Mason Greenwood’s double and Edinson Cavani’s late strike gave Manchester United their fifth straight Premier League win as they beat Burnley 3-1 to move within eight points of leaders Man City.
The first half was frantic but goalless, and it was United who took the lead just after the break through Greenwood (48), smashing home at the far post from Marcus Rashford’s centre and a clever Bruno Fernandes dummy.
Burnley were level just 114 seconds later as James Tarkowski rose highest from an Ashley Westwood corner (50), but Greenwood got his second, finding the near post at the right of the box from a deflected shot off Jack Cork (85).
Half-time sub Edinson Cavani converted Donny van de Beek’s centre at close range for 3-1 in stoppage time (90+3), and the result means that, with six games remaining, United’s gap to rivals City is now eight points, while the gap to fifth place is now 12 points.
Burnley remain 17th, six points ahead of Fulham in the relegation zone and with a game in hand.
Man Utd: Henderson (5), Wan-Bissaka (7), Lindelof (6), Maguire (6), Shaw (7), Fred (6), McTominay (6), Pogba (7), Fernandes (7), Greenwood (8), Rashford (7)
Subs: Cavani (7), Van de Beek (NA)
Burnley: Peacock-Farrell (7), Lowton (6), Tarkowski (7), Mee (6), Taylor (6), Cork (6), Westwood (7), Brownhill (6), Gudmundsson (6), McNeil (6), Wood (7)
Subs: Vydra (NA), Rodriguez (NA)
Man of the match: Mason Greenwood
How Greenwood helped Man Utd continue fine form
Old Trafford was a home from home for Burnley, having been unbeaten there in four games, and they nearly had the perfect start but for the offside flag sparing Dean Henderson’s blushes.
Racing out to meet a long ball, Henderson was beaten to it by Chris Wood, who looped a header into the net, but Wood was just ahead of last man Luke Shaw. United, notorious slow starters in recent months, had survived.
Both sides had chances in an energetic first half – Paul Pogba saw a looping header tipped away by Bailey Peacock-Farrell, but headed over unmarked from a corner later in the half, while Rashford also stung the hands of the Burnley goalkeeper from an angle, and Greenwood was inches away from reaching Rashford’s flash across goal at the far post.
At the other end, Wood continued to cause problems, directing a header from Matt Lowton’s cross wide, and then shooting off-target on the swivel 12 yards out.
The game had been threatening goals from minute one, and they came in quick succession early in the second half.
Cavani was introduced at the break for Fred, but it was Greenwood who provided the clinical edge, firing into the net at the far post after the ball had rolled to him unmarked from Rashford, via a lovely Fernandes dummy.
But Burnley reacted well and levelled shortly after; Tarkowski looked to have been sandwiched by Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from a Westwood corner, but he stayed airborne to direct a header into the corner of the net from six yards.
United huffed and puffed for a winner – Fernandes’ header was saved well by Peacock-Farrell – and got it with five minutes remaining through Greenwood’s fifth goal in six games.
Cutting in from the right, Greenwood’s low, left-footed effort fortuitously deflected off the foot of Cork and found the net, meaning Greenwood is now the joint-top scoring teenager in Premier League history for United (15, level with Wayne Rooney).
Marcus Rashford did make it into the starting XI after a late fitness test, with Manchester United making just one change from the 3-1 win at Spurs last weekend. Mason Greenwood came in, replacing Edinson Cavani, who was on the bench.
Nick Pope didn’t make it for Burnley, but Dwight McNeil was fit after a late test. They made two changes from the 2-1 defeat by Newcastle as Vydra and Pieters came out for Jack Cork and Charlie Taylor.
United missed two good chances to get a third – Peacock-Farrell saved superbly from Scott McTominay before Fernandes rounded the goalkeeper but could not finish – before it duly came in stoppage time.
Sub Van de Beek, getting some rare Premier League minutes for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side wriggled free on the left of the box, before squaring for Cavani to tap in. Only Solskjaer himself in 1998-99 (5) and Javier Hernandez in 2010-11 (5) have more Premier League sub goals in a season for United than Cavani’s four.
Manchester United now go to Leeds on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 2pm, while Burnley travel to Wolves at 12pm in the Premier League on the same day.