Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Manchester United 1-1 Burnley: What Were The Main Talking Points As Erik ten Hag Comes Under More Scrutiny At Old Trafford?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 28 Apr 2024

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Suffering a late collapse away at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, Manchester United had to settle for a 1-1 stalemate against relegation scrappers Burnley.

While Erik ten Hag’s side might have been smelling the chance to claim a crucial Premier League victory here, the Reds struggled to find any kind of stability on either side of the half-time interval.

Although Brazil international Anthony might have opened the scoring late on following a well-taken effort in the 79th-minute, United suffered another public collapse in the red half of Manchester.

With Andre Onana costing his side three points after recklessly charging off his line in the final moment, second-half substitute Zeki Amdouni calm converted from the spot and salvaged a point for a spirited Burnley.

The result moved Burnley to within two points of fourth-bottom Nottingham Forest, whom they play at Turf Moor on the final day of the season.

With ten Hag’s men missing out on a golden opportunity here, they have now claimed just a single victory from any of their previous six Premier League appearances and are set to come under more scrutiny.

On an afternoon when Manchester United suffered another frustrating showdown at Old Trafford, we have taken a look at the main talking points.

The end of the road is approaching for ETH

While Manchester United might have mounted an essential comeback against Sheffield United earlier in the week as they secured an action-packed 4-2 victory against Sheffield United, it is no secret that ten Hag has found a huge amount of pressure on his shoulder at Old Trafford.

With it confirmed back in December that British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has completed a minority takeover of the Premier League giants, Saturday’s hosts still have a battle on their hands to confirm any kind of European adventure for next season.

Although United might have eventually avoided an infamous FA Cup collapse at Wembley on April 21st as they edged past Championship outfit Coventry, there are mounting sections of the Old Trafford support that are calling for a change in the dugout.

Gaining a reputation for their lethargic approach under the former Ajax boss, United have continued to struggle with their consistency under ten Hag and fingers are certainly been pointed in the direction of the Dutch tactician.

Already accepting that they will be unable to clinch another lucrative Champions League ticket this season, it appears that ten Hag has a real job on his hands to stay put at Old Trafford post the summer.

United’s glaring defensive struggles

Although Bruno Fernandes might have continued to spearhead United’s charge since returning from March’s international break, ten Hag’s side have continued to gain a reputation for their rather glaring defensive issues.

With the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw and ex-Real Madrid star Raphael Varane all dealing with respective injury issues, Casemiro has been forced to partner England international Harry Maguire at the heart of ten Hag’s defence.

Once again showing any kind of chemistry at the back on Saturday afternoon, the Reds have failed to register a single clean sheet from any of their previous eight appearances across all competitions.

Likewise, United have recorded just a pair of domestic clean sheets in front of their own supporters since the middle of November.

Next seen when they travel to a resurgent Crystal Palace on May 6th, United’s leaky defence should face another tricky test in south London.

Burnley still dreaming of a great escape

While Burnley might still find themselves pencilled in as a leading contender to be hit with an immediate Championship return over the final few weeks, Saturday’s guests have certainly breathed life back into their charge for top-flight safety.

Snatching a deserved late point at Old Trafford here and causing United’s leaky defence a string of issues, Vincent Kompany’s men are dreaming of the chance to complete what would be a famous last-gasp escape.

Making a real statement of intent earlier in the month as they stormed their way to a 4-1 romp away at Sheffield United, the former Manchester City skipper has remarkably seen his squad lose just one of their previous eight consecutive Premier League appearances – a run that stems back to March 3rd.

Ending Saturday’s 1-1 stalemate in Manchester sat just two points adrift of skyrocketing their way out of the drop zone, Burnley face what are three season-defining showdowns before the 2023/24 campaign comes to an end.

Clearly turning a crucial corner on either side of March’s international break, the Lancashire-based outfit will be next seen on May 4th when they welcome Newcastle to Turf Moor.

Match Report

Manchester United: Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Maguire, Dalot, Eriksen, Mainoo, Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho, Hojlund

Subs: McTominay, Diallo, Mount, Amrabat

Burnley: Muric, Assignor, O’Shea, Esteve, Vitinho, Larsen, Cullen, Berge, Odobert, Foster, Fofana

Subs: Guomundsson, Amdouni

Goals: Manchester United: Antony (79’) – Burnley: Amdouni (87’ P)

Yellow Cards: Manchester United: Antony – Burley: Esteve, Cullen, Odobert

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: John Brooks

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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