LONDON: Manchester United returned to winning ways on Sunday as Romelu Lukaku’s first-half double was enough to give them a 2-0 victory over Burnley.
Jose Mourinho’s men secured a morale-boosting win to reduce some of the pressure on their manager despite Paul Pogba’s missed penalty and Marcus Rashford’s red card in the space of two second-half minutes.
A banner protesting against executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was flown over the ground before kick-off, but United were not distracted from the job at hand in the early exchanges, with Jesse Lingard missing three chances in a dominant opening spell.
Burnley grew into the game but found themselves behind 27 minutes in, when Lukaku jumped just high enough to head a fine Alexis Sanchez cross past Joe Hart from six yards out.
It needed a fine save from Hart to deny Lukaku a quick second after a swift break involving Sanchez, but the Belgium striker smashed home from point-blank range to make it 2-0 before half-time after Lingard’s shot hit first Charlie Taylor and then Ashley Westwood.
Paul Pogba wasted the chance to make it 3-0 when Hart comfortably saved his rather tame penalty, and Burnley hopes of a comeback were increased two minutes later when substitute Rashford was sent off for pushing his head into Phil Bardsley’s after he appeared to kick out at the forward.
Sean Dyche’s men pushed forward with the man advantage but Lukaku should have killed off the game, the forward wasting two opportunities when put clean through one-on-one with Hart.
United held firm for their second win of the season, though, allowing Mourinho to head into the two-week international break in a happier mood.
Arsenal beat Cardiff City in thriller
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette’s burgeoning strike partnership came to the rescue as Arsenal eventually shook off Cardiff City to claim a 3-2 win in the Welsh capital.
Shkodran Mustafi headed the visitors into an 11th-minute lead before Neil Warnock’s side averted a seventh consecutive goalless half in the Premier League this season when Victor Camarasa pounced in stoppage time.
Unai Emery brought Mesut Ozil and Lacazette into his XI and both were involved in Aubameyang’s brilliant 62nd-minute goal, only for Danny Ward to find a swift response.
Lacazette was harshly adjudged to have fouled Harry Arter for the free-kick that led to Ward’s leveller but the French striker had the last laugh on his first start of the campaign, darting around Sol Bamba and blasting beyond Neil Etheridge at the Cardiff goalkeeper’s near post.