Bruno Fernandes’ stunning volley gave Manchester United a much-needed victory as they edged past winless Burnley in the Premier League.
United were in desperate search for inspiration following three straight defeats and received it on 45 minutes courtesy of captain Fernandes, who brilliantly volleyed home a first-time finish from Jonny Evans’ lofted pass.
The sublime strike was worthy of winning any game and gave United their third win from six league games this season, leaving Vincent Kompany’s side bottom of the table with only a point so far.
Burnley played some delightful football in periods and Zeki Amdouni gave the visitors a scare with a free header that was pushed away by Andre Onana at full stretch.
The Burnley frontman had an even better chance when he was played through by Aaron Ramsey, but a low shot cannoned off the foot of the post.
Evans thought he had given United the lead when he headed in a corner, but the effort was ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR) for Rasmus Hojlund’s block on goalkeeper James Trafford.
Burnley went hunting for an equaliser in the second period and Sander Berge narrowly headed over as United held on for victory.
Manchester United had endured a troubling run, conceding three or more goals in consecutive losses to Arsenal, Brighton, and Bayern Munich. It was crucial for them to secure a positive result to revitalise their struggling season.
The game began with Marcus Rashford’s attempt into the side net just 45 seconds in, suggesting a revitalised side.
However, the overall performance from the Red Devils was mostly lacklustre and sluggish.
Burnley gradually gained momentum after Rashford’s early chance, and they will be left wondering about the result if Amdouni had capitalized on his opportunities in the first half.
Goalkeeper Onana, who had been under scrutiny, made a fantastic save to deny a header from the Swiss striker, who also hit the woodwork following an impressive team move.
The hosts were playing attractive football but were undone by a moment of brilliance from Portuguese midfielder Fernandes just before half-time. The captain, who had previously tested Trafford, eluded his marker and connected with Evans’ precise pass, sending an unstoppable volley into the bottom corner.
Fernandes came close to scoring an even more spectacular second goal in injury time, but Trafford managed to keep his hooked effort out.
Defender Evans, who returned to the club during the summer, made his first start for United since March 2015 and managed to head in a goal, but it was disallowed by VAR.
Notably, Burnley’s plight reminded fans of Evans’ time at Leicester, where they finished in the relegation zone last season.
Burnley, on the other hand, aims to avoid a similar fate, having lost all four of their home games this season and only secured their first victory in the ninth match of the 2021-22 campaign, which ultimately ended in relegation to the Championship.