Erik Ten Hag’s squad wasted no time asserting their dominance right from the game’s opening moments. They pressed high, suffocating Burnley and denying them any breathing room. This early intensity translated into a golden opportunity for Marcus Rashford in the very first minute. Rashford latched onto a precision pass from Hannibal, but despite the promising start, our no.10 could only locate the side netting.
Despite United’s initial pressure, Burnley gradually found their footing in the first half. The shift began with a lightning-fast charge down the left flank by Luca Koleosho, prompting Diogo Dalot into a late challenge and earning him an early yellow card. In the moments that followed, during their sustained offensive play, Burnley conjured up their best chance of the opening 45 minutes. Josh Cullen threaded a ball through our defense, delivering it to Zeki Amdouni just outside the six-yard box. However, while Amdouni managed to get the better of Andre Onana, his shot could only meet the post.
However, against the run of play, Bruno Fernandes stepped up, securing a corner for the Reds in the 25th minute. Sergio Reguilon assumed responsibility for delivering an in-swinging corner, finding a rising Jonny Evans inside the box. It appeared to be a goal for the seasoned defender on his 200th appearance, but a VAR decision ruled that an offside Rasmus Hojlund had obstructed Burnley’s goalkeeper, James Trafford.
Jonny Evans’ fortune took a turn just before the halfway mark as he executed a sublime lofted ball over Burnley’s defense, falling perfectly onto the right foot of Fernandes. Without hesitation, our captain unleashed a blistering volley that left Trafford dumbfounded. The former Manchester City goalkeeper could only watch as the ball rocketed past him, nestling into the bottom-left corner of the net. This stunning strike gave the Reds the lead as they entered halftime at Turf Moor.