Manchester United 3-1 Burnley: Four Things We Learned

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Manchester United have finished 2021 in the best possible manner. After a tough and disappointing 1-1 draw against Newcastle United on Monday night, the Red Devils have won their final match of the year, beating Burnley 3-1 at Old Trafford.

New three points were courtesy of goals from Scott McTominay and Cristiano Ronaldo, who were ‘joined’ by Ben Mee and his first-half own goal. In fact, United scored their quickest Premier League goal this season when McTominay shot well following Ronaldo’s assist in the 8th minute, before the Portuguese himself went on to score himself.

Here is what we learned from this match.

Rangnick Likes Making Changes

If there is one thing we have learned about Ralf Rangnick since his arrival in Manchester, it is that he loves making changes from match to match. He is known for not being afraid to rotate the team and considering a tough schedule that is the norm in English football, especially during the festive period, it was not a surprise to see that again.

Shaw and Wan-Bissaka were the two full-backs, while the most unexpected change was that of Bailly starting ahead of Raphael Varane. The German manager obviously wants to slowly reintroduce the Frenchman back into the team, although he had to come on for the last 25 minutes, due to Bailly’s injury.

Also, Rangnick dropped Fred for Matic, while also leaving out Marcus Rashford, giving preference to Edinson Cavani up front, alongside Ronaldo. These changes brought positive impact, which was embodied in those first 35 minutes.

United Start Strong To Make A Statement

It was in those 35 minutes that Man United have done all the necessary work, scoring all three goals by that time. McTominay’s early lead announced a strong start from United, quite opposite to what we had the chance to see against Newcastle. From then on, United went from strength to strength and there were some good performances from Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood in the process as well. Such starts are something Man United are in real need, to command the games early on. Against Burnley, it was evident United could preserve some energy as well.

Ronaldo Scores Against 82nd Team

It seems these days that with each game in which Cristiano Ronaldo scores, he also manages to break some record. And his great performance against Burnley definitely made something new happen – the Portuguese scored against his 82nd different league team against which he managed to put the ball in the net!

Ronaldo first missed a really good chance following Shaw’s assist, but he managed to get his new opportunity. McTominay’s shot was deflected by goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, the ball hit the bar afterwards, falling right into Ronaldo’s path. It was a ‘revenge’ of sorts from McTominay, who had his goal scored after Cristiano slipped him the ball.

Man United Finish 2021 In Sixth Place

Manchester United end 2021 in sixth place in the Premier League standings, but with a game yet to play. They have 31 points from 18 matches, West Ham are ahead on goal difference, but with one game more played, while the goal of reaching top four is currently in the hands of Arsenal, who have 35 points from 19 matches. There 20 more games left for United and hopefully 2022 will bring the necessary successes.

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