Manchester United’s wait for a first win of the season continues after a 0-0 draw in the Barclays Premier League against newly promoted Burnley at Turf Moor.
Louis van Gaal was able to field Angel di Maria for the first time following his £59.7 million move from Real Madrid, but United failed to impress despite occasional flashes of brilliance from British football’s most expensive signing.
Having failed to beat Swansea City or Sunderland before a midweek League Cup exit at the hands of MK Dons, Van Gaal’s men could have few complaints with the result despite having late penalty claims turned down when substitute Ashley Barnes appeared to handle a shot from Ashley Young.
Burnley had opportunities to emulate the 1-0 victory they secured when the sides last met at Turf Moor in August 2009, with David Jones coming the closest to a goal when striking the crossbar early on. Sean Dyche’s side will take heart from claiming a first Barclays Premier League point of the season, following defeats to Chelsea and Swansea.
An unchanged Burnley came roaring out of the blocks and twice came close to punishing defensive errors in the opening five minutes. Former United midfielder Jones curled a left-footed free-kick against the woodwork after Phil Jones had fouled Lukas Jutkiewicz.
David de Gea was beaten on that occasion, but the goalkeeper made an important stop to deny Jutkiewicz within 60 seconds after a sloppy backpass from Jonny Evans.
The injury-hit visitors, still without Marcos Rojo as the Argentina defender awaits a work permit, gradually settled, with Di Maria offering early glimpses of his talent.
A wonderful ball over the top from the Argentinian led to Robin van Persie being superbly denied by Tom Heaton, who blocked his shot across goal.
Di Maria, who replaced Tom Cleverley in United’s starting XI, played a glorious pass on the spin during another attack that ended with Juan Mata slipping as he looked to shoot.
However, after soaking up some pressure Burnley soon threatened again, with Scott Arfield heading wide from a Jutkiewicz cross and Jones testing De Gea with a powerful half-volley.
Young saw an appeal for a spot-kick waved away before the break, having gone down under a challenge from Kieran Trippier.
The second half started slowly, but Dean Marney was forced to clear a Van Persie shot off the line in the 59th minute following more good work from Di Maria.
Van Persie nodded a Darren Fletcher cross over the bar two minutes later, while Matt Taylor could have done better at the other end as he shot at De Gea.
Di Maria and Van Persie were withdrawn in quick succession thereafter and United were unable to find a breakthrough despite penning their opponents back in the closing stages.
Burnley manager Dean Dyche: “People have a way of looking at teams and how they play.In the Premier League, it’s rare to find even a longer pass. They tend to play all short and sharp.
“That’s for others to decide how productive that can be. I know what I think is productive football, most of you have seen it last season, and we play some fantastic stuff.
“It’s productive, but it’s good to watch, the fans enjoy it and it does get points on the board. It’s a tougher challenge this season but that’s what I believe in, that’s what the players believe in and I think they delivered it very well.
“We come away pleased with a point, but I’m more pleased or as pleased with the performance.”
“The market has moved forward; we’ve got some money for the first time in a long time and yet the market has jumped forward to a level where it’s very difficult,” he added. We’ve been first in and first out to a number of situations, which were ones we thought we could progress.
“I really like the group you’ve seen today, I like the way they operate, but we do want strength in depth and people who can challenge to move us even further forward.”
Manchester United Louis van Gaal: “We were the stronger team, certainly in the second half. Of course the progress is there, but you have to win. A club as [big as] Manchester United have to win. When you have two points [out] of [a possible] nine… that is disappointing.”
“When we play against Queens Park Rangers [after the international break], [Marcos] Rojo shall have a permit.”