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.
What does it mean: Mourinho's men back on track
Given the noisy protest flying overhead before kick-off, United showed impressive focus from the off to secure their second win of the season and alleviate some pressure on Mourinho.
The United fans in attendance made their support for the manager clear throughout and would no doubt have been buoyed by a professional and accomplished performance from the players in pink.
Leaders Liverpool might be six points ahead, but Mourinho will have reason to think a corner has been turned in this turbulent start to 2018-19.
Pat on the back: Lukaku lethal but Sanchez superb
Lukaku's first Premier League brace in a year will come as a welcome relief for the striker, especially after he missed an open goal against Tottenham, but Sanchez was the star of the show on Sunday.
Restored to the starting line-up after regaining full fitness, he set up Lukaku's first and played a key role in the move that led to the second, and was a menace to Burnley's backline throughout.
Boot up the backside: Not a day for Mee to remember
Ben Mee will have wanted a good performance given his Manchester City roots, but this was a long way from being one of his best days in a Burnley shirt.
The centre-back misjudged Sanchez's cross to give Lukaku a free header for his first, sat deep to play the United man onside for his second and could have conceded a penalty for bringing him down in the closing stages. A late deliberate handball should have been punished with a red card, too.
United's first game after the international break is another away trip, this time to Watford on September 15, four days before they begin their Champions League campaign against Young Boys. Burnley visit Wolves on September 16.
Thanks for joining our commentary this afternoon. Until next time, goodbye.
Manchester United bounce back from their defeats at the hands of Brighton and Tottenham with a composed performance to see off Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor. Romelu Lukaku notched both goals in the first half and could have had a hat-trick, only to miss an open goal late on. There was drama as Paul Pogba missed from the penalty spot, while Marcus Rashford received the first red card of his career for headbutting Phil Bardsley. There's no shortage of controversy around United at the moment, but for Mourinho at least there's an improved display to talk about. Burnley's poor start to the season continues they were poor from the off and didn't lay a glove on the visitors. It will be a concern to Sean Dyche, heading into the second month of the term.
Full-time: Burnley 0-2 Manchester United
And that’s it. A deserved - and welcome - victory for United.
90 min +2: Burnley’s best chances come too late. Vokes has a header from a few yards out that isn’t good enough to beat De Gea and then Vydra misses with his follow-up. Herrera blasts the ball into Hart’s body at the other end.
90 min: Barnes dribbles a shot wide. United have maintained their superiority, even after going down to 10 men. There will be four minutes of added time.
89 min: Herrera tries an attempt from long-range. It scuds along the pitch but doesn’t trouble Hart.
86 min: Mee tangles with Lukaku again. He handles the ball as he falls over and it looks like he stopped Lukaku from going through on goal. He escapes a card, I assume because it was accidental. In fact, the ref doesn’t even give a free-kick. He perhaps thought Lukaku fouled his opponent, but I think he was just stronger in a 50-50.
83 min: Wood trots off and Vydra comes on for Burnley.
82 min: Was that a bad miss from Lukaku or good defending/keeping from Burnley. Well, Lukaku looked great as he beat his man and skipped past Hart but couldn’t keep his balance and was under pressure from Mee as he tried to finish. It looks like it won’t have an effect on the result. For now. De Gea saves well from a Vokes header.
80 min: Lukaku races though the middle after a beautiful ball from Pogba. He surges past Mee and has to swerve round Hart. It’s enough to slow him down and, under pressure, from Mee he can’t put the ball into the empty net. Barnes comes on for McNeil.
77 min: This has become a very good game. United, to their credit, are pressing forward and Burnley are hitting them right back (not literally, apart from Bardsley maybe). United are playing in a very light pink today and Steve Curley has views. “The kit man should be fired,” he writes. “He’s clearly been mixing colors. I mean, this is laundry 101.” Poor Jesse Lingard has odd socks.
74 min: Another great save from Hart as Lukaku bears down on goal. The former England keeper rushes out and smothers the ball - he has been very good today. Obviously. At the other end, Shaw brings down Lennon just outside the area and is booked. The free-kick ends up on Vokes’s head about two yards out but it loops wide.
RED CARD! Rashford (71 min)
Fight! A small fight! Bardsley has a kick at Rashford as they tangle. Rashford does not appreciate it and his burrows his head towards Bardsley. The ref books Barsley and sends Rashford off. He had an interesting 11 minutes on the pitch, anyway - he won a penalty and was then sent off.
Joe Hart saves Pogba's penalty!
Pogba sends the ball to Hart’s right and the keeper gets his hands to it. It loops off to the left and it’s still 2-0. A good save from Hart, but Pogba stared at the spot where he was going to hit it.
69 min: Smalling is in rib-cracking territory as he attempts to get on the end of a wicked cross and ends up colliding with the advertising screens. The next attack is more successful though - Lennon clatters into Rashford and it’s a United penalty.
66 min: Lennon has a dart at Shaw, who blocks the cross and Burnley have a throw-in - which results in another throw-in. Well, at least they kept possession.
64 min: McNeil delivers a nice cross, which Wood gets his head to and De Gea saves low to his left. Smartly done by the goalkeeper but there wasn’t too much venom in Wood’s shot.
61 min: United substitution: Rashford trots on for Alexis, who had a good game - particularly that cross for the opener. Cork has a thrash but the ball sails very high over the bar.
58 min: Lindelof’s recall had been questioned by some but he’s been solid enough this afternoon. Vokes is on for Hendrick for Burnley.
55 min: United win a corner, which Burnley clear. Sanchez then just misses finding Lingard with a through ball. “Do you think any of the journalists will have the bottle to ask Jose how much it cost for the banner to fly over today,” asks Keith Tucker. Who knows he may be in a good mood after today’s performance.
52 min: Taylor’s cross is claimed by De Gea, and Burnley are starting to press a little more. But there’s a mix up and Lingard nips in to steal the ball and as he turns to stride up the pitch, McNeil commits a foul. A foul for which, he is booked.
48 min: Lingard turns nicely and zips up the field but the attack fizzles out. United appear happy to keep possession and let Burnley chase them around.
45 min: And we’re off again. Here’s Duncan Edwards: “OK, it doesn’t fit the current biased narrative, but why not be honest and report ‘United have been on top for most of the first half and it could easily be three or four at this point?’ Because what you’ve written so far is bit of a sham, Tom.”
Got it: United have been on top for most of the first half and it could easily be three or four at this point. Let it never be said we don’t do anything for our readers.
Half-time: Burnley 0-2 Manchester United
United have been the better side but Burnley have been curiously flat. It’s exactly the kind of opponent’s performance you need when your managerial skills are being brought into question, or you’re the vice-chairman of a football giant and people are flying mean banners about you above football grounds.
GOAL! Burnley 0-2 Man Utd (Lukaku 43)
Lukaku again. He makes a nuisance of himself in the area and spreads it out to Lingard, whose shot smacks into Tarkowski’s chest. The ball then flops at the feet of Lukaku, who rams the ball home.
43 min: Alexis cuts in and unleashes a shot but it’s blocked by a Burnley body. Lukaku then attempts to find him with a toe-poked pass but Hart is quickly on to the ball.
40 min: As bad as United’s start to the season has been, Burnley’s has been even worse and there are a few burbles of discontent around the stadium as they find themselves down again.
37 min: Lukaku steams up the centre of the pitch but doesn’t see Lingard making a run to his right - the Englishman was completely unmarked. Instead, he plays a one-two with Sanchez but Hart - who has played well - smothers the shot and the ball drops to a defender.
35 min: Lennon zooms back like it was 2007 and dispossesses Alexis, who was building up some steam. Lukaku then tries to find Valencia with a backheel in the box but it doesn’t quite come off. Nice thought though.
32 min: Valencia barrels into his opponent and Burnley are given the free-kick. Earlier, Smalling had wrestled Wood to the ground but nothing was given.
29 min: Burnley concedes where you’d expect them to be strong - defending a cross into the box. Bardsley failed to put any pressure on Alexis, and Mourinho will be a very happy man. Or happier anyway.
GOAL! Burnley 0-1 Manchester United (Lukaku 26)
Lukaku had done very little up until this point. Alexis is given A LOT of time to deliver a cross on to the striker’s head and he leaps to head home. Decent header, excellent cross.
26 min: Burnley put together a few nice passes on the edge of the Untied area but it’s cleared.
24 min: Burnley weathered the early gust from United and the game is pretty even, if anything it’s the home team on top. United have been fairly direct and that seems to suit Burnley, who are dealing with the threat easily enough when it comes.
21 min: Lukaku pushes Taylor in the back as Shaw’s cross pings into the box. And that’s the end of that attack.
19 min: Burnley are getting back into the game. Alexis is booked after pushing Bardsley as his opponent skips in the area. The free-kick is just outside the box. Lennon is unmarked as McNeil prepares to tak... Oh. He punts the ball out and it lands forlornly in the stands, unloved and untouched.
16 min: Tarkowski wins a great header against Fellaini - you had one job, Marouane – and directs the ball across the United area but there’s no one to pick it up. Well, no Burnley player at least.
14 min: Lingard tries his hand (OK, foot) at crossing this time. Hart - who has been solid enough - gets down to take it. Burnley have done very little in attack so far. They’ll get their chance now though after Shaw clatters into Lennon and concedes a free-kick. Chris Wood’s header flops towards De Gea.
11 min: Lingard has his second shot of the game - and he misses the target again. If there’s any discontent against the manager among the players, it’s not being shown on the pitch. They seem very keen to put their stamp on this match. Shaw, in particular, has been good down the left.
8 min: A big old long ball for Alexis to chase but it’s hit too firmly and the pass runs through to Hart. Nice play ensues along the edge of the area with three or four United players involved - it ends with a wicked cross from Valencia and Hart has to palm the ball away. Meanwhile, we have a low-quality pun alert. “Re: protests,” writes Rhys Vaughan Williams. “Was the balloon ‘tribute’ to the current Mayor of London not a commemoration of the anniversary of Princess Di’s untimely demise, via the Elton John song Khan Doll in the Wind?” Oh dear.
5 min: Very peppy from United early. Shaw, who has already had a cross blocked, jinks around before unleashing a shot from just outside the area. It’s decent enough but too close to Hart, who dives to his right to gather it cleanly.
3 min: An early attack from United, Lingard curls the ball to Hart’s left but it doesn’t come back enough and the shot whistles just wide. Chris Wood also has a ramble up front for Burnley but the attack breaks down.
1 min: And we’re off. The match is still 0-0 and Mourinho has not yet been fired. Here’s Benjamin Park: “Is there anything better than watching great (and in this case somewhat [BAD WORD ALERT]) men fall? Is there anything more British than schadenfreude?” Complaining about things quietly under your breath? Flying balloons and banners against authority figures?
Burnley: Hart, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Lennon, Westwood, Cork, McNeil, Hendrick, Wood. Subs: Heaton, Lowton, Vokes, Barnes, Ward, Vydra, Long.
Man Utd: de Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Fellaini, Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Lukaku, Sanchez. Subs: Bailly, Rashford, Martial, Grant, Fred, Young, Ander Herrera.
Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)