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Man Utd are back - and so is Rashford! Winners, losers and ratings as Red Devils return with a Carabao Cup win over Burnley

22:29 GMT 21/12/2022
Marcus Rashford Erik ten Hag Christian Eriksen Martin Dubravka 2022-23 GFX
After Christian Eriksen had opened the scoring at Old Trafford, the hosts' England attacker sealed victory over Burnley with a superb solo strike.

Manchester United made a winning return after the World Cup break by beating Burnley 2-0 to advance to the Carabao Cup fourth round on Wednesday night.

Vincent Kompany had seen the inside of Old Trafford many times and knew how to win there as a Manchester City player.

On his return for the first time since becoming Burnley manager, his side certainly started brightly. Their press was aggressive and they saw plenty of the ball against a United outfit that, while strong, looked admittedly thrown together in defence.

Erik ten Hag's side were happy to give them a certain amount of possession, though, in order to catch them out and let their technical players pass their way through the lines. United carried a threat on the break and following a good spell in control towards the end of the first half, took a lead into the break when Christian Eriksen finished off a cross from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

United hadn't lost in any of their last six home games, and having taken the lead, the Clarets now had plenty of work to do to cause an upset.

They pushed but United shoved and kept them out of reach to see out the result. Ten Hag's Red Devils clinched another victory, with droplets of his footballing school of thought evident once again among a rotated side.

Below, GOAL runs through the winners and losers on a cold but positive night at Old Trafford for United...

  • Christian Eriksen Manchester United Burnley League Cup 2022-23

    The Winners

    Christian Eriksen:

    Seriously, where would United be without this man? Eriksen's presence from game to game isn't one that slaps you in the face, but it's absolutely crucial to everything Ten Hag is trying to instil in his team. His range of passing is sublime, his press resistance second to none, and he has an eye for goal to tie it all together. He's played out of position virtually all season as a deep-lying playmaker and has still been United's best player of 2022-23 thus far. Arriving on a free transfer, Eriksen is the player Paul Pogba was meant to be. The Dane represents one of the best pieces of business they've ever done.

    Marcus Rashford:

    'Like Manchester, Rashford is red' rang around the walls of Old Trafford several times on the night, and understandably so. United's star man is back. Rashford's head is up once again and he looks completely reborn under Ten Hag. It's been an incredibly difficult few years for him battling injury and inconsistency, while also breaking into the team in one of the club's most difficult periods in recent times. However, there's no sunshine without rain, and the redemption arc looks stronger than ever. When Rashford is running at you full pelt, throwing in his colourful pallet of skills and letting half an eye take a look at goal, you're in trouble. The goal he scored to put United 2-0 up shows just how dangerous he can be when on form. The next step for him now is obviously to turn this into a consistent feature of his game. But from what we've seen of the 25-year-old under Ten Hag, it's becoming easier and easier to believe that it will happen.

    David de Gea:

    For all of the discourse surrounding De Gea and his lacking ability to play in a possession-based side, watching Martin Dubravka for United served as a timely reminder that you shouldn't take the Spaniard for granted. It also shows that, while still not perfect, De Gea has improved with the ball at his feet. The veteran stopper provides a much more calming presence behind his defenders and rarely makes such silly mistakes. In a time where everyone is desperate for goalkeepers to do everything from saving, to passing, to being penalty-takers, De Gea is perfect at doing his job and nothing more. He'll rack up plenty of points for United in the second half of the season, as he so often has done.

  • Martin Dubravka Manchester United 2022-23

    The Losers

    Martin Dubravka:

    What is a dream transfer for any footballer is quickly becoming a harsh reality for Martin Dubravka, who unfortunately looks well out of his depth at United. Nobody – well, beyond a small online minority – expected the 33-year-old to come into Old Trafford off the back of falling down the pecking order at Newcastle and suddenly dislodge David de Gea as No.1. But as a Premier League-level goalkeeper, much more was expected of him. However, Dubravka simply looks endlessly uncomfortable when he's given an opportunity and has simply kicked the can down the road regarding United's goalkeeper department dilemma. His performance against Burnley echoed that, with the Slovakian looking shaky to say the least. Making his loan deal a permanent one looks highly unlikely, and means the Red Devils could have to overhaul the entire department in the next year or two.

    Newcastle United:

    The Magpies were most likely shocked in the summer when they had United knocking on their door requesting to take Dubravka off their hands. With Nick Pope now firmly first choice at St. James' Park and the club ushering in a new era, shifting the likes of Dubravka who made up the old guard was a necessity. And when United come calling in desperate need of a goalkeeper to bolster their own ranks, you know you can get a decent fee out of them. The Red Devils took Dubravka on loan with a view to making the deal permanent at the end of the season. However, with how he's performed on the few occasions he's been given a runout, it's fair to assume they won't be making that permanent deal happen. Instead, Newcastle will have to find a buyer for Dubravka who will return a year older and with his stock even lower. Ouch.

    Tyrell Malacia:

    A blistering start to life as a United player where he was thrust in after their infamously bad start had fans thinking Malacia could be the next big thing at Old Trafford. He's tailed off considerably since then. While still only very young and in his first season at United, Malacia has quickly fallen off the pace and can't quite seem to re-establish himself after an impressive purple patch. Time is thankfully on his side, as is the manager who signed him, but the 23-year-old needs to be asserting himself more when afforded rare starts as a fringe player.

  • Aaron Wan-Bissaka Manchester United Burnley 2022-23 League Cup

    Manchester United ratings: Defence

    Martin Dubravka (2/10):

    Started brightly in helping United build out from the back, but after United drew ahead he misjudged a corner completely and let a back pass roll under his foot which nearly went into his own net. Quite astounding to think that he managed to keep a clean sheet.

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6/10):

    One singular assist against lesser opposition in the third round of the League Cup shouldn't be enough to save his career at United, but Wan-Bissaka deserves credit for his first-time cross to Eriksen. It was brilliant.

    Casemiro (7/10):

    Showed his experience slotting in as a central defender. So well-positioned and with the onus on him to beat the press, he demonstrated an underrated part of his game. Really impressive passing performance.

    Victor Lindelof (6/10):

    No major calamities in a confidence-inspiring performance for the Swede, who will no doubt have a chance to stake his claim for a starting spot in the coming weeks, with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez still on the way back from the World Cup.

    Tyrell Malacia (5/10):

    Considering the start to life he had at United, Malacia ought to be asserting himself more in games like this one against favourable opposition. A rather average evening.

  • Christian Eriksen Manchester United 2022-23


    Scott McTominay (7/10):

    Spurned a golden opportunity to score just after half-time, but put in a solid shift having been given licence to break beyond the last line and knit together attacks.

    Christian Eriksen (8/10):

    Another classy performance from Eriksen, who is quite possibly United's most important player. Without the Dane, their midfield falls to pieces and Ten Hag is unable to bring a fluid, technical approach to games. Dynamite.

  • Marcus Rashford Manchester United Burnley League Cup 2022-23


    Marcus Rashford (8/10):

    Burst into life when given more of the ball in the second half. Took his goal sensationally well and crucially did it from the right flank, where he's struggled in the past. An in-form Rashford is key to United's fortunes in the coming weeks and months.

    Bruno Fernandes (7/10):

    Dare we say Bruno Fernandes is already benefitting from the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo? Not everything he tried came off, but the Portuguese maestro was always a threat with the positions he occupied, his reading of the pitch and awareness of teammates, and the range of pass to hurt Burnley in a matter of moments. It was Bruno who picked out Wan-Bissaka for the opener.

    Alejandro Garnacho (6/10):

    Lacked sharpness and showed his inexperience. First touch wasn't there and was missing composure when trying to run in behind with the ball at his feet. Still always had his marker looking vulnerable, though, which is testament to just how frightening the teenager is for defenders.

    Anthony Martial (7/10): Not on the scoresheet, but a performance which showed his importance once again. So key in giving United an outlet on the break, occupying central defenders and holding up play to pop the ball off to his colleagues around him.

  • Erik ten Hag Manchester United Burnley League Cup 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Antony (5/10):

    Had the perfect chance to wrap the game up with not too long left to play, bursting forward into space and drifting inside at the right time. His pass into Bruno Fernandes was poor, though, and behind his Portuguese colleague. An elite winger gets that right at the first time of asking.

    Luke Shaw (6/10):

    Helped see out the game well with Burnley getting desperate.

    Fred (N/A):

    Not given enough time to really get stuck into the game.

    Brandon Williams (N/A):

    Nice to see him return to competitive action after a lengthy period out injured, but he too was introduced too late to make an impact.

    Erik ten Hag (8/10): Read the game well from start to finish. Had clearly done his homework on the opposition and set up his side accordingly. United kept Burnley at arm's length for the most part and their players executed the game plan, showing yet more flashes of what they're learning under the new approach of Ten Hag. Another promising display.