Sports

Martial grabs victor as United squeeze past Burnley

Martial grabs victor as United squeeze past Burnley

Manchester United are in optimistic mood as they travel to Burnley on Saturday, having spent the week closing in on the signing of Alexis Sanchez, and with Jose Mourinho close to agreeing a new contract.

Martial has scored in each of United's past three Premier League games, netting the victor against Burnley by clinically firing home at the start of the second half after his team had failed to register a single shot on target in the first period.

But, in common with Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger, Mourinho was optimistic the two-way transfer was either on the verge of completion or collapse, with a decision fast-approaching.

"I expect soon or never, I think is so close, so close, so close that if it doesn't happen it's not going to happen, so I am positive".

"I know my people doing absolutely everything they can".

The build-up to the game at Turf Moor has been dominated by the pursuit of Chile forward Sanchez, with Arsenal willing to sell a player who would otherwise have left for nothing at the end of this season.

There were half chances for Paul Pogba and Lukaku and the unusual sight of Mourinho literally picking up Jesse Lingard and encouraging him to play on after being fouled by Steven Defour in front of the United bench.

"But (there are) no doubts that from last season to this season (there has been) a great improvement from Anthony and we need that".

The three points takes Man United to nine points off local title rivals Manchester City, who play Newcastle United on Saturday evening.

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Lukaku and Martial linked up for the moment that consigned Burnley to a fourth successive defeat in 2018, with Sean Dyche's side winless in all competitions since December 12 when a victory over Stoke temporarily moved them into the Champions League qualification places.

"We defended well since the beginning of the season", he said.

"It was very hard, we played against a courageous team, a team that plays with their strength and a team that knows how to get points - that's why season after season they are in a comfortable position".

"David (De Gea) today I don't remember anything important", Mourinho added.

"There was a lot of first ball, second ball and the physicality".

After conceding from their opposition's first on-target effort of the afternoon, Burnley did well to put United under some real pressure and nearly had an instant response when winning a free kick 22 yards out. "He's an Arsenal player, he's not my player, there's no point in me speaking about something that may or may not happen".

United managed to keep a clean sheet - their 14th in 24 matches - as Mourinho lauded England internationals Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, alongside the rest of his United squad. I will speak with you if one day we sign him. "And we continue to move forward, including this performance today".

"Results are hard to come by but you can't always measure everything on a result, not as a manager".


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