Pogba sends Manchester United top of Premier League with win at Burnley

2021-01-13 12:13:30
Pogba sends Manchester United top of Premier League with win at Burnley

French footballer Paul Pogba took Manchester United top of England's Premier League for the first time in three years as his deflected winner saw off a dogged Burnley 1-0 at Turf Moor on Tuesday.

United now lead defending champions Liverpool by three points ahead of a top-of-the-table clash between the two most successful sides in English football history at Anfield on Sunday.

Despite continued speculation over his future, Pogba has played an increasingly important role in United's first serious title challenge since legendary former manager Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have now taken 29 from the last possible 33 points to recover from just two wins in their opening six games of the season.

The signing of Bruno Fernandes shortly after Burnley won 2-0 at Old Trafford nearly a year ago in the last meeting between the sides has transformed United's fortunes.

And if Pogba can finally produce consistent displays worthy of the then world record fee United paid for the Frenchman in 2016, there is reason for Solskjaer to believe he can end the club's eight-year wait for a league title.

The manner of victory against a Burnley side that had not lost at home since October also suggests United have the ability of champions to grind out a result when they need to.

After a slow start by the visitors, the first-half was dominated by controversy over a series of VAR reviews.

A five-minute delay to review Luke Shaw's challenge on Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady's foul on Edinson Cavani as the Uruguayan bore down on goal resulted in both sides escaping without having a man sent-off.

Referee Kevin Friend had initially waived play on from Shaw's lunge, but on review the left-back was shown a yellow card and Brady's yellow rescinded as the game should have been stopped earlier in the move.

United then had a goal harshly ruled out when Harry Maguire powered home a header at the back post, but was punished for a slight nudge on Erik Pieters.

The visitors upped the pressure in the second-half as Cavani, back from a controversial three-game ban, missed two big chances he would expect to take.

Pogba was controlling the game from midfield and it was fitting he was the match winner as his volley from Marcus Rashford's cross deflected off Matt Lowton and through the legs of Pope.

Burnley had chances to equalise late on as Eric Bailly diverted Matej Vydra's shot just wide before Maguire escaped claims for a penalty for handball.

But United held on for a big psychological boost ahead of the trip to Anfield.

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