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BURNLEY 0 UNITED 1 Paul Pogba fires out a warning as Man United go top ahead of Anfield showdown


Paul Pogba, right, made the breakthrough at Turf Moor with a deflected volley (Clive Brunskill/PA)

Paul Pogba, right, made the breakthrough at Turf Moor with a deflected volley (Clive Brunskill/PA)

Paul Pogba, right, made the breakthrough at Turf Moor with a deflected volley (Clive Brunskill/PA)

He has so often been castigated as the villain in Manchester United's decline and yet it was Paul Pogba taking centre-stage on the night when they returned to the top of the Premier League.

Pogba fired United's winner in a 1-0 win at Burnley that saw them move three points clear at the top of the table, ensuring the club moved into top sport at this stage of a season for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson bowed out as champion in 2013.

Pogba’s second-half strike was the difference as United secured the result their dominance deserved at Burnley, with the 1-0 triumph giving them a three-point cushion over Liverpool heading into Sunday’s mouth-watering Anfield encounter.

Yet the French World Cup winner warned his team-mates not to get carried away with their position at the top of the table ahead of the showdown with Liverpool.

"We knew if we win we would be top of the league when we play Liverpool," said Pogba. "We can't get too exited. We have to keep calm, now it is the big moment. We will see what is going to happen.

"The game at Liverpool will be a beautiful game for everyone. A big game coming up so let's get ready for it.

"We got the three points and we're happy for that but there's still a long way and now we focus again until the end of the season."

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could barely contain his delight, as he suggested his side were in the 'perfect' position ahead of the game against Liverpool.

"Of course we know we're going to the champions they've had an unbelievable three seasons so we're ready for it, but we're ready and we're excited," declared the United boss.

"We're hungry for it and it's a test of character and quality again. We're in a good position going into it.

"We're looking forward to Anfield. Of course you enjoy being where we are at any time. If it's the first game or the last game, it's a big, big difference.

"But at the moment we are where we are. We’re going to go in there knowing that we play against the team that’s been by a mile the best in the country for the last year and a half.

"They're champions by right and we're looking forward to it and it’s a great test of where we're at against a good team."

The video assistant referee provided the main talking point of a tense opening period, with last man Robbie Brady avoiding sanction for bringing down Edinson Cavani due to a Luke Shaw foul in the build-up.

The left-back, who was booked for his hefty challenge on Johann Berg Gudmundsson, soon swung in a cross that Harry Maguire headed home from an acute angle, only to be ruled out for an apparent foul on Erik Pieters.

The United skipper was furious that the decision was not reviewed and his side flew out of the blocks in the second half.

"Patience and having more composure was the key," added Solskjaer. "We weren't great in the first half hour and then the VAR sparked us into life. We were too hot headed at times,

"Harry Maguire's goal was perfectly good and I understand the lads being angry but I had to calm them down at half-time.

"I've not seen the fouls but it must be right, the referee went over to look at it. The disallowed goal - that's a mistake, we have to be honest.

"The goal was top, great execution and style. Paul Pogba really played well tonight. It would have been easier for us, we should have got the second goal but we don't do it the easy way."

Late injuries to Anthony Martial and Nemanja Matic were a blow to United ahead of the Liverpool game, where Solskjaer's side will get a chance to move a full six points clear of their old foes with a win.

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Online Editors