After a week of strife, Manchester United faced an away trip on Sunday afternoon.
Spurs embarrassed United 3-0 at Old Trafford, but a reversal in fortunes was on the horizon. Not so fresh from their failure to qualify for the Europa League were Burnley, who offered little resistance to a Man United side for whom a win was essential.
A banner was flown over Turf Moor prior to the game, aimed at United Chief Ed Woodward. The away support were fervent in their backing of under-fire manager Jose Mourinho.
Decked out in a garish new pink kit, a much more comfortable looking United were threatening in attack, as Luke Shaw continued his fine form on the left. The opener came via that flank, but through Alexis Sanchez. A perfect cross found Romelu Lukaku in the box, and the Belgian powered the header past Joe Hart.
He scored a second just before half time, pouncing on a scramble in the box following a Jesse Lingard effort.
United never looked in danger of dropping their lead, but the second half wasn’t without its issues.
Substitute Marcus Rashford earned a penalty after being brought down. Paul Pogba stepped up to take what would have been his third goal of the season, but his dubious run-up backfired with Hart making the save to his right.
Rashford was then sent off for pushing his head towards veteran Phil Bardsley. There was very little in it, but per the letter of the law, as Richarlison found out last week, it is no longer tolerated by match officials.
Late on, Lukaku was set free by a David De Gea long ball, causing Ben Mee to panic, throw himself to the ground and collect the ball with his hands. Far from penalising the defender or even showing a red as the last man back, the referee didn’t even give a free kick.
That won’t matter to Jose Mourinho, who can now enter the international break off the back of a 2-0 win and into the top ten of the Premier League table.