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Jesse Lingard came off the bench to spare Manchester United a Boxing Day defeat at the hands of Burnley, scoring twice to rescue a 2-2 draw for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Lingard answered a half-time SOS with United staring down the barrel at 2-0 down but pulled one back with an instinctive back-heel before striking through a packed box in added time to cap a frantic finale.

In salvaging a share of the spoils the England winger, who also had a shot deflected off the crossbar from point-blank range by Nick Pope, robbed the the spotlight from Burnley’s Steven Defour, who bent it like Beckham with a sublime free-kick following Ashley Barnes’ opener.

Defour was a United target back in 2009 but saw his dream move shattered along with his metatarsal and received a letter of commiseration from Sir Alex Ferguson instead.

He has waited a long time to enjoy a moment in the sun at Old Trafford but Lingard meant it did not lead to a first Burnley win at the ground since 1962.

It was, nevertheless, a world away what Mourinho must have planned when he paired Romelu Lukaku with Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the first time, and rivals Manchester City can now extend their Premier League lead to 15 points on Wednesday.

Having conceded costly goals in the dying moments of their last two matches, against Bristol City and Leicester, United varied the theme somewhat by going behind inside three minutes.

Marcos Rojo was culpable, barging Jeff Hendrick from the game’s first foray on goal.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson delivered the free-kick and United, Lukaku in particular, dallied and dithered until Barnes accepted the invitation to poke home.

The away end exploded, Barnes erupted and United players shook their heads before beginning a frenetic but unfocused riposte.

Ashley Young was at the heart of it, but his selection of whipped crosses went unconverted.

In the meantime Burnley almost doubled their lead when Scott Arfield’s instep volley crept over David De Gea and skipped off the crossbar.

United skipper Paul Pogba was doing his best to lift the hosts, and saw a deflected header pawed clear by the excellent Nick Pope, but by then the Clarets contingent had already started comparing the £90million man unfavourably to Dean Marney. It was becoming that kind of afternoon.

Another free-kick, Young transgressing this time, handed the visitors an appealing sight of goal and Defour produced a stunner.

The Belgian struck his 20-yard effort as sweetly as possible, leaving De Gea groping at thin air and United staring at a humbling reverse.

Marcus Rashford and Ibrahimovic were both denied by last-ditch defending before the break, Ben Mee with a goalline clearance and Kevin Long a timely block.

Mourinho swung the axe at the break, removing the Swede and Rojo in favour of Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. As part of the remix, Nemanja Matic found himself reassigned to central defence.

If that had a hint of desperation to it, Lingard’s arrival lifted United. He somehow failed to score from point-blank range with one of this first touches, Pope effectively glancing the winger’s shot off his face on and on to the top of the crossbar. Was it bravery, anticipation or dumb luck? Burnley could not have cared less.

But there was no preventing Lingard’s next attempt. The England international showed a brilliant awareness of angles as he moved to meet another Young cross, flicking into the bottom corner with an elegant back-heel.

The heat in Old Trafford immediately soared, with players, fans and staff from both sides seemingly raging against every decision.

Five minutes of added time opened the door for late drama and it was Lingard who provided it, smashing a shot past the unsighted Pope following an uncleared free-kick.

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There was to be no early Christmas present for Manchester United fans as despite having numerous opportunities to secure three points, a stoppage time Harry Maguire goal meant the Reds had to settle for a 2-2 draw against 10-man Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

Jose Mourinho’s men dominated the game and should have been out of sight after Juan Mata’s brace cancelled out Jamie Vardy’s opener and when Daniel Amartey was shown red late on for two fouls in quick succession the game looked won, but Maguire popped up at the back post to secure an unlikely point for the hosts with virtually the last kick of the game.

United did not get back to Manchester until 5am on Thursday after transport trouble in Bristol, but the Reds were far from sluggish out of the blocks as Chris Smalling headed over an early United corner and Jesse Lingard had a deflected effort tipped over by Kasper Schmeichel.

Paul Pogba then tried his luck from 25 yards, but Schmeichel saved comfortably before a direct run from Anthony Martial allowed space for Mata to fire over.

At the other end, Leicester finally had a sustained period of possession 25 minutes in which resulted in Riyad Mahrez firing straight at David De Gea, before the hosts hit United with a trademark counter-attack. The Reds lost the ball to Wilfred Ndidi high in the Leicester half and he fired a long pass up field which found Smalling isolated against Mahrez. The Algerian patiently waited to feed the arriving Vardy who coolly slotted past De Gea for his 50th Premier League goal.

The goal came completely against the run of play, but thankfully it wasn’t long before the Reds drew level. Martial’s cross found Lingard and his layoff to Mata allowed the Spaniard the space to expertly stroke the ball into Schmeichel’s far corner.

Harry Maguire should have sent the Foxes into the break ahead, but he could not control in the box with just De Gea to beat.

United, in a third successive away match in the space of six days, were nearly caught out early in the second half as Mahrez found Christian Fuchs at the back post, but Victor Lindelof made an expert block on the line before United hit the Foxes with a counter-attack of our own. Jesse Lingard found Romelu Lukaku, who fed Martial, but he blazed over when clean through. Martial was then blocked off on the edge of the box and that man Mata doubled his and United’s tally with an inch-perfect, curling free-kick which found the roof of the net.

The Reds should have been out of sight as Lukaku fed Lingard, but when he rounded Schmeichel, the post denied him. Substitute Marcus Rashford, making his 100th United appearance, was fouled by fellow sub Amartey and that meant the Foxes were down to 10 men after the Ghanaian had been booked just four minutes earlier for a trip on Ashley Young.

United should have made them pay as Pogba’s inch-perfect pass found Rashford in behind the Foxes defence, but Schmeichel’s slight touch on the ball denied Rashford the chance to take it round the son of United great, Peter.

The missed opportunities came back to haunt the Reds as the hobbling Smalling was unable to challenge Maguire who slid home Albrighton’s last-minute cross to snatch an unlikely, late draw.


Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Amartey 56) Maguire, Morgan (c), Fuchs, Iborra (Okazaki 66), Ndidi, Mahrez, Albrighton, Gray (Chilwell 80), Vardy.

Subs not used: Hamer, Dragović, King, Slimani, Mahrez.

Booked: Albrighton, Mahrez.

Sent off: 

United: De Gea; Lindelof, Jones, Smalling, Young; Matic, Pogba (c), Mata (Mkhitaryan 83), Lingard (Herrera 75), Martial (Rashford 69); Lukaku.

Subs not used: Romero, Rojo, Shaw, Ibrahimovic.

Booked: Lindelof, Matic.

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Carabao Cup quarter-final :BRISTOL CITY 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 1

Manchester United’s defence of the Carabao Cup ended as Bristol City struck a stoppage-time winner at Ashton Gate.

Joe Bryan had put the home side ahead with a superb drive before Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his first start of the season with a well-taken equaliser. And, after both sides missed further chances, Korey Smith struck the Robins’ winner in the 93rd minute to spark wild celebrations among the Championship side’s fans.

It was a heartbreaking end to an entertaining tie in which both sides played their part, with ex-United goalkeeper Luke Steele making several saves to deny his former club. Jose Mourinho’s men must now focus on Premier League matters over the Christmas period.

Josh Brownhill produced the first chance of the match after Paul Pogba brought down Marlon Pack in the United half. Brownhill’s free-kick was powerful but down the middle of the goal and that allowed Sergio Romero to tip it over the bar.

The Reds were knocking on the door moments later as Anthony Martial found Ibrahimovic at the back post and, despite the angle, he appeared to have Steele beaten, only for his deflected effort to hit the crossbar and stay out.

City threatened, again from a set-piece, when Pack’s corner was headed towards goal by Nathan Baker, with Daley Blind clearing at the near post.

Marcus Rashford was unfortunate not to open the scoring when he drove a brilliant effort from distance that looked certain for the bottom right corner but, like Ibrahimovic, he too struck the woodwork.

The home fans thought their side had broken the deadlock when Aden Flint put the ball in the net after blocking Romero’s attempted kick upfield, but referee Mike Dean had already blown for a foul on the United stopper. Romero then made a fine save to deny an effort on goal by Hordur Magnusson.

The hosts finished the half strongly and Blind was again required to step in, the Dutchman making a superb and vital tackle to stop Smith, who was bearing down on goal.

The Robins took the lead within six second-half minutes as Bryan got on the end of Pack’s through-ball and fired a stunning shot beyond Romero, who could do nothing as the ball went in off his left-hand post.

Mourinho’s men were behind for just seven minutes, before Ibrahimovic skilfully placed a low free-kick under the wall and into the back of the net via a deflection for his first goal of the season.

With the match nearing the latter stages, both sides looked keen to find a winner in normal time, as City brought on Matty Taylor and United introduced Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

United pushed for a winner and Bryan had to make a last-ditch tackle after Luke Shaw had played Rashford in behind, before Lukaku forced Steele into two diving saves with a header and a low shot.

It was to be the hosts that would claim the victory, however, as Smith found the net from close range, prompting jubilant celebrations from the home fans and a pitch invasion at full-time.


Bristol City: Steele; Baker, Magnusson (Taylor 69), Flint, Wright (c); Pack, Smith, Brownhill (Eliasson 76), Bryan; Paterson, Reid.

Subs not used: Fielding, Vyner, Kelly, Garita, Lemonheigh-Evans.

Booked: Paterson.

United: Romero; Darmian (Smalling 94), Lindelof, Rojo, Blind (Lukaku 61), Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Rashford, Martial; Ibrahimovic (c) (Mkhitaryan 69).

Subs not used: Pereira, Herrera, Mata, Lingard.

Booked: Rashford, Pogba, McTominay.

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Manchester United picked up three more vital points after a narrow, but deserving, 2-1 win over a battling West Bromwich Albion side at The Hawthorns on Sunday.

The Reds grabbed a third consecutive away win in the Premier League as two goals in eight first-half minutes from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard were enough for the three points, despite substitute Gareth Barry scrambling the ball home late on.

Jose Mourinho made three changes following the win over Bournemouth in midweek with Ashley Young, Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford all coming in.

It was a strange coincidence that the fixture list threw up a trip to The Hawthorns for the Reds on exactly the same date as last season – 17 December. A year ago to the day, a scoring double from Zlatan Ibrahimovic ensured a routine 2-0 victory for United and the Reds started in postive fashion this time around with much of the early ball possession.

It took 27 minutes for the first clear sight of goal though and Lukaku did not need a second invitation to put the Reds in front as he powerfully headed in Rashford’s expert, left-wing cross into the top corner. The Belgian’s 15th goal of the season was reminiscent of the header he scored in midweek and this time he had an excuse not to celebrate against his former club.

The hosts look to hit back immediately as Allan Nyom’s cross was importantly blocked by Chris Smalling before Salomon Rondon could slide the ball home.

But United then went down the other end and hit West Brom with a killer suckerpunch. Juan Mata fed Lingard whose shot from 20 yards struck Ahmed Hegazi and wrong-footed former Red Ben Foster.

Jake Livermore looked for a quick response as he took aim from 25 yards, but David De Gea grabbed the ball at the second attempt. Oliver Burke, who was making his first league start for the Baggies, then fired a dangerous cross into the box which Rondon nearly latched on to.

At the other end, Antonio Valencia’s cross found Rashford at the back post, but his half-volley crept inches wide of the far post. United smelt blood and so nearly put the game to bed following a lightening counter-attack. Mata found Lingard who played a one-two with Lukaku, but the England international fired straight at Foster.

Rondon was then sent clear, in behind the Reds’ defence, but he could only fire tamely at De Gea, before substitute Chris Brunt fired harmlessly over. Seconds later mind, another substitute, Barry, scored West Brom’s first goal under Alan Pardew as he scrambled home a Brunt corner.

The home crowd were fired up and Jay Rodriguez, off the bench, so nearly grabbed a late leveller, but he headed narrowly wide of De Gea’s right post, before the United stopper pounced on the ball in the box moments later after a second goalmouth scramble.

Lukaku had the chance to put the game beyond any doubt in injury time, but he dragged his shot wide as the Reds held on for another important win.


West Brom: Foster, Nyom, Hegazy, Evans (c), Gibbs, Burke (Rodriguez 64), Livermore, Yacob (Barry 45), Krychowiak (Brunt 71), McClean, Rondon.

Booked: Rondon

Subs not used: Myhill, McAuley, Field, Robson-Kanu.

United: De Gea; Valencia (c) (Rojo 66), Jones, Smalling, Young; Matic, Herrera; Mata, Lingard (McTominay 85), Rashord (Martial 79) Lukaku.

Booked: Rashford, Matic.

Subs not used: Romero, Lindelof, Shaw, Ibrahimovic.

The Reds turn attentions to the Carabao Cup quarter-final where we will travel to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City on Wednesday 20 December, with kick off at 20:00 GMT.

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Manchester United bounced back from the disappointment of the derby as a Romelu Lukaku header secured a 1-0 win over a stubborn Bournemouth at Old Trafford.

United had a 40-match unbeaten home run in all competitions ended by Manchester City on Sunday, but got back to winning ways thanks to a first-half Lukaku bullet header. Substitute Marcus Rashford rattled the crossbar midway through the second period, but the single goal was enough for the vital three points.

Jose Mourinho opted to make four changes from the City defeat with the likes of Phil Jones returning for his first start for over a month, while Luke Shaw returned after impressing against CSKA Moscow and Scott McTominay made his first start since the win over Benfica.

Anthony Martial tried a delicate flicked ball over the top which just evaded Lukaku and Juan Mata, before the Cherries began to get a foothold in the game themselves. First, Charlie Daniels tried his luck from 25 yards which forced David De Gea had to save smartly down to his left, before the Spaniard then had to punch away Dan Gosling’s effort.

However, United took the lead when Mata crossed perfectly for Lukaku, who held off two defenders and steered a header into the top corner. His celebrations were subdued, but deep down, the Belgian would have been delighted to be back among the goals.

Moments later, the impressive Jones swung a wonderful 50-yard cross-field pass to Shaw who pulled the ball back and Simon Francis nearly diverted past his own keeper. At the other end, Junior Stanislas cut in from the right-hand side and fired an effort at goal which De Gea again did well to beat away, before Francis nearly scored at the right end, but he fired over when free in the box following another Bournemouth corner.

De Gea was called into action again seconds before the break as Ryan Fraser’s cross so nearly caught the Spaniard off guard, but he managed to scamper across and palm the ball away to maintain the Reds lead.

It took around 15 minutes of the second half for the first real opportunity and it was a chance to put the game to bed. Nemanja Matic crossed for Lukaku who headed the ball down for Martial to tap home, but he skewed his effort over from five yards.

The Reds were dominating possession with young McTominay impressing in the centre of the park, before substitute Rashford came off the bench and so nearly doubled the lead, but rattled the crossbar from 35 yards with a thunderous effort.

The dangerous Jermain Defoe had a shot comfortably saved by De Gea from the edge of the box before Jones made a crucial headed intervention to deny Benik Afobe. Defoe was then thwarted by the knees of De Gea as Eddie Howe’s men looked to snatch a late draw, but despite late Bournemouth pressure, including Fraser testing De Gea again, the Reds saw the game out.


United: De Gea; Valencia (c), Jones, Smalling, Shaw (Young 83); Matic, McTominay, Mata, Lingard (Herrera 71), Martial (Rashford 66); Lukaku.

Subs not used: Romero, Blind, Lindelof, Ibrahimovic.

Booked: Lukaku

Bournemouth: Begovic, Smith, Francis (c), Ake, Daniels; Stanislas (Afobe 71), Arter, Gosling (L. Cook 77), Fraser; King, Wilson (Defoe 71).

Subs not used: Boruc, S Cook, Surman Ibe

Booked: Gosling, Arter.



United fans would have been delighted to see the big Belgian back on the scoresheet in the Premier League. Lukaku emphasised how deadly he is in the air, holding off two Cherries’ defenders to expertly head past Begovic.


Luke Shaw picked up where he left off against CSKA Moscow, impressing with his enthusiastic energy down the flank and he won the ball back on numerous occasions with every tackle cheered by the Old Trafford faithful.


The Reds travel to Alan Pardew’s West Bromwich Albion on Sunday 17 December, with kick off at 14:15 GMT, with the Baggies buoyed by a goalless draw at Liverpool.

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