Burnley 0 Man Utd 1: Pogba goal sends Red Devils top of PL ahead of massive Liverpool clash in game full of controversy

Burnley 0 Man Utd 1: Pogba goal sends Red Devils top of PL ahead of massive Liverpool clash in game full of controversy

BACK on top and ready for the big one.

Paul Pogba’s thumping 71st minute volley at Burnley means Manchester United travel to Anfield on Sunday three points ahead of champions Liverpool and ready for a title tussle.

The two most successful club’s in English football history fighting it out for the biggest domestic prize once more.

They have 39 titles between them, United on 20, but Liverpool are the holders.

Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer emulate Sir Alex Ferguson and knock them off their perch again?

Of course, Manchester City will have their say come the final reckoning.

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After going quiet at the start of the season the neighbours are noisy again.

But United are showing the sort of consistency that makes champions.

This is 11 league games unbeaten and nine of them wins after victory here at Ice Station Turf Moor.

They can win well, and they can dig in and fight as they had to on Tuesday night.


It was clear from the start last night Burnley were out to block and frustrate and generally break United up but the visitors never gave up and got their reward.

It was tough for long periods and Edinson Cavani was getting particularly irate on his first game after a three-match suspension.

He was at the centre of the first half’s most controversial moment when he burst through but was hauled down by Robbie Brady.

The referee gave a free kick just outside the area but as the last man should a red card not follow for Brady?

But wait, back at the other end referee Kevin Friend had missed Luke Shaw following through on Johann Gudmundson.

So if that was a foul it negated the Cavani incident and after watching various replays he decided rightly that it was and Shaw was lucky to just be booked.

United’s frustrations grew when it looked like they were harshly denied a goal in the 38th minute.

Shaw, who was constantly up and down that left flank, provided the cross, Harry Maguire rose at the far post and headed back past the goalkeeper and into the far top corner.

United celebrated but their joy was shortlived as Maguire was adjudged to have fouled Erik Pieters as he rose.

But to get the header in it was impossible not to make contact with the static Burnley player.

So United went again.

Anthony Martial, quiet for most of the half tried to make a breakthrough just before the interval with a curling shot to the far top corner which Nick Pope tipped away.

United remained on the front foot and were even more dominant in the second half with some slick one touch football.

One sweeping move from back to front ended when Cavani scuffed his chance.

Fernandes had two goes from outside the area but both were straight at the goalkeeper.

Burnley were doing the job they were asked, United could not find the cutting edge to finish some fine build-up play.

Then Pogba intervened. He had been running the show second-half and started and finished the move to make the breakthrough.

Jumping to win a header just over half way he then set off to the edge of the area as Fernandes found Rashford.

His cross was perfect for the French World Cup winner to angle his body and catch volley on the full that went past Pope with the aid of a slight deflection off Lowton.

The joy and relief were obvious as Pogba summoned over his teammates for a huddle.

There is a spirit in this United side that is obvious in how they play, how they fight and how they celebrate and support each other.

Not since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final campaign have they stood on top at this stage of the season.

The question is can they keep it up and challenge to the end?

The swings and roundabouts have been spinning more than ever in this strangest of Premier League seasons.

When United last lost in the league on November 1st at home to Arsenal they stood 15th with seven points after six games.

Their worst start since David Moyes succeeded Sir Alex.

Fast forward two and a bit months and here they are.

They last lost away in the league almost exactly a year ago and at Anfield.

They went into that game 27 points behind Jurgen Klopps’s side .

Now 12 months on there has been a swing of 33 points as they go three ahead.

Yes this is a very different United. A better one. A United ready to win a title again.

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