Match ends, Manchester United 3, Burnley 1.
- Man United climb two places to third
- Phil Jones and Daley Blind injured
- Burnley one win in nine league games
- Danny Ings five goals in last six league games
Substitute Chris Smalling scored twice to help Manchester United overcome battling Burnley and climb up to third in the Premier League table.
United lost Phil Jones and Daley Blind to injury but Smalling nodded his team into the lead with his first touch after Radamel Falcao's flick back.
Danny Ings equalised for Burnley from Kieran Trippier's cross before Smalling headed home Angel Di Maria's centre.
Ings went close before Robin van Persie added a third with a late penalty.
The spot-kick was awarded after Scott Arfield sent Di Maria sprawling.
United have now lost only once in 15 top-flight games but this was anything but a fluent display. It will have done little to improve Louis van Gaal's mood after West Ham boss Sam Allardyce labelled his team "long-ball United".
The hosts were second best to the struggling Clarets for long periods, yet, despite a committed performance, Burnley remain one point from safety. They have won only once in nine league games ahead of their next match at leaders Chelsea.
|Former Manchester United defender Phil Neville on BBC Match of the Day:|
|"Make no bones about it, Manchester United were really poor in the first half. Burnley were magnificent and could have been a few goals up."Louis van Gaal definitely doesn't know his best system because he keeps changing it from game to game."|
United left it late to salvage a draw at West Ham on Sunday, but there was no hanging around as Smalling headed the hosts ahead 22 seconds after coming on - the second quickest goal by a substitute in the Premier League this season.
Smalling replaced Jones, who went over on his ankle after ex-United player Michael Keane got ahead of the defender to head wide from a corner.
The England international was in the right place to nod beyond Tom Heaton after Falcao headed across the face of goal.
It was the perfect start from Van Gaal's side but United quickly found themselves overrun in midfield.
David De Gea denied midfielder Michael Kightly before Burnley equalised with a finish of which Wayne Rooney or Falcao would have been proud.
Clarets fans had waited 40 years to see their side score a top-flight goal at Old Trafford and they celebrated wildly after Ings flung himself to meet Trippier's delightful cross - his fifth goal in six league games.
Ings was the most threatening striker on the pitch in the first 45 minutes, while Rooney ended the half playing as a holding midfielder following an injury to Blind.
Burnley had 10 attempts on goal to United's three before the interval, Ashley Barnes going closest to giving the Clarets the lead from 25 yards.
Yet it was United who finished the half with a lead they could scarcely believe as Smalling headed home Di Maria's cross following a short corner.
United were little better after the interval, Ings firing straight at De Gea from close range after Rooney had given away possession.
But the hosts were able to relax for the first time when Van Persie scored an 82nd-minute penalty after Arfield's foul on Di Maria.
Adnan Januzaj had a shot hacked off the line in the closing moments by Jason Shackell, though United's late flourish failed to disguise a lacklustre performance.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: "I didn't like this performance. Of course, we have won and the result is fantastic.
"But after this match you cannot say that we are going up, and I want to progress every match. Burnley were the better side.
"Daley Blind has a headache and maybe tomorrow it is better. But for Phil Jones, I fear. I don't know. We'll have to wait and see tomorrow."
Burnley manager Sean Dyche: "It's a tough business we are in and this game can sometimes kick you in the rear.
The manner, energy and organisation... it was all on show tonight. But we have to turn performances into wins.
"I thought Danny Ings was terrific. But I could say that about the whole team."
- 1de Gea
- 4JonesSubstituted forSmallingat 5'minutes
- 17BlindSubstituted forHerreraat 39'minutes
- 10RooneyBooked at 59mins
- 7Di MaríaBooked at 86mins
- 9FalcaoBooked at 68minsSubstituted forWilsonat 74'minutesBooked at 84mins
- 20van Persie
- 25A Valencia
- 6MeeBooked at 53mins
- 37ArfieldBooked at 67mins
- 11KightlyBooked at 26minsSubstituted forVokesat 86'minutes
- 30BarnesSubstituted forJutkiewiczat 90+2'minutes
- Kevin Friend
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Manchester United 3, Burnley 1.
Foul by Marcos Rojo (Manchester United).
Danny Ings (Burnley) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. James Wilson (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Robin van Persie with a through ball.
Substitution, Burnley. Lukas Jutkiewicz replaces Ashley Barnes.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jason Shackell.
Attempt blocked. Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Ángel Di María (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Patrick McNair.
Substitution, Burnley. Sam Vokes replaces Michael Kightly.
Ángel Di María (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Ángel Di María (Manchester United).
Michael Kightly (Burnley) wins a free kick on the left wing.
James Wilson (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Patrick McNair (Manchester United).
Michael Kightly (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Scott Arfield (Burnley).
Goal! Manchester United 3, Burnley 1. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Penalty Manchester United. Ángel Di María draws a foul in the penalty area.