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Manchester United overtook Liverpool at the top of the Premier League with an 1-0 win over Burnley.
United’s victory sets up a mouth-watering trip to the Reds on Sunday as the top flight title race hots up.
The Red Devils’ win on Tuesday was not without controversy, with Harry Maguire having a goal disallowed and Luke Shaw arguably lucky to stay on the pitch.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are now three points clear of Jurgen Klopp’s men, with the winner at Anfield set to take over as the Premier League’s pacesetters.
If United are to take the three points and secure their position at the top, the following three stars will be key.
Although he was arguably lucky to stay on the pitch after a 27 th -minute tackle on Johann Berg Gudmansson, Shaw carried much of United’s attacking threat.
Roaming forward from left-back, with Burnley barely threatening the United goal, the England defender sent several good crosses into the box.
He was certainly much more involved than Aarron Wan-Bissaka on the opposite flank, getting forward with abandon.
Shaw frequently found space to break into and also coped well with any balls in the air when defending.
The treat of Trent Alexander-Arnold means Shaw will be called on much more defensively on Sunday, although the Liverpool player’s desire to attack could leave space in behind for the United man.
The attacking trio of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will certainly trouble United’s backline much more than Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes did for Burnley.
Key to United keeping that Liverpool attack at bay will be the pairing at the heart of their defence, with Bailly putting in several impressive performances to stake his claim at the position.
The Frenchman coped well with Burnley’s aerial attack, while Gary Neville highlighting Bailly’s importance to United in his commentary for Sky Sports.
“He complements Harry Maguire very well, if Maguire gets caught up the pitch, Bailly has that recovery speed to cover,” Neville said.
That speed will be put to the test by Salah and Mane, but there are encouraging signs that Bailly’s partnership with Maguire will last.
The matchwinner at Burnley took a while to grow into the game, but Pogba proved to be key in the second half.
The Frenchman ran proceedings in the second-half, with his volley from the edge of the area sending United top of the Premier League.
Gary Neville was certainly pleased with Pogba’s display, labelling Pogba the “best player on the pitch in the second half” in commentary.
United will need Pogba to repeat his second-half showing against Liverpool, with the midfield battle set to be key at Anfield.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
- Paul Pogba
- Premier League
- Manchester United FC
- Liverpool FC
- Burnley FC
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