Burnley 0-2 Manchester United: Under-par Clarets punished by the Red Devils 
(Photo by Rich Linley - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Manchester United went fifth after beating Burnley at Turf Moor. Man United controlled the game and went ahead through Anthony Martial just before the interval.

Marcus Rashford then sealed the victory in the 95th minute of stoppage time to hand the Clarets back-to-back defeats in the Premier League.

  • Story of the Match

United looked comfortable in the first half, with Rashford hitting the outside of the post before Martial saw a poked shot cleared off the line by Phil Bardsley, but they were ahead just before the break.

After Charlie Taylor lost possession deep in his own half, Andreas Pereira slipped a perfectly weighted pass to Martial who slotted coolly under Nick Pope.

Burnley improved after the break but didn't test David De Gea until the 72nd minute with Bardsley again firing a speculative effort. The Spaniard in goal tipped the ball around the post and the Clarets had a foot back into the game.

Martial should have wrapped the game up with seven minutes remaining. He was put through by Dan James before squaring for Jesse Lingard but Burnley had numbers back to deal with the threat.

But as Pope came forward for a late Burnley corner, United broke out of defence through James, who played Rashford in on goal. He took on  Pope who slipped and poked home his 12th goal of the season to end all hopes of a comeback.

  • Key takeaways

A rare clean sheet on the road for United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was confident that United could finish in the top four this season and this game could be a confidence push.

United were resilient in defence, something that we have rarely seen from the Red Devils this season. Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire were in inspiring form and Rashford continues his hot scoring streak.

Rashford and Martial are forming a partnership up-front which we have seen in previous seasons. Solskjaer should take note of this and utilise the two together to provide a real threat.

Are expectations being met at Burnley?

The Clarets looked reluctant against United and didn't go for it. With Dwight McNeil, Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood at their disposal there should've been more chances for Burnley.

Fans would want a mid-table finish but should they be in the top half? Two successive defeatsm six points above the relegation zone: it's a little worrying but they shouldn't hit the panic button.

Sean Dyche will keep Burnley up so they'll be fine but consistent mid-table finishes can be unflattering. Is it too ambitious to push for the top 10?

  • Up next

Burnley host Aston Villa at 12.30 on New Year's Day, before hosting Peterborough United in the FA Cup third round on Saturday. Manchester United travel to Arsenal on New Year's Day at 8pm, before an evening trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.