Football

Manchester United perched on top after narrow win over Burnley

Clinching it: Paul Pogba lets fly Manchester United’s winner past the Burnley defence.  

Manchester United moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League after a Paul Pogba goal gave it a 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday.

The victory, in the re-arranged fixture, put United on 36 points from 17 games with rival Liverpool on 33 points ahead of the clash between the two sides at Anfield on Sunday.

The breakthrough came in the 71st minute when Marcus Rashford floated in a ball from the right which Pogba met with a volley that deflected off Burnley defender Matt Lowton and beat the wrong-footed Nick Pope.

It is the first time United has been top of the league after 17 games since December 2012 and the victory was its seventh in eight games away from Old Trafford.

“It’s very hard to play here,” said Pogba, who enjoyed another good performance in the centre of midfield.

“They have a style of play, very strong and we knew it would be difficult. We had to keep our heads calm and just focus on ourselves and hope the goal would come and it did come. It was a great performance from everyone, good focus.

“There is still a long way to go and we have big games to go so we have to focus on that.”

United skipper Harry Maguire had an effort ruled out in the first half after referee Kevin Friend ruled he had pushed Erik Pieters as he rose to head in a Luke Shaw cross at the back post.

United should have wrapped up the win in the final minutes but Anthony Martial, through on goal, was denied by the legs of Pope.

Everton claimed a sixth win from nine away games this season as Michael Keane’s late header earned them a 2-1 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers to move it into fourth spot.

Lively opening

A lively opening saw Alex Iwobi fire Everton in front before Ruben Neves replied for Wolves.

Wolves had looked the more likely winner in a dull second half but Keane’s towering header in the 77th minute sealed maximum points for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

LaLiga leader Atletico Madrid proved its title credentials yet again by beating in-form Sevilla 2-0 at home on Tuesday to stride four points clear at the top of the standings.

Atletico got off to an ideal start when Angel Correa received a pass from returning right back Kieran Trippier and took Sevilla by surprise with a shot which bounced in off the near post to give it the lead in the 17th minute.

Midfielder Saul Niguez effectively clinched the victory with a thumping effort from the edge of the area in the 76th to score his first goal of the season and condemn Sevilla to a first defeat in 10 games in all competitions.

The victory took Atletico on to 41 points after 16 games, four clear of second-placed Real Madrid which has played 18.

The results: Premier League: Burnley 0 lost to Manchester United 1 (Pogba 71); Sheffield United 1 (Sharp 73-pen) bt Newcastle 0; Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 (Neves 14) lost to Everton 2 (Iwobi 6, Keane 77).

LaLiga: Granada 2 (Suarez 22, Herrera 46-og) bt Osasuna 0; Atletico Madrid 2 (Correa 17, Saul Niguez 76) bt Sevilla 0.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2021 10:47:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/manchester-united-perched-on-top-after-narrow-win-over-burnley/article33571176.ece

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