French forward Anthony Martial was a surprise exclusion from the matchday squad on Boxing Day as Manchester United settled for a share of the spoils versus Burnley. The Red Devils found themselves two goals behind in the first period, but a masterclass from Jesse Lingard ensured that they acquired a point for the second game running.
Initially, it was predicted that 22-year-old may have been dropped by Jose Mourinho after he spurned a one-on-one chance with Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel last weekend. However, according to SFR Sport h/t Metro, the Frenchman had sustained a minor knee injury during the Foxes game, and it was the prime reason behind his exclusion for the Clarets game.
In Martial’s absence, Mourinho opted to reshuffle his attack front with the likes of Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic coming into the mix, but the tactical measure did not work out until the latter was replaced by Lingard at the half-time break.
Lingard scored shortly after his introduction, and netted his second, three minutes from time to save United’s blushes. Nevertheless, United were guilty of missing clear-cut chances once more, and Mourinho lambasted his side’s inability to capitalise on their chances, something which they did with regularity earlier in the campaign.