19/08/2009 20:22, Report by Gemma Thompson
Burnley 1 United 0
United suffered a first defeat of the season at Turf Moor following Robbie Blake’s stunning first-half volley and a momentous display from Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen.
The great Dane beat away everything Sir Alex’s men threw at him, including a Michael Carrick penalty as the Clarets held out for a famous victory following Blake’s glorious strike on 19 minutes.
Sir Alex made five changes to the side that started the Reds’ opening day victory over Birmingham City. Wes Brown partnered Jonny Evans, who had recovered from a slight knock, in the centre of defence, while Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Anderson were brought into midfield with the latter lining up down the left. In attack, Michael Owen was handed his first competitive start in a red shirt alongside Wayne Rooney.
As expected for Burnley’s first home game back in the top flight for 33 years, Turf Moor was a cauldron of noise as the teams emerged from the tunnel. But the Clarets' fans were almost silenced in the opening two minutes when Patrice Evra’s cross almost found the unmarked Michael Owen who would have had the simple job of tapping home from close range had the ball not rolled behind him due to a slight deflection.
Owen Coyle’s men breathed a sigh of relief, but the decibel level almost went through the roof on nine minutes when Steven Fletcher found himself in acres of room in the area. Thankfully for the Reds he failed to properly connect – twice – with Wade Elliott’s right-wing cross as the ball bounced to safety. An effort from Michael Carrick at the other end had Jensen scrambling, but the midfielder’s volley into the ground, from Giggs’ corner, landed on the roof of the net.
United had started brightly enough, but the home side were growing in confidence and an explosive dart forward from Martin Paterson on 18 minutes had Ben Foster racing from his line to block the striker’s goalbound effort.