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Blake's heaven as United lose

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19 Aug 2009 19:10:02

Blake's heaven as United lose

Burnley stunned Manchester United as they won 1-0 at Turf Moor to claim their first top-flight victory in 33 years. United had a glorious opportunity to take the lead in the opening two minutes through Michael Owen, but Burnley soon started to apply the pressure and they had their reward when Robbie Blake rifled home a volley in the 19th minute. The visitors struggled to make any headway in the aftermath, but they were presented with a penalty just before half-time when Blake clumsily up-ended Patrice Evra. However, Clarets goalkeeper Brian Jensen managed to turn away Michael Carrick's spot-kick to leave his side 1-0 up at the interval. United were able to create more attacking opportunities in the second half, but a superb performance from Jensen kept the champions at bay. Changes As expected, Ferguson had rung the changes, recalling Carrick, Park Ji-sung and Anderson, as well as handing Michael Owen his first start. The United boss was buoyed by Jonny Evans declaring himself fit to partner Wes Brown in central defence, which at least gave the Red Devils back line a more durable look. Not that it seemed as though they would need it as Burnley rocked badly in the opening stages, struggling to get their bearings on a Turf Moor pitch that has waited so long to host top flight action. Owen should have done better when Patrice Evra's left-wing cross flashed past him at the near-post and, with Park, Carrick and Wayne Rooney all finding space, it seemed only a matter of time before United broke the deadlock. Yet the opening goal did not come and, as time ticked by, Burnley visibly gained in confidence. Martin Paterson and record signing Steven Fletcher were both starting to cause problems when The Clarets launched a concerted raid on the visitors' goal. Paterson thought he was going to score when he sprang the United offside trap, only to find Ben Foster there to make the block, and Carrick followed suit as Blake tried to turn home the rebound. United could not relieve the pressure though and, when former Manchester City full-back Stephen Jordan drifted a cross to the far post, Blake was on hand to let fly with a superbly-struck volley that was past Foster before he had a chance to react. United tried to find a response but, in front of Fabio Capello, Owen completely missed his intended header when Brown curled over a near-post cross that found the striker unmarked. PenaltyThe odds must have been on Owen taking the penalty when Evra was fouled by Blake as he nicked the ball towards Burnley's goal. Instead, Carrick took responsibility - and Jensen emerged the hero, just as he did last season when his spot-kick saves turfed Chelsea out of the Carling Cup. Jensen must have expected to be kept busy after the interval but, although United dominated possession, they still had surprisingly few clear-cut chances. A long-range effort from Rooney that sailed harmlessly over was the best they could manage until Park created a bit of space for himself and forced Jensen into a fine full-length save, with Jordan hammering away the rebound. SubstitutionsBy that time, Antonio Valencia and Dimitar Berbatov had been introduced; Owen making way after another disappointing contribution. The pair made a difference, but Burnley were not to be denied, throwing themselves in the way of any United threat. Jensen was a rock behind a sturdy defence and the final whistle ended a run of 17 straight wins for United against newly-promoted sides. More importantly, it marked Burnley's return to the elite.


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