Lukaku scores 2, Rashford got red and Pogba misses penalty as Man Utd coast to victory over dismal BurnleySeptember 2, 2018
Jose Mourinho was punching the air furiously on the touchline. The Manchester United manager had been fairly restrained, with a momentary shake of clenched fists from his seat in the dug-out, when Romelu Lukaku scored the first but the Belgium striker’s second on the cusp of half-time elicited an eruption of emotion.
It was only two days earlier that Mourinho had talked about how he was not one of those managers who makes a song and dance of it when his side score but he had no compunction about passionately celebrating this particular goal.
He knew how big it was. He knew, for all his team’s defensive shortcomings of late, that the goal as good as settled this game. Burnley had given everything against Olympiakos in the Europa League on Thursday. Two nil down at half-time to a United team in commanding, uncompromising mood – there was no way back from there for Sean Dyche’s men who have now gone 10 matches without a win in 90 minutes this season.
Not even a missed penalty from Paul Pogba midway through the second period or Marcus Rashford being sent off for what Mourinho called a “naive” headbutt on Phil Bardsley only 10 minutes after coming on or two notable misses from Lukaku were going to change that. When the game was finally done, Mourinho made a beeline for United’s magnificent away supporters, handed his jacket to one young fan and high-fived others before walking off wearing a very purposeful look.
A third successive defeat would not have cost Mourinho his job, despite suggestions to the contrary, but it would have ramped up the pressure and made for a seemingly interminable international break. Instead, United can look forward to visiting high-flying Watford on Saturday week without a sense of foreboding and free of the kind of suffocating scrutiny a loss at Turf Moor would have invited.