One of the best atmosphere’s we’ll experience this season thundered their players along and, in the first half certainly, Burnley played considerably better than United and deserved the result.
Fletcher and Beatty were noticeable threats all evening and were it not for another superb performance from Evra we could have been in deeper trouble. Every pass United made was chased and harried. Bad news when the passing gods are not on your side.
You need to go back forty-one years and eighteen fixtures to find the last time Burnley turned over Manchester United. Back then we had three solid dead ball specialists in Law, Best and Charlton. At Turf Moor today we had Michael Carrick.
Phelan after the match, “he took the ball quickly, I’m sure a lot of others wanted to take it.” Excuse me? Hang on a second. Does that mean to say we don’t have a recognised penalty taker at the moment? I wondered who was on free-kicks on Sunday (Giggs apparently) and now penalties are up for grabs. Maybe we should give one to Foster, or even better, I can jump out of the stand and take one myself.
Jensen saves Carrick's passback
That seems to be a fairly basic part of the team’s organisation that is not sorted out. At the back, errors are somewhat excusable. It really is a plaster-cast defence at the moment but unlike last year the plate is not being stepped up to. Brown looks very clumsy but I suspect a few more games and they should all find their groove.
Something to take note of this year is there are now nine teams from the local area in the top flight. That’s an awful lot of regional pride up for grabs and United’s is the biggest scalp of all. People talk about the top-4 mini-league but the North-West championship will matter to many.
Well as Burnley acquitted themselves, United really should have been more ready for this. This is a side who frightened the lives out of Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea last year. They know how to take big teams by surprise. Their game plan wasn’t rocket science, go for it in the first half and protect the lead in the second. We should have enough experience to counter that.
In the second half things improved marginally. We were certainly more dangerous after Valencia came on and Berbatov is just pure class. The man has a first touch from Mount Olympus, it is a joy to behold and when everyone else is on his wavelength great things will come. Owen's sights are off a bit and at the moment I suspect my garden shed could beat him over a 100m. Usain Bolt he ain’t.
Nonetheless, the league will still be won and lost in January and February and when we have our first choice defence playing we will earn more points. And we will probably need to be earning them against the other top teams. First up is Arsenal. Good thing they aren’t playing brilliantly across the board. Oh wait…
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Photography from Max Choong at FlckrComs