Wednesday 22 March 2017

Mourinho sent off as Heaton returns to haunt United

Manchester United 0 Burnley 0

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Jose Mourinho shows his frustration. Photo: Reuters
Jose Mourinho shows his frustration. Photo: Reuters

After a tumultuous week in which he had suffered the torment of humiliation at his old Chelsea stamping ground and revealed the loneliness of hotel life in a new city, there was still a whole new range of indignity to come for Jose Mourinho, sent from the dugout as his misfiring Manchester United toiled to a deeply frustrating draw with dogged Burnley.

The United manager was expelled from the touchline following comments to referee Mark Clattenburg at the end of the first half. The official had moments earlier angered United by turning down a penalty appeal after Burnley substitute Jon Flanagan had appeared to clip Matteo Darmian.

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (top C) gestures and shouts in the Directors Box after being sent off. Photo: AFP
Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (top C) gestures and shouts in the Directors Box after being sent off. Photo: AFP

Mourinho already faces a touchline ban after being charged by the Football Association on Thursday over remarks concerning referee Anthony Taylor before the recent 0-0 draw at Liverpool.

The problems are piling up on all sides for Mourinho, whose out-of-touch side finished with 10 men after Ander Herrera received his second yellow card of the game 20 minutes from the end.

As Mourinho's mood darkens, so does the outlook around United. A midweek League Cup defeat of weakened rivals Manchester City seems a meagre offering to place against a Premier League run of one win in seven, six points from a possible 21.

United exerted sustained pressure, especially in the second half as tension mounted around Old Trafford. A total of 37 shots rained down on the Burnley goal, United's most attempts in a league match since the 2003-04 season. But all to no avail. They were thwarted by an outstanding display by the previously leaky Burnley rearguard in which goalkeeper Tom Heaton, an Old Trafford youth product, produced a string of magnificent saves.

'The problems are piling up on all sides for Mourinho, whose out-of-touch side finished with 10 men after Ander Herrera received his second yellow card of the game 20 minutes from the end.' Photo: Getty
'The problems are piling up on all sides for Mourinho, whose out-of-touch side finished with 10 men after Ander Herrera received his second yellow card of the game 20 minutes from the end.' Photo: Getty

Burnley manager Sean Dyche said: "Tom Heaton was superb. The belief in the shape of the team was good, we attempted to be brave."

United's most threatening first-half moments were compressed into a four-minute spell before the interval. Heaton was twice called into action, springing acrobatically to claw away Jesse Lingard's header, then tipping over a Paul Pogba piledriver. They also survived the penalty appeal.

United might have fallen behind early in the second half, when Luke Shaw raced back to dispossess the speedy Gray, but United were increasing the tempo, stretching Burnley and providing more work for the busy Heaton.

The pick of the keeper's saves was an instinctive reaction to somehow block a fierce close-range volley from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He deserved his moment of fortune midway through the half when left stranded by Juan Mata's low effort that glanced away off a post.

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United and Sean Dyche, Manager of Burnley had a friendly chat after the game. Photo: Getty
Wayne Rooney of Manchester United and Sean Dyche, Manager of Burnley had a friendly chat after the game. Photo: Getty

There was another setback for United when, with 20 minutes remaining, Herrera received a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Dean Marney. That meant a tactical rethink from the directors' box, with Mourinho dispatching the muscle of Marouane Fellaini and experience of Wayne Rooney from the bench at the expense of Mata and Lingard.

Burnley, however, in the teeth of an increasingly frantic United and five minutes of added time, held firm for a heroic point.

Telegraph

Telegraph.co.uk

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