Manchester U 3 Burnley 0

Edwin Van Der Sar

Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Burn­ley 0, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Jan­uary 16, 2010. Fol­low­ing an ac­tion-packed and tough-fou­ght 1-1 draw ag­ainst Birm­ing­ham City at St Andrew´s a week earli­er, Man­chester Uni­ted com­fort­ably be­at Pre­miership new­comers Burn­ley by a 3-0 score at Old Traf­ford thro­ugh sec­ond-ha­lf goals from Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Way­ne Roo­ney, and late sub­sti­tute Mame Biram Diouf.

Whi­le Man­chester Uni­ted had to cope with­out the phys­ic­al pres­ence of their key play­ers Dar­ren Fletch­er, Owen Har­greaves, and Rio Fer­dinand for the en­counter wi­th loc­al rivals Burn­ley at Old Traf­ford on Sat­urday the 16th of Jan­uary 2010, Neth­er­lands in­ter­na­tion­al cus­todi­an Ed­win van der Sar re­turned to the fir­st te­am af­ter be­ing side­lined for two months. Van der Sar had be­en out since suf­fer­ing a ser­i­ous in­jury to his knee in a 3-0 Pre­mier Lea­gue tri­umph ag­ainst Ever­ton at Old Traf­ford on the 21st of Nov­ember 2009, and his come­back had be­en fur­ther delayed af­ter the sea­soned shot stop­per had be­en gran­ted com­pas­sion­ate leave to re­turn to his na­tive Hol­land to be wi­th his wife af­ter she suf­fered a brain haem­or­rhage just be­fore Christ­mas, and Sir Al­ex Fer­guson, who al­ways look­ed af­ter his play­ers in crit­ic­al situ­ations, had put no pres­sure on his long serving goal­keeper dur­ing this time. Pol­ish deputy stop­per To­mas Kusz­czak, who had re­placed Van der Sar dur­ing his ab­sence, had be­en ex­cel­lent in goal in the 1-1 draw ag­ainst Birm­ing­ham City at St Andrew´s on the 9th of Jan­uary 2010, but Sir Al­ex had made the Dutch­man his fir­st choice as soon as he was back.

In the re­verse Pre­mier Lea­gue ga­me on the 19th of Au­gust 2009, Burn­ley had edged out Man­chester Uni­ted by 1-0 at Turf Moor thanks to a mag­ni­fi­cent vol­ley from at­tack­ing mid­fielder Rob­bie Blake in the 19th min­ute of the tie. In the pre­vi­ous meet­ing at Old Traf­ford, how­ever, Uni­ted had out­classed Burn­ley by 4-0 in a Lea­gue Cup Sec­ond Ro­und Fir­st Leg fix­ture on the 26th of Septem­ber 1984, And as des­tiny would have it, the Pre­miership clash be­tween Man­chester Uni­ted and Burn­ley pro­vided a feel­ing of deja vu wi­th the hosts ham­mer­ing ho­me a 3-0 vic­tory. Now, ac­cord­ing to Rudolph Stein­er, his­tory has this nasty habit of re­peat­ing it­self, and one would prob­ably come to the very same con­clu­sion if one in­dulges one­self in­to foot­ball facts and stat­ist­ics. Burn­ley had not ma­naged to de­feat Man­chester Uni­ted at Old Traf­ford since the 22nd of Septem­ber 1962 when The Clarets be­at Matt Busby´s men 5-2, but the Turf Moor si­de nev­er­the­less had a re­al go at the ho­me de­fence dur­ing the early sta­ges and ex-Hi­ber­ni­an stri­ker Ste­ven Fletch­er should have put the vis­it­ors in­to an early lead in the sev­enth min­ute, but his ef­fort from six yards out went across the goal and wide. The mat­ch changed af­ter the re­sump­tion, tho­ugh, as three goals from Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Way­ne Roo­ney, and Mame Biram Di­ouf re­spect­ively put the de­fend­ing Pre­mier Lea­gue Cham­pi­ons back on the win­ning track. Dur­ing the sec­ond ha­lf of the tussle, Man­chester Uni­ted at long last went in­to top gear and Ber­batov fi­nally fou­nd the back of the net in the 64th min­ute wi­th a left foot shot, and just five min­utes la­ter in the ga­me Roo­ney re­gistered the sec­ond goal of the af­ter­noon when the Old Traf­ford fa­vour­ite calmly tucked the ball pa­st Burn­ley goal­keeper Bri­an Jensen and in­to the onion bag. Then, in the last min­ute of ac­tion, Di­ouf made the fi­nal score 3-0 as the ex­cit­ing new sign­ing be­at Jensen to re­gister his fir­st goal for Man­chester Uni­ted. And al­though Uni­ted struggled at the be­gin­ning of the mat­ch ag­ainst Burn­ley, they ev­entually ma­naged to claim a much need­ed Pre­mier Lea­gue win which kept Ferguson´s lads hard on the heels of fel­low Pre­miership title chal­lengers Chelsea.

As for Ed­win van der Sar, the ever­green vet­er­an en­joyed a fine mat­ch and pulled off sev­er­al spec­tac­u­lar saves. Born and bred in Voorhout, Van der Sar kept goal for Fore­holte and VV Noord­wijk be­fore the sought af­ter goal­tender was bro­ught to Dutch Ere­divis­ie gi­ants Ajax by Louis van Gaal in 1990, but af­ter keep­ing goal for The Am­s­ter­dam­mers in well over 200 Ere­divis­ie mat­ches, he sig­ned wi­th Itali­an Serie A si­de Ju­ventus for a fee of £5 mil­lion in 1999. Two years la­ter, Van der Sar mo­ved on to Ful­ham where he stayed for four years un­til he was lured to Man­chester Uni­ted by Sir Al­ex Fer­guson at the start of the 2005-06 cam­paign. In­ter­na­tion­ally, he was giv­en his de­but for Hol­land by Guus Hid­dink in a 1-0 Euro­pean Quali­fier win over Be­larus at Sta­dyen Dy­nama on the 7th of June 1995 and was part of the squad which qual­i­fied for the fi­nal sta­ges of the Wor­ld Cup in 1998 and 2006, as well as the Euro­pean Cham­pi­on­ship fi­nals in 2000, 2004, and 2008. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, Wes Bro­wn, Jon­ny Evans, Ga­ry Ne­ville, Pat­rice Ev­ra, An­tonio Va­lencia, Paul Scho­les, Lu­is Nani, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Mi­chael Car­rick, Way­ne Roo­ney. Sub­stitutes: To­masz Kusz­czak, Mame Biram Di­ouf, Ra­fael da Silva, Fa­bio da Silva, Oli­veira An­der­son, Ji-Sung Park, Mi­chael Owen. Burn­ley Te­am: Bri­an Jensen, Gra­ham Al­ex­an­der, Mi­chael Duff, Tyr­one Mears, Da­vid Edgar, Steph­en Jor­dan, Kev­in Mc­Donald, Wade El­li­ott, Ste­ven Fletch­er, Chris Eagles, Da­vid Nu­gent. Sub­stitutes: Diego Penny, Rich­ard Eck­ers­ley, Chris­ti­an Kalvenes, Joey Gud­jonsson, Fer­nando Guer­rero, Rob­bie Blake, Ste­ven Thompson.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted de­feated Burn­ley by a 5-1 score at Old Traf­ford on the 28th of Dec­ember 1963 thanks to a brace each by Da­vid Herd and Gra­ham Moore plus one goal from Ge­orge Best.


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