Burnley 1 United 0

19 August 2009 10:09
MANCHESTER United suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Premier League minnows Burnley at Turf Moor. Robbie Blake's volley after 19 minutes proved decisive as Reds midfielder Michael Carrick saw a penalty saved by Brian Jensen just before half time. United, who started with Michael Owen up front, piled on the pressure after the break but could find no way through. Just 90 Premier League minutes gone and already Sir Alex Ferguson's rotation system has kicked in. Three days after opening the season with a 1-0 Old Trafford win against Bimringham City Fergie shuffled his pack with Darren Fletcher, Nani and Fabio completely left out of the 18 on duty while Sunday starters Paul Scholes, Dimitar Berbatov and Antonio Valencia given bench seats. He went with Owen up front, and this was a big an occasion for the 29-year-old - especially considering his injury time miss against Birmingham in front of the Stretford End was still fresh in the mind. Perhaps that was why Owen risked a yellow card for playing on and putting the ball in the net after four minutes. His first one-on-one with keeper Jensen saw his shot blocked and he stuck the follow up home despite whistle. Maybe the striker realised he had to brush up on his finishing or possibly had an inkling that goal opportunities would be limited against the rampant newcomers. United disappointment With England boss Fabio Capello in the Turf Moor stands once again United's new boy failed to impress as the turgid evening wore on. Considering United have played with composure and kept their nerve in Europe's most hostile environments the Turf Moor experience seemed to unhinge them completely. Yes it was loud and there was an edge to the atmosphere but it was nothing new to a squad of internationals who've tackled the most ear-splitting and nasty atmospheres the Champions League can throw up. The champions never looked at ease and Burnley came at them in waves. The Reds helped the newcomers by giving the ball away. Burnley's strike force of Steven Fletcher and Martin Paterson served notice that they wouldn't be overshadowed by the Wayne Rooney and Owen combo. After only 19 minutes a deep cross from Stephen Jordan caught Patrice Evra back-pedalling and Robbie Blake smashed the ball home. There was precious little response from the title holders and when Owen glanced rather than get full forehead on a cross from Wes Brown in the 36th minute you began to suspect United were going to struggle big time to turn this around. It was confirmed when goalscorer Blake brought Evra down in the box and Carrick's poor penalty at the end of the first half summed up United's misery. You'd always bank on a United fightback of some description on such occasions when they've under-performed to this extent and especially after they've listened to Fergie at half time. But it was a muted response from the Reds. Only an excellent save from keeper Jensen when Rooney put Ryan Giggs through counted as some form of answer. As Burnley's efforts drained them physically the Reds enjoyed more joy in attack but it was a desperate rather than measured effort to save face. What is your verdict on the game? Have your say.

Source: Manchester_EveningNews

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