Man United in 2021: Ronaldo's return, Ole out and Rangnick revolution
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Cristiano Ronaldo was on target as Manchester United put Burnley to the sword at Old Trafford. The Red Devils went into the game on a low after a disappointing draw with Newcastle in midweek. However, they found their shooting boots to consign Sean Dyche’s side to defeat.
United were abysmal against Newcastle in midweek, with Ralf Rangnick then deciding to ring the changes for the match with Burnley.
And his decisions paid off, with the Red Devils drastically improved.
Scott McTominay was the star of the show, particularly in the first half, with the Scotland international opening the scoring with a fine strike.
Ben Mee’s own goal then doubled United’s lead after good work from Jadon Sancho, with Ronaldo then netting his team’s third of the night.
Aaron Lennon pulled one back for the Clarets before the interval but the night belonged to United.
Express Sport will now take a look at four things we learned from the showdown.
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Ronaldo shames Man Utd flops
Angel Di Maria scored just four goals for United, as well as Radamel Falcao.
Alexis Sanchez didn’t fare much better, netting five throughout his time at Old Trafford after moving from Arsenal in January 2018.
But Ronaldo has now shown up the trio after scoring his 14th goal of the season.
That means the Portugal international has scored the exact same amount Di Maria, Falcao and Sanchez managed throughout their spells at the club.
If he scores four more before the end of the campaign, you can also add Memphis Depay to the list.
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McTominay and Matic could be the way to go
United’s issues in midfield have been well-documented over the course of the season.
Donny van de Beek barely plays, Paul Pogba has struggled when he’s been fit and the likes of Fred, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay have all blown hot and cold.
However, playing in a flat two against Burnley, both Matic and McTominay impressed in the centre of the field.
Matic was a slick operator, breaking up play and regularly feeding the likes of Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani.
McTominay, though, was the best player on the pitch. His goal topped off a positive night at the office where he was a powerful, potent threat in the middle of the park.
United weak links remain
Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly didn’t exactly convince for United, with both players at fault for Lennon’s goal.
Bailly fumbled the ball in the build-up, allowing the visitors to take control of possession.
And Maguire gave Lennon far too much time, looking weak as the England international raced past him to find the net.
United were impressive going forward.
Yet when it comes to the basics of defending, they still have much to master.
Man Utd can shine without star names
United were without Pogba and Bruno Fernandes for the match against Burnley.
But the nature of their performance suggests they may actually be better without the duo in the team.
Pogba often slows things down from an attacking perspective and it’s common knowledge the France international struggles to break down play.
Fernandes, meanwhile, has looked out of sorts since Rangnick’s appointment having been moved into a wider position than he’s used to.
Both Sancho and Mason Greenwood looked menacing against Burnley and picking them for upcoming matches could be the best way for United to go.
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