Glossop Advertiser - - Sport - Sa­muel Luck­hurst

LAST Mon­day night it ended with ap­plause and at Turf Moor United sup­port­ers put their hands to­gether again. But not just for Jose Mour­inho.

That plane ban­ner mes­sage some mil­i­tant sup­port­ers had ar­ranged for prompted the ma­jor­ity of the Reds fans in­side the ground to put their hands to­gether as it flew across the Lan­cashire sky­line 20 min­utes be­fore kick-off.

It was Mour­inho’s words – to Arsene Wenger in 2014, specif­i­cally – that United fans quoted in their protest: ‘Ed Wood­ward: A spe­cial­ist in fail­ure’. Once the game be­gan, the sup­port for Mour­inho and the play­ers clad in their new pink en­sem­ble in­ten­si­fied.

The United play­ers were nearly the sup­port­ers’ equal in an at times pro­duc­tive and pacy dis­play that, un­like the Tot­ten­ham ca­pit­u­la­tion, in­cluded goals.

Alexis Sanchez’s deft dink was con­verted steadily by Romelu Lukaku in the 27th minute.

Juan Mata, Ser­gio Romero and Scott McTom­i­nay were cut from the squad and sat among the away fol­low­ers, where their names were aired loudly.

Nor­mal­ity was re­stored; as United play­ers, staff and match­go­ers en­joyed them­selves and Mour­inho threat­ened to re­nege on his Fri­day pledge that he does not ‘put his face in front of the cam­era’ as he cut loose with his cel­e­bra­tion for the sec­ond. Sanchez’s in­ci­sion set Luke Shaw ma­raud­ing into the area and Jesse Lin­gard’s ric­o­cheted shot was gob­bled up by the ruth­less Lukaku again.

How ap­pro­pri­ate Mour­inho sign­ings made the dif­fer­ence as sup­port­ers railed against Wood­ward and the Glazer fam­ily own­ers’ miser­li­ness. ‘Mour­inho’s Red and White Army!’ United fans roared as the epony­mous Por­tuguese strolled across the Turf Moor turf two goals to the good at the pause. There was also a dash of schaden­freude as Joe Hart faced the United fans in the sec­ond half to taunts of ‘City re­ject’.

What should have been a wholly serene af­ter­noon was only up­set by two acts of petu­lance. Firstly from Paul Pogba’s pa­thetic penalty which Hart com­fort­ably saved in the 69th minute. Two min­utes later Mar­cus Rash­ford re­acted to Phil Bard­s­ley’s snide kick by butting heads. Bard­s­ley was booked and Rash­ford re­ceived his first ca­reer dis­missal. He will not be avail­able for do­mes­tic se­lec­tion again un­til Septem­ber 29 at West Ham.

This was United’s most dom­i­nant, con­trolled and pro­fes­sional per­for­mance of the cam­paign. Burn­ley were ideal op­po­nents, in fair­ness; what with be­ing win­less go­ing into the fix­ture and un­fa­mil­iar to the Thurs­day-Sun­day sched- ul­ing that Europa League foot­ball en­tails.

Still, any win would have done af­ter an aw­ful Au­gust.

The livewire Lin­gard’s move­ment be­fud­dled the Clarets from the off and he ought to have put United ahead with one of his three op­por­tu­ni­ties prior to Lukaku’s opener.

The Reds un­suc­cess­fully used the aerial tac­tic with Lukaku when their in­ci­sion was slick enough ●● to breach their hosts. Sanchez show­cased that with the back­heel that sparked Shaw’s surge and ended with Lukaku lash­ing in a sec­ond.

Lukaku squan­dered three one-on-ones - two of them with United re­duced to 10 men - and that profli­gacy might be pun­ished on an­other day. United’s vol­u­ble fans did not dwell at that as the play­ers ap­proached them at full-time, though. ●●

Romelu Lukaku scores his and United’s sec­ond goal

Romelu Lukaku beats Joe Hart in the Burn­ley goal to make it 1-0

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