Hope springs eternal as Sánchez and Shaw lift Manchester United gloom

After two consecutive defeats, José Mourinho’s men made easy work of Burnley as his top players produced their best displays of the season

If the banner flown overhead decrying United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, as a “specialist in failure” was pre-game hoopla, on the pitch this convincing 2-0 win might prove a first baby-step in Manchester United mounting a credible title challenge. All over the side there were causes for hope as Victor Lindelöf, Alexis Sánchez, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku excelled, though José Mourinho will be unhappy at a missed Paul Pogba penalty and Marcus Rashford’s red card. The manager, who quoted Hegel on Friday, arrived at Turf Moor to show his football philosophy could reverse United’s fortunes after consecutive defeats by Brighton and Tottenham.

For this challenge Mourinho gave Marouane Fellaini a first start of the season. The danger here was evident: lose a third time and the choice of the limited Belgian would go down as a retro move from a manager losing the ability to mould games his way.

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