The final Premier League clash of Tuesday played out a short time ago.
Said game saw Burnley and Manchester United face off at Turf Moor.
Manchester United headed into the game needing a win to ensure they kept some breathing space between themselves and the top-four-chasing pack.
Burnley, meanwhile, are in desperate need of points to stave off relegation. They began the day bottom of the English top-flight.
But, when all was said and done, Manchester United had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Manchester United took the lead in the tie after 18 minutes when Paul Pogba slotted home from the edge of the Burnley box, getting on the end of a Luke Shaw cross.
Paul Pogba gives Man Utd the lead against Burnley! 💥
The away side work their way down the left brilliantly, before an emphatic finish from the Frenchman! ⚽ pic.twitter.com/eCXlwwwF35
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 8, 2022
Burnley, though, came out for the second 45 looking much sharper and drew level after 47 minutes:
Michael Keane really is pointless without Mina. He just looks clueless.
— Ken (@kis85) February 8, 2022
Ralf Rangnick and co. were then unable to find a second goal, meaning that the Red Devils have dropped out of the top-four thanks to West Ham winning their game on Tuesday.
Here are five things 101 learned from the match.
Cristiano Ronaldo benched
The first talking point of the game obviously came before the match when Cristiano Ronaldo was benched.
In his explanation for dropping Ronaldo for Edinson Cavani, Ralf Rangnick pointed towards the need for running and chasing second balls:
Rangnick to MUTV: “We’ve played Burnley a couple of weeks ago and seen quite a few games here at Turf Moor, we knew in the early stages it will require a lot of running, chasing for second balls, so I decided to start with Edi because this kind of profile suits him.” #mufc
— Tyrone Marshall (@TyMarshall_MEN) February 8, 2022
And, as is well known now, the 37-year-old is no longer a very mobile player so the decision did make sense.
Back when Ralf Rangnick first took charge of United, there was some concern about Ronaldo’s future at United under the German, given that the Portuguese is not typically known for his pressing/defensive work.
Now, after Rangnick dropped Ronaldo vs Burnley, it begs the question, when Ronaldo returns to the starting line-up, will it really be what is best for United?
Pretty much every game in the Premier League now requires teams to press and chase down balls, especially when you play the bigger sides, which United will be doing a lot of in the next month or so.
And if Ralf Rangnick does not trust Ronaldo to chase the ball vs Burnley, surely that lack of trust would only be amplified against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City?
Ronaldo may have been one of the world’s best players in his day, but it is obvious that the Portuguese, despite his ability, can often hamper his team due to his lack of defensive work.
Luke Shaw remains a valuable asset
One of the main changes Ralf Rangnick made when he came to United was making Alex Telles and Diogo Dalot their main full-backs.
And whilst Dalot has impressed down the right, Telles, who is currently out with Covid-19, has not shone as much.
Shaw, meanwhile, returned to the starting line-up vs Burnley and was one of United’s brightest players in the first 45.
The Englishman was a serious threat down Burnley’s right and created a number of big chances, including the opener from Paul Pogba.
Shaw may have been handed a start out of necessity, but his display at Turf Moor suggests he deserves to maintain a starting berth for the time being.
De Gea’s fine form continues
Conceding against Burnley obviously is not a great look for a goalkeeper.
However, despite letting in a goal, David de Gea, much like he did throughout January to earn Premier League Player of the Month, put on another stellar showing on Tuesday.
A particular highlight from the Spaniard was his save for the Wout Weghorst effort shortly after the Burnley equaliser.
United’s defence remains suspect at times, especially Harry Maguire, but De Gea continues to perform at a top level.
Wout Weghorst an excellent Chris Wood replacement
When Newcastle activated Chris Wood’s release clause in January, Burnley were dealt a huge blow.
The striker had been the Clarets most effective forward over the last several seasons and losing him in the midst of a relegation battle was a blow.
However, Burnley brought in Wout Weghorst from Wolfsburg to replace Wood and, so far, the Dutchman looks a great buy.
The 6ft 6 hitman caused Manchester United all sorts of issues on Tuesday, throwing his weight around and dominating Harry Maguire.
Weghorst would set up the Jay Rodriguez opener and also came close to bagging a goal of his own.
Burnley might not have come away with the three points, but their clash with Manchester United will have gone a long way to easing fan fears over how they would replace Chris Wood.
Manchester United lack confidence
For the second game in a row, Manchester United started superbly against an opponent they should have beaten with ease.
However, much like it was vs Middlesbrough, United didn’t grab that second goal and after conceding an equaliser out of pretty much nowhere, United’s display took a massive nosedive.
Burnley did not appear to change that much in the second half, but what did change was the United player’s confidence.
Most had superb first 45s, but as soon as that equaliser went in, the United stars sunk on the pitch.
It is obviously something that is very hard to fix, but it has become clear these Manchester United players need to react much better when they face some form of setback.
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Premier League table
|5||West Ham United||23||10||37|
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||22||0||30|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||16|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||10|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||9|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||8|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||8|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||8|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||8|
|Smith-Rowe, Emile||Arsenal FC||8|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||8|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United||7|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||7|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||7|
|Gallagher, Conor||Crystal Palace||7|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion||7|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City||7|
|Silva, Bernardo||Manchester City||7|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City||6|
|Saka, Bukayo||Arsenal FC||6|
|Maddison, James||Leicester City||6|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Salisu, Mohammed||Southampton FC||0||7|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||6|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||7|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||0||6|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||6|
|Westwood, Ashley||Burnley FC||0||6|
|Alonso, Marcos||Chelsea FC||0||6|
|Norgaard, Christian||Brentford FC||0||6|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||6|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||1||5|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa||0||6|
|Llorente, Diego||Leeds United||0||6|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||6|
|Maguire, Harry||Manchester United||0||5|
|Ward, Joel||Crystal Palace||0||6|
|Skipp, Oliver||Tottenham Hotspur||0||6|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||0||4|
|Gallagher, Conor||Crystal Palace||0||5|
|Robertson, Andy||Liverpool FC||1||4|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||1||4|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||10|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||9|
|Robertson, Andy||Liverpool FC||8|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United||7|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||7|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||7|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||6|
|Cancelo, Joao||Manchester City||6|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||5|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||5|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||5|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||5|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||5|
|Redmond, Nathan||Southampton FC||5|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City||4|
|Saka, Bukayo||Arsenal FC||4|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Barnes, Harvey||Leicester City||4|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||4|
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