Manchester United failed to return to winning ways on Tuesday night as they were held to a stalemate by Burnley.
United were looking to bounce back following Friday’s disappointing FA Cup elimination at the hands of Championship side Middlesbrough as they returned to Premier League action following the winter break.
However, they were unable to make their early dominance count and allowed a spirited Burnley to fight their way back into the game.
Paul Pogba gave Ralf Rangnick’s side the lead in an opening 45 minutes in which they were dominant and saw two goals controversially disallowed.
The Clarets came out fighting after the break, though, and leveled through Jay Rodriguez.
United were once again unable to recover from the setback and the draw has seen them slip out of the top four and be replaced by West Ham, while Tottenham and Arsenal will also have the chance to go level on points with them – with games in hands – this week.
Here are five things you may have missed on a sodden night at Turf Murf.
New rising star
United fans were proudly flying a new flag in the away end at Turf Moor, one that paid tribute to teenage star Anthony Elanga.
The red, white and black flag has the Swedish forward’s face in the middle between the letters ‘MUFC’ and has ‘Anthony Elanga, came from Scandanavia’ written across it.
Elanga has quickly become a favorite on the terraces after bursting into the first-team and the new flag is a further show of that support, especially after he missed the decisive penalty against Boro.
His catchy chant was sung throughout the game from the away end, too.
Why Varane’s goal was disallowed
Raphael Varane looked to have scored his first goal for the club with an excellent header but it was then disallowed after a consultation with VAR.
Though it may have looked that the strike was chalked off due to a foul by Harry Maguire in the build-up, as he blocked off James Tarkowski, it was actually the fact that the United captain did so while in an off-side position that led to it being ruled out.
An own-goal from Josh Brownhill was also disallowed moments after United’s legal goal because Pogba was adjudged to have committed a foul in the build-up.
Fernandes tracks back
It could have been a lot worse for United than it eventually was as Burnley had a great chance to equalize towards the end of the first half.
The ball broke for Erik Pieters with most of United’s players up for a set-piece and the left-back bared down on goal before attempting to slip through Rodriguez.
Though the pass was a bit poor, it still would have gone to the striker if it wasn’t for the lung-busting work of Bruno Fernandes, who ran the length of the pitch to snuff out the chance.
Pogba breaks duck
Although yet more dropped points is hard to take there were at least a couple of positives from the match.
Another good display from Jadon Sancho is one, while Pogba getting back on the scoresheet is another.
It was the Frenchman’s first Premier League appearance since October due to suspension and injury and he marked it with an excellent goal as he rifled Luke Shaw’s cutback into the top corner with pinpoint precision.
It was his first goal in the league in 13 months and with the drought over he can hopefully have a big contribution in what will likely be his final few months at the club.
Sir Alex doesn’t look impressed
As United huffed and puffed in the second-half without any success in their hunt for a winner, the cameras found legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
He was watching the game alongside former club chief executive David Gill and kit man Albert Morgan and it’s safe to say that none of them looked impressed with what they were seeing.
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