New record signing Angel Di Maria made his debut today as United looked for their first 3 points of the season, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The game ended 0-0, with United still looking rather poor. David De Gea and Jonny Evans (surprisingly) were the only survivors from the midweek thrashing to MK Dons, Di Maria started for his debut.
Burnley nearly scored 3 minutes into the game, as ex red Dave Jones hit the bar from a superb free kick. A minute later, Burnley had another chance to score as another poor back pass from Evans sold De Gea short, but De Gea saved well. Burnley dominated the play for the opening 10 minutes, and we never really saw much of the ball.
United began to come into the game after 10 minutes and Di Maria started to show his class, and already seemed to be outperforming his new teammates. On 15 minutes we had our best chance of the match as Di Maria played a wonderful over the top through ball to Van Persie, who volleyed but was denied by a smart stop by another ex red, Tom Heaton. We started to the control the game, but still errors were a feature in our defense. We resorted to playing long balls for much of the half and game which really wasn’t working at all.
There was flickers of quality from United, but the final ball was lacking, or the calm finish. Di Maria was our best player of the half, but we still failed to find the net.
The second half started much better for United, and we were controlling much of the ball. There was some physical challenges on our new signing, as Burnley looked to welcome him to the Premier League but it didnt really seem to faze him. Just before the hour mark a quick break from Di Maria, eventually set up Van Persie who saw his volley cleared off the line, and two minutes later saw a header just drift over the bar as United looked to make this dominance pay, but it wasn’t to be.
A draw really wasn’t going to be good enough for the reds, as we continued to push and look for that opening goal, but it was never coming. Angel Di Maria’s debut ended on 70 minutes who began to struggle with cramp, and he was replaced by Anderson. We started to do what United teams of the past did so well and get the ball wide, and we started looking more threatening but Valencia and Young failed to delivery any dangerous balls.
Just to make things worse, Juan Mata went off injured with 5 minutes remaining to be replaced by Adnan Januzaj who really needs to start some more games. In the final few minutes, United were denied a stonewall penalty as the Burnley player handled in the box from an Ashley Young shot which really summed our game up.
It was another poor performance by United who pick up just their 2nd point out of 9 so far this season. The attacking trio of Mata, Rooney and Van Persie just wasn’t working, and all 3 had poor games today. Van Gaal has warned it could take 3 months for his 3-5-2 system to start working, but victories need to start happening soon.
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