Manchester United tame resilient Burnley

Manchester United picked up a hard-fought victory against Burnley to move into third place in the Premier League.

Phil Jones was forced off in the early minutes, but his replacement made an instant impact for the Red Devils.

Chris Smalling latched on to Radamel Falcao’s flick on from a corner and the England international beat Tom Heaton from close range.

However, Burnley had looked threatening early on and were level in the 12th minute after a tantalising ball from full-back Kieran Tripper was met by Danny Ings, who calmly slotted home for his fifth goal in six games.

Ings threatened again soon after, only to see his shot blocked by Argentine defender Marcos Rojo as the Clarets looked the likelier to score a second.

Ashley Barnes then missed two chances to put the visitors in front as he curled an effort just wide of goal, before heading over soon after.

United’s fortunes appeared to worsening as Daley Blind was also forced off through injury, but the Red Devils managed to find a second before the interval, thanks to another Smalling header from a set piece.

Burnley almost equalised for a second time, soon after the restart, when Ings’s shot was blocked by David de Gea before the England Under 21 forward pulled his follow-up effort wide.

The hosts started to control proceedings as the Clarets’ opportunities dried up and Adnan Januzaj came close to extending their lead, but fired his shot straight at Heaton.

United were given the chance to seal victory with 10 minutes remaining after they awarded a penalty for Scott Arfield’s challenge on Robin van Persie who duly slotted home the spot kick to lift Louis van Gaal’s side into third place above Southampton.

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