‘Vintage’ Man U move to third, Courtesy Smalling

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Manchester United: 3 (C. Smalling 6′, 45’+, R. van Persie 82′)

Burnley:  1 (Ings- 12′)

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Old Trafford:   Manchester United were made to work hard for the three points but saw off Burnley 3-1 thanks to a first-half double from substitute Chris Smalling and Robin van Persie’s late penalty.

Sean Dyche’s side may feel unlucky to end up with nothing for their endeavors, but Smalling’s headers before half-time and a first spot-kick of the campaign proved sufficient, with Danny Ings replying for the Clarets.

The Reds lost Phil Jones and Daley Blind to injury in the opening 45 minutes but still led 2-1 at the break, despite that being largely against the flow of the first half. Ex-Old Trafford starlet Michael Keane had already headed a good chance wide when Smalling came on for Jones with only five minutes gone.

Tom Heaton, another former Red, pushed away a Paddy McNair piledriver to concede a corner and, when Wayne Rooney floated it over, van Persie flicked on for Radamel Falcao to steer back across goal. Smalling climbed highest to ensure his first touch was to head into the far corner of the net.

The joy was short-lived, however, as the lively Michael Kightly forced David De Gea into palming to safety before a wonderful cross from the right by Kieran Trippier allowed Ings to dive and head home the equaliser.

Ings was impressive, firing over after seeing a dangerous shot blocked by Marcos Rojo, and springing the offside trap to sweep an intelligent ball into the path of Ashley Barnes as he lurked on the edge of the area. A sweet strike by the forward beat De Gea but flew just wide.

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