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Jesse Lingard 9/10 as Man United fight for draw vs. Burnley on Boxing Day

It is possible that passing aliens could feel the wave of relief over Old Trafford from space. Manchester United witnessed a second last-gasp equaliser in four days yet this time, they were the ones who clinched the 2-2 draw as Jesse Lingard stepping up to provide his second of the match.

United's defence and approach play were disappointing for long periods yet somehow they survived against a superb Burnley. Sean Dyche's side probably deserved better on a night when their manager out-coached someone with far greater means.

Positives

Jesse Lingard provided two vital finishes, refusing to lose his confidence after a glaring miss early in the second half. Paul Pogba constantly drove his team forward.

Negatives

Marcos Rojo's performance was disappointing -- his positioning and timing very poor from the outset. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, through no fault of his own, slowed play down behind Romelu Lukaku, who again endured a sub-par afternoon: the Belgium international was inattentive for Burnley's opening goal, and then had a poor miss in the second half.

Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Jose Mourinho started Rojo over Victor Lindelof, which immediately looked like a mistake given Rojo's early foul and yellow card that led to Burnley's opener. He also started Ibrahimovic behind Lukaku and alongside Juan Mata, stripping the team of much of its pace on the break. His substitutions changed the game but they should not have been necessary. Ultimately, this felt like two points squandered.

Manchester UnitedManchester United
BurnleyBurnley
2
2
FT
Game Details

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK David De Gea, 6 -- Was largely unemployed and was wholly blameless for both goals given poor defending from one free-kick and Steven Defour's brilliance from another. Barely touched the ball otherwise.

DF Ashley Young, 6 -- Had a strong second half, with some of his low driven crosses creating United's best chances. Recovered well after a substandard start in which his delivery was not of an adequate standard.

DF Phil Jones, 5 -- Was very tentative at the back, like his peers, but had a much better second half and some fine touches under pressure.

DF Marcos Rojo, 4 -- Looked very rusty from the outset, and was exposed for his lack of positioning and timing. His substitution at half-time was as merciful as it was ruthless.

DF Luke Shaw, 6 -- Pushed up the field with great intent but not always the best effect, while his timing was not quite there -- perhaps due to a lack of match practice, but maybe also anxiety at chasing the game.

MF Nemanja Matic, 6 -- Some of his long passing, especially in the second half, was majestic. Constantly sought to find gaps in the Burnley defence and although he was perhaps guilty at times of impatience, he kept up the intensity throughout.

Jesse Lingard's composure and maturity was sorely needed as Man United fought to a 2-2 draw vs. Burnley.
Jesse Lingard's composure and maturity was sorely needed as Man United fought to a 2-2 draw vs. Burnley.

MF Juan Mata, 7 -- Was tireless in his creativity, spreading the play incessantly and drawing wide to make angles of running and passing for his teammates. Delivery was a touch below his best but he took responsibility throughout.

MF Paul Pogba, 7 -- A performance that was much bigger on grit than grace but no less essential. Pogba was back in the centre-back and full-back positions at one point, hit a fine drive narrowly wide and prompted his team forward at every opportunity.

MF Marcus Rashford, 5 -- His crossing was below the level expected of a player with his gifts -- too often he struck the ball high and too close to the goalkeeper, when Young was showing how effective the low ball could be.

FW Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 6 -- Though he was not individually poor, his lack of speed hampered United, denying Lukaku service through the middle and the ability to break quickly.

FW Romelu Lukaku, 5 -- Lacked sharpness when defending Burnley's opener and should have scored from a second-half cross. In between that, some of his approach play was very good but it is at these critical points that an elite player should be judged.

Substitutes

MF Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 5 (for Marcos Rojo, 46 mins) -- Conceded possession in baffling fashion on one occasion, but added needed urgency on others, spreading the play well. Could have been more incisive through the middle.

MF Jesse Lingard, 9 (for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 46 mins) -- Recovered from an early miss from close range to score a magnificent backheel just minutes later and drove home a late equaliser in a crowded area. He showed the composure he had lacked at Leicester to heroic effect, earning the perfect reward for the vigour and intelligence of his movement.

Musa Okwonga is one of ESPN FC's Manchester United bloggers. Follow on Twitter: @Okwonga.

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