Cristiano Ronaldo.

Report: United 3 Burnley 1

Thursday 30 December 2021 22:26

Manchester United rang out 2021 with an Old Trafford victory as Ralf Rangnick's Reds beat Burnley 3-1 in the Premier League.

A ruthless goal blitz in the opening 35 minutes saw a trio of goals from Scott McTominay, a Ben Mee own goal and Cristiano Ronaldo putting the Reds in a commanding position against Sean Dyche’s visitors.

Burnley soon pulled one back through Aaron Lennon but United were comfortable winners.

Rangnick made six changes from the XI who had under-performed in the draw with Newcastle at St James’ Park earlier in the week while Burnley were depleted due to four absentees with COVID-19 positive tests and further injuries in the squad. And it proved a happy send-off to the year for the Reds.

Ronaldo flying high after he scored United's third against Burnley.


It was a lively start to the final Old Trafford match this calendar year with Burnley having a chance after four minutes when Chris Wood’s diving header went wide.

United’s response was immediate and a searching Luke Shaw ball over the Clarets’ backline picked out Ronaldo’s run. He controlled the ball with his head, and with a yard advantage on his markers and a one-to-one with the keeper, the stadium was on its feet ready to celebrate. But our No.7 lifted his chance over the bar and into the Stretford End.

Our support got behind Ronaldo immediately and, soon after, he was inadvertently involved in the opening goal. Mason Greenwood cut the ball back from the byline and Ronaldo couldn’t get the ball under control but his heavy touch fell kindly for McTominay. The midfielder steered the ball home with his right foot for his first United goal of the season, after eight minutes.

McTominay’s hit was also the first time the Reds had scored in the opening 15 minutes in the Premier League this campaign, the last of the 20 teams to do so. It was just what we needed after the disappointment of the performance in the 1-1 draw at Newcastle on Monday night.

United were buoyed by the lifting of the pressure and were on top and then 2-0 up after 27 minutes. Sancho had Burnley on the back foot and his low drive took a slight deflection off defender Mee and squeezed in at the far post.

United were loving it and went 3-0 up eight minutes later. The impressive Greenwood started the move, switching play with a brilliant crossfield ball to Sancho, summer signing then set up McTominay for a screamer but Burnley keeper Wayne Hennessey turned the shot onto a post. However, he was horrified to see Ronaldo following up and able to stab the rebound home.

The Reds, however, went to sleep three minutes later, as Lennon cut the lead to two again. Eric Bailly failed to control the ball and it was seized upon by Lennon, whose shot crept in past David De Gea but it didn't put too much of a dampener on an improved showing by the Reds in the first half.


United failed to pick the tempo back up when we came out for the second half and it clearly annoyed Rangnick in the technical area as his body language showed disapproval of the Reds slowing the game down.

McTominay had been one of our stand-out performers and a trademark long-range clean strike almost brought our fourth goal of the night in the 63rd minute but his shot was tipped over the bar by Hennessey.

It was the highlight of the second period as United took our foot off the gas and relegation-threatened Burnley had no further gear to move up into.

Rangnick was forced into his first change of the evening after 65 minutes when Eric Bailly went off injured, to be replaced by Raphael Varane, and, later, he swapped Diogo Dalot for Greenwood. The second half couldn’t replicate the ruthlessness of that first 35 minutes and United rarely troubled Hennessey again after McTominay’s bullet, with Ronaldo striking a free-kick into the wall from a promising position and volleying a difficult opening off target.

James Tarkowski had a couple of late headed attempts but one dropped wide and the other was easily fielded by De Gea.

The win was enough to take the Reds into sixth position in the Premier League, going into 2022.


Who was Man of the Match against Burnley?


Find out who was voted the Reds' star man in the victory over the Clarets.


United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly (Varane 65), Maguire (c), Shaw, Matic, McTominay; Sancho, Greenwood (Dalot 79); Cavani, Ronaldo (Fred 92).

Subs not used: Henderson, Telles, van de Beek, Rashford, Lingard, Elanga.

Goals: McTominay 8, Mee (own goal) 27, Ronaldo 35.

Burnley: Hennessey, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Cork (Stephens 58), Westwood, McNeil (Pieters 84), Lennon (Vydra 73); Wood.

Subs not used: Norris, Collins, Bardsley, Thomas.

Goal: Lennon 38.