes than Jose Mourinho’s first nine matches. United have now lost three times in the Premier League this season – but Mourinho’s United side have scored just one less under the Scotsman – and to think that the scotsman was fired for doing the same thing that the Portuguese has done and may continue to do – is most disheartening!
Nevertheless, I still think that the players will gear up in spite of Jose Mourinho . . .
Up Man U!