Man United put out the fire at Burnley as Marouane Fellaini delivers for Jose Mourinho
BURNLEY, England -- Three points from Turf Moor on Manchester United's 2-0 win over Burnley in the Premier League.
1. Man United avoid crisis, Rashford sees red
Manchester United put the brakes on their dismal start to the season with a 2-0 win at Burnley, but a second-half red card for Marcus Rashford put a bit of a damper on a crucial victory for Jose Mourinho's team at Turf Moor.
Rashford, a second-half replacement for Alexis Sanchez, was sent off by referee Jon Moss after 10 minutes on the pitch following a head-butt on former United defender Phil Bardsley.
The England forward will now serve a three-match ban for violent conduct, forcing him out of the forthcoming games against Watford, Wolves and the EFL Cup clash against Derby.
United were already 2-0 ahead against Sean Dyche's team following two first-half goals from Romelu Lukaku, who missed further opportunities in the second half to complete a hat trick.
A penalty miss by Paul Pogba -- Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart saved the Frenchman's 69th minute spot kick -- denied United an even greater victory, but aside from Rashford's moment of madness, this was a positive performance for the visitors.
United were impressive from the start, taking the game to a Burnley team who looked fatigued from their midweek Europa League exit against Olympiakos.
And they should have won by a far greater margin, with Hart making a series of important saves to keep the score down.
But after ending a run of two successive defeats, United will now hope to have kick-started their season as they attempt to catch the top four.
With a trip to surprisingly unbeaten Watford
2. Fellaini proves his worth again
Marouane Fellaini will never win many popularity contests among the Manchester United supporters because, in the eyes of many, he is the antithesis of what an Old Trafford player should be.
There is no flair or moments of magic from the Belgian midfielder, but he is unquestionably effective and he once again delivered for Jose Mourinho in this win at Turf Moor.
Mourinho fought hard to keep Fellaini in the summer when the player was out of contract and his eventual decision to stay was a victory for the United manager.
Fellaini's detractors would argue that the 30-year-old is too one-dimensional and limited to make the team successful, but he was crucial to this win.
United won 13 of 16 league games that Fellaini started last season, so his record is there for all to see.
His height and physical presence were tailor-made for the physical battle that United knew they would face at Burnley and, but for Romelu Lukaku's two-goal display, Fellaini would have walked off with the man of the match award.
He won important headers from set pieces, broke up Burnley attacks, made his presence felt and even had a stint in a back three during the first-half as the home side attempted to intensify the aerial attack on the United defence.
Whether Fellaini can make a difference against the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs, or in the Champions League, is another matter.
But it is horses for courses at times and Fellaini was an important figure in this big win at Burnley.
3. Sanchez needs to get right during international break
Alexis Sanchez made a key contribution to Manchester United's win at Turf Moor, with his first-half cross teeing up Romelu Lukaku for the opening goal, but the Chilean was later substituted on 61 minutes after an otherwise unproductive afternoon.
The January signing from Arsenal is having a tough time at United and he left Burnley with his record for the club a mere three goals in 21 appearances.
It is nowhere near enough for a player of Sanchez's ability and his ongoing malaise has led to United asking Chile to omit the forward from the forthcoming international friendlies against Japan and South Korea.
Chile have agreed to that and the hope at Old Trafford is that a fortnight of fitness work will him overcome the muscle problem he sustained earlier this season.
Sanchez certainly needs something to ignite his United career, and Marcus Rashford's three-match ban for being sent off in this game ensures that he will be needed by Jose Mourinho once the international break is over.
But at Burnley, he looked unhappy and indecisive out on the left wing, with Lukaku left to plough through the centre.
Sanchez was at his best at Arsenal playing across the front three, but largely through the middle.
Mourinho has not found a way to get the best from him yet, so the next two weeks will be an important period for the two men to work on solving the puzzle.