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Burnley 0-0 Manchester United: Sloppy Utd overshadows Di Maria debut (video)

Aug 30, 2014, 9:40 AM EST

Angel Di Maria‘s first half-hour of Premier League play was among the only exciting things to happen in Manchester United’s scoreless draw with Burnley on Saturday morning at Turf Moor.

The Argentine international thrilled but his teammates were sloppy and referee Chris Foy turned down multiple appeals for a penalty, as karma may’ve bitten Ashley Young.

Burnley has its first point in this Premier League stint, while United improves to just two points on the season through three games.

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Questions will certainly arrive regarding Louis van Gaal’s 3-5-2 for United, but it should be noted that only Di Maria featured of the club’s 4-5 summer transfers (depending if you count the reported impending move for Daley Blind).

The Premier League world got its first taste of what Angel Di Maria can do when he served an absolutely gorgeous 50-yard ball on a rope to a streaking Robin van Persie, only for the Dutchman to be stifled by Tom Heaton.

ADM then worked a combination down the left side that began with him head-flicking a ball backwards, then using the outside of his right boot for a flick that set up his own brilliant run down the wing. He was excellent.

It wasn’t all wine and roses for Di Maria, whose wayward touch outside his own 18 allowed David Jones to trouble David De Gea with a first touch rip.

One player who didn’t look world class was van Persie, who really struggled to turn the service he was receiving into danger for Burnley.

Which isn’t to say the Clarets didn’t attack, as Burnley had several good chances over the course of the first half. Scottish attacker Scott Arfield nutmegged Tyler Blackett before moving around Darren Fletcher and having a shot deflected out for a corner. An earlier free kick from Jones off the bar certainly gave United fans pause.

The second half was slow and plodding, especially as Di Maria’s legs got the best of him.

source: Getty Images

Burnley fans get their first point in the PL

The danger returned for Manchester United in the final 15 minutes, and Rooney headed an Anderson corner wide in the 78th minute.

Antonio Valencia provided a good deal of danger to win corners for the visitors late, but his crosses were downright miserable.

Ashley Young should’ve won a PK for United in the 87th minute after his shot was handled in the 18, but referee Foy apparently wasn’t paying attention.

It’s probably fair to note that Di Maria is the only one of United’s four summer window signings to play against Burnley, as Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw weren’t selected or available, and Daley Blind has yet to formalize his transfer from Ajax.

Lineups

Burnley: Heaton; Trippier, Duff, Shackell (c), Mee; Arfield, Jones, Marney, Taylor (Reid, 88′); Ings (Barnes, 79′), Jutkiewicz

Manchester United: De Gea, Jones, Evans, Blackett, Valencia (Januzaj, 87′), Young, Fletcher, Di Maria (Anderson, 70′), Mata, Rooney, van Persie (Welbeck, 73′)

  1. lordfletcher - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Di maria created 3 solid chances and had a few careless turnovers.. Overall, live what I saw from him.

    Mata, Rooney and RVP were really flat and disappointing.

    Time to change up the system. Move to 4 defenders. Clearly this isn’t working and doesn’t favor those brought in, and currently on roster. IMO

    • geejon - Aug 30, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      The problem is the CB’s. United are playing 3 classic CB’s who stay back at all times. Their opponents have fielded one centre forward. When United have the ball that means 3 players are defending 1 player which leaves the opposition with 9 outfield players to defend 7 United players. There is no space for them to create anything which results in sideways and backpasses until either the ball is lost or someone finally sends in a weak cross which results in nothing.

      The present CB’s cannot play this formation. Jones is fine in the middle but the left and right CB’s are not of the quality required. In a 3-5-2 you need the outer CB’s to be able to play like fullbacks. When United have the ball they need to be able to make quick outlet passes and push up the field. Evans and Blackett cannot do that. They’re slow on the ball and don’t have the pace required so when they possess the ball the game comes to a halt. This is why they never catch anyone on the break and if they eventually do work the ball up none of the outer CB’s is confident enough to push up and become another attacking player which leaves United outnumbered and unable to create any chances.

      When Rojo and Blind come into the squad and Herrera and Shaw are fit you should see a better product but for now it’s almost unwatchable.

  2. navyeoddavee9 - Aug 30, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    United on pace for a solid 25 points this season

  3. Ian's Rushtache - Aug 30, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Is Van Gaal really a tactical genius if he won’t budge off a formation that a) he clearly doesn’t have the players for, and b) is not working.

    • lordfletcher - Aug 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Some what agree but I don’t care the boss or system… Players of Man Utd should NEVER lose or draw matches like these.

      Culture / pedigree needs to change from last year and that tells me its the leadership of the current players.

  4. footballer4ever - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    No one can’t really say Manchester United is a pointless team now.

  5. blugold94 - Aug 30, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    If only Man U could spend a little more money then they’d really be something…….

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