Manchester United vs. Burnley
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Saturday, 29 October, 2016
Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Manchester United continued their dreadful run of league form, with a third consecutive game without scoring, drawing 0-0 at home to Burnley.
Despite United having an endless number of corners and chances, the away side had a goalkeeper making saves reaching double figures and the mindset to play for the draw, as they held on to a priceless point from their perspective.
Ander Herrera was sent off for two yellow cards, yet the Clarets continued to sit in and defend when others may have pushed for a winner.
There were early chances for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata before the former curled over via his weaker left foot.
The Swede was then denied by Tom Heaton when one-on-one after Mata’s slid pass, before Ibrahimovic returned the favour, as Mata’s shot was turned around the corner.
The visitors then grew into the game, with former United academy graduate Michael Keane heading wide from a corner, as Johann Berg Gudmundsson saw a strike held by David De Gea.
Pogba fired over from distance, Ibrahimovic saw a shot deflect over, Jesse Lingard’s header forced a flying save as Heaton tipped over from another Pogba drive.
Matteo Darmian, seemingly tripped inside the area, saw no penalty awarded in stoppage time, as half-time arrived with the game goalless.
The impeccable Heaton made a double save to deny Mata and Lingard before thwarting Ibrahimovic’s acrobatic volley.
Mata struck the post and Ibrhaimovic hit the bar with Herrera receiving his second yellow midway through the second half.
Pushing hard for a winner, Daley Blind’s shot deflected over, Luke Shaw curled just wide and Ibrhaimovic missed a sitter from just 3 yards out.
Substitute Wayne Rooney was off target in stoppage time, as Jose Mourinho’s side lost further ground on their rivals, with even a top four place now a testing challenge at such an early stage of the season.
Up next is a trip to Turkey, to take on Fenerbahce in a hostile environment.
That 6pm Europa League fixture sees United return to a competition that now has significant importance with the current league form.
After that sees a trip to Swansea City, where the visit to the Liberty Stadium is far from ideal on the back of such a long travel, as well as the reminder that United have lost on their last two visits to South Wales.
The questions will continue to be asked, with a dark cloud seemingly hovering over the club; it is now time for the players to stand up and be counted, with much ground to make up if anything is to be made of this season.
Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Blind, Rojo, Shaw; Herrera, Pogba; Lingard (Rooney 73), Mata (Fellaini 73), Rashford (Memphis 82); Ibrahimovic.
Subs not used: Romero, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Young.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Burnley: Heaton; Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward (Flanagan 44); Gudmundsson (Boyd 85), Marney, Hendrick, Arfield; Gray (Barnes 60), Vokes.
Subs not used: Robinson, Kightly, Bamford, Tarkowski.
Manager: Sean Dyche