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Your Monday Briefing is here to provide a punchy round-up of Manchester United news, views and events from the weekend…
Let’s start with an important Premier League win at Turf Moor that was secured via Anthony Martial’s intelligent 54th-minute finish past Nick Pope. It secured a fourth consecutive win for the Reds in 2018 that maintained a certain amount of pressure on runaway leaders Manchester City, who still hold a 12-point advantage at the top after beating Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium later on Saturday. Elsewhere in the top six, Chelsea and Arsenal both secured victories, but Tottenham Hotspur dropped two points by drawing at Southampton. Liverpool are in action this evening against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
Watch Martial's winner at BurnleyVideo
Speaking after the win about Mr Sanchez, the name that was on everybody’s lips over the weekend, Jose explained:
“I expect soon or never. I think it's so close, so close, so close that if it doesn't happen, it's not going to happen, so I am positive. I know that my people are doing absolutely everything they can - the owners with the green light and Mr Woodward working hard. I think everybody is giving everything they can and I think we're going to be successful.”
Back to the game and Tony Martial was voted our star man by fans on Twitter with 65 per cent of votes cast, which was hardly surprising. Yet there was a shock in the tunnel afterwards when the popular forward conducted his first-ever MUTV interview in English with lead commentator Stewart Gardner, telling him:
“I think we played good, it was a good game and the most important thing was to get the win, so everyone is happy. Romelu did good work and I did a good shot, so I am happy.”
Nice one, Anthony!Video
4: ANOTHER CLEAN SHEET FOR DE GEA
David registered a 14th clean sheet of the Premier League season to maintain his lead in the race for the Golden Glove, with Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois behind him on 12. Our Spanish no.1 told us last week that he would love to win the award.
14 - David de Gea has kept more clean sheets than any other goalkeeper in Europe’s big five leagues this season (14). Reliable.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 20, 2018
5: WHY YOUNG STARTED OVER SHAW
Ashley was recalled to the XI over Luke after serving his three-match ban, despite the latter impressing in recent weeks. Mourinho explained the decision by saying:
“I'm really happy with Luke. I don't need to go to the transfer market to get a left-back because I'm really happy with Luke and with the adaptation of Ashley Young so I’m really happy. But I think this match is a very specific one that you need the experience of Young and he also projects very well in attack.”
6: RESPECTS PAID TO CYRILLE REGIS
A moment of silence and then applause was held at Burnley in tribute to the former West Bromwich Albion and England forward, who died last week at the age of 59. He has been described as ”one of the great symbols of the fight against racism
“ and ”a pioneer for black footballers
“ across the world.
7: CARRICK IN THE AWAY END
Michael sat among the Reds supporters at Turf Moor with his young son, who was experiencing the away end for the first time, and a video has emerged that captured the moment Carras leapt up from his seat to start a chant. You can watch it via the club’s official Twitter account.
On the subject of Carrick, it was revealed on Friday night that Mourinho has asked the experienced and highly-respected 36-year-old to join his coaching staff at the end of the season.
8: A MINI BREAK FOR THE PLAYERS
“In this difficult weather, I think to play in the afternoon can be a little better," Jose told MUTV on Friday.
“And then we can have our Sunday off and some players can even travel to see their families abroad before, next week, we go back to FA Cup which is a beautiful competition to play in.”
Our next opponents, in this Friday's Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie, suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Chesterfield at Huish Park, after conceding a 93rd-minute goal to substitute Kristian Dennis.
Otis Khan was also shown a straight red card for shoving referee Kevin Johnson and, as a result, the former United trainee and huge Reds fan will miss the game against us.
“What you've got is a broken lad,”boss Darren Way told BBC Somerset.
“He's done about four or five interviews [about playing against United] and I'm gutted for the player. The boy is from Manchester, he knows at that time his dreams are shattered and no matter what, you can't prepare a human being to be able to deal with that.”
10: A GOAL FOR WILSON
James Wilson scored on his full debut for loan club Sheffield United in the sixth minute of a 2-1 win at Norwich City that kept them in the Championship play-off places.
“People talk about getting the first goal so it was important,” said boss Chris Wilder.
“It gave us a lift and settled us down.”
11: MITCHELL STOLE THE SHOW
Demi Mitchell also made an excellent loan debut for Heart of Midlothian in Scotland, by winning the Man of the Match award after a 1-0 win over city rivals Hibernian. Mitchell's temporary manager Craig Levein said:
“When good players come into the dressing room you think we’ll have to up our standards, and also they’re here to help. The two debutants for Hearts I thought were fantastic.”
What a win today beating Hibs!!! Atmosphere was amazing. Buzzing to get Man of the match also✅— Demetri Mitchell (@demetrimitche11) January 21, 2018
12: BEST WISHES TO RVP
Good luck to former United striker Robin van Persie, who has signed for his boyhood club Feyenoord on a free transfer some 14 years after leaving the Dutch giants. He will work under his former Netherlands team-mate Giovanni van Bronckhorst, whose side are currently fifth in the Eredivisie.