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Richard Jolly profile picture Posted by Richard Jolly
Feb 10, 2014

United used ‘non-league tactics’ - Burn

FC's Shaka Hislop plays the word game when it comes to Manchester United's play this season.

Fulham defender Dan Burn believes Manchester United played into his side’s hands with their policy of relentless crossing during Sunday’s 2-2 draw.

Mison: Rene makes his point
Payne: United plumb tactical depths 
Jolly: United cause themselves more problems
• Tactics Board: Burn extinguishes United firepower

United put in a record 81 deliveries at Old Trafford but many were headed away by the visitors’ 6ft 6in centre-back -- who made 22 clearances -- while David de Gea and Nemanja Vidic were the only Red Devils players not to put in a cross.

Burn, 21, revealed that Fulham had prepared for the Red Devils to keep on crossing and were “happy” to see David Moyes’ side continuing to put the ball into the box.

He said: “At the end of the day I'm happy for them to play like that. We knew that we were going to defend our box well. We were going to keep our back four quite narrow so that we were between the goal and the wingers were going to look after the wide men.

“We've been working on that in training. I thought it worked well. They've had plenty of crosses, loads of chances and stuff but the second goal [Michael Carrick’s deflected shot] was quite lucky.”

Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen described United’s approach as “straightforward” and said it was “easy” to defend against.

And former Darlington defender Burn said the aerial assault reminded him of his days in non-league football, adding: “I've never headed that many balls since [playing in] the Conference.”

Meanwhile, United’s record signing Juan Mata said he believes that the Premier League champions, who lost 2-1 at Stoke eight days earlier, were unlucky again to only draw with Fulham.

He wrote in his blog: “I think football is being cruel with us. We did everything to get the three points, but in the end this is about goals and Fulham scored in the last minute. It seems impossible if you look at the stats, but we couldn’t win.

 “It was the same a week ago against Stoke City, with two players injured and one goal after a deflection. It seems that luck is not on our side, but you know that I don’t like to give excuses. We have to get better and improve our shooting accuracy, because we got many times to the box and could have scored more than two goals.”

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