We performed quite well against Burnley as a whole despite some problem areas for the first hour. Here is a full analysis of the game.

NOTE: This thread will be consistently updated tweet-by-tweet as I re-watch the game. So, you can touch back in whenever you want.

Do you see the space here in which Pogba would normally be? The reason he's not there is because he immediately moved deeper, anticipating a long ball from the beginning. It's a common thing in the Premier League.

It's a little interesting point to pick up on.

One could make the argument that had Pogba been just a little closer this long ball would have been prevented. However, once the initial long ball wasn't taken he didn't assume they'd try it here. Burnley were smart here and it worked.
This was correctly called offside but it was only by a bit. It wasn't great defending from us because we didn't intend to play offside here. It just so happened that we did. Thankfully it was offside and it was ruled out.
This is how close Henderson was to getting the ball. However, if you consider the defensive coverage here, it was a bad decision from Dean to come out. He was proactive but even if he had punched it away it still wouldn't have been an ideal decision due to the def. coverage.
Pogba collects a high ball quite well and turns into the field. Rashford makes a run to the wing and that drags Burnley's defence wider. This leaves space for Bruno to run into unchallenged and Pogba should have done better with the ball.

Bruno applauds the effort nonetheless.
One of McTominay's strengths is his actual strength. Ole likes his aerial prowess, too. In this situation, though, he's outmuscled far too easily. It allows Burnley easy progression and a better team could have had a run against out defence.

We recover well, though.
Originally I thought we absolutely got done by this but upon second viewing I've realised it's a ridiculously well executed pass and that Lindelöf actually does well to recover.

Nevertheless, reading this situation better would have resulted in a first-time interception.
Pogba is set on a transition by Henderson but Burnley def. transition well. Pogba has an easy pass to find Fred but doesn't opt for it—he probably should have—and it results in a cynical foul from behind which doesn't result in a yellow card but just a foul.
Building w/o Matic against two CFs creates an issue in that both McTominay and Fred become marked out the phase. Shaw becomes the easy outlet because the opposition CFs can easily circle back to our pivot. Matic is different because he's better in possession — harder to mark.
Maguire is pressed by the CF so he needs to circle back—the pass to Shaw was there earlier—and he passes to Fred. Fred sees he's going to be pressed hard but he fails to trap the ball well and is easily outmuscled. This results in a Burnley half-pitch transition.
One of Shaw's best qualities is how well he breaks lines. He completes this good pass to Rashford he turns his man very well. Greenwood drags a defender centrally and the pass option to AWB becomes open. The pass is slightly overhit but it was a good sequence overall.
Wan-Bissaka ends up quite wide but is able to gather possession. Look at Mason. He's the free man but instead of running to the 6-yard box he comes shorter even though McTominay's driving forward (and eventually receives the pass).

Cavani makes a huge difference here.
These two images—just seven seconds apart—demonstrated the issue we had against their block. McTominay was the main progressing midfielder whilst there were few passes in between lines due to fearing Burnley's physicality. These aspects need to improve (which they are).
Mason runs wider and it creates a double team on AWB. This is where Mason needs to help by running into that zone. He doesn't and it ends the threat we had down there.

Side point: Sancho is elite at managing double and triple teams. Perhaps I'll analyse that soon.
In that particular sequence McTominay received the ball multiple times but either played it wider or laterally. The possession ends with Bruno completing a vertical pass to Shaw and it ends up as a corner for us with AWB challenging for a header in the box.
This is more a point on data. Shaw picks up the ball here at RB. It's because he took the right-sided corner and remained on that side to recover. If you're doing a heatmap or pass completion maps, this stuff *can* be useful but is really just noise.

Differentiation is vital.
Rashford has a double team and AWB makes a great blindside run. This pass is very obvious but Rashford doesn't make it. The truth is: personnel matters. If AWB and Greenwood are Pogba and Cavani respectively, Rashy makes the pass.

The pattern was there. The personnel wasn't.
AWB has a one-on-one. He stands his man up decently and attempts to burst past him. He can't do so and it ends up as a goalkick. AWB has moments where he does this well but it's not consistent enough as of now. He needs to work on this a lot over the summer.
The difference between CBs at a top level. Maguire and Lindelöf are already tracking back and that's before the pass is even attempted. They read this play early = proactivity. CBs at lower levels react to these types of plays hence why scouts always check for anticipation.
This is an example of our slow play at times. Fred comes centrally and it drags Burnley's CF in. This leaves space for Maguire to progress but Lindelöf's pass to him is so slow it allows the CF to circle back in time.

We don't play fast enough at times and it shows.
This was better from McTominay. He ignores the wider option and opts to play centrally. He finds Bruno and Pogba with back-to-back passes but the sequence breaks down in traffic.

Our pivot struggle with verticality so this was better from one of them.
Just after McTominay *then* plays it wider once Burnley have centrally collapsed. It results in AWB picking out Pogba.

McTominay playing it centrally twice is the reason why his pass to AWB is effective. He forced Burnley to collapse and then he exploited the width left.
The best playmakers break down blocks as if it's chess. They make certain moves which “set up” the final move. Kroos does it all the time. Pogba's great at it, too. Xavi and Scholes were masters. It's about moving the opposition and then BAM! Exploit.

We need more of it.
First Touch!

Fred plays this beautiful first-time pass to AWB but the latter's first touch is regressive. It allows the defender to close him down and he ends up pass it backwards.

If his first touch was better —progressive!—then we would have had a good crossing sequence here.
This is good defence but better offence.

Mason stands up his defender one-on-one and the defender's body shape is excellent. However, Mason's cut is so quick it means the defender needs to push off his left foot quicker but by the time he turns back Mason's already shooting!
This is why Mason is seeing double teams despite being so young. His ability to create shooting angles for himself is incredible and defenders struggle to not only read him but keep up. So, they use double teams and it's prevented Mason from scoring a lot this season as well.
Rashford runs in transition and immediately looks at Bruno. He then uses Pogba's run which creates space for the passing angle. The defender reads it but Pogba's run is too meaningful to him so he doesn't check back himself.

This is where we should mention an important point.
When players make runs to receive the ball (Pogba here), it doesn't have to be with the intention of creating space. Space just becomes created as a reaction to the run. This is why off-ball movement is so key to any good offence in the modern game. It's why Cavani is excellent.

Bruno was annoyed at his attempt and it's because he hit the ball incorrectly. He caught it with the lower side of his foot and then his hip motion generated top spin instead of side spin.

This stuff happens to every goalscorer. It's why scoring is hard.
By now, Pogba's had just 16 touches on the ball which is less than both McTominay (22) and Fred (18) whilst he's also received it in tighter areas. So, he comes short and has 5 touches in a single minute.

This happens due to frustration and is common with on-ball playmakers.
This is good defending. The body orientation is already facing out and it makes Pogba hesitate in passing to Shaw. These small things make big differences. Watch how van Dijk often defends and how he positions his body to his man. The best teams must learn it properly.
We were unable to break down their block and so we started forcing it. Here, Rashford looks for a very difficult pass to Fernandes but overhits it (due to forcing it). It's an easy recovery for Burnley.

Forcing play comes when a team feels their ideas aren't working.
The issue here is that we were only 16 minutes in. We need to display more patience but we have players who are still a bit intemperate in how they play. We need to develop that patience to prod for the whole game. It's a common trait amongst every good possession team.
This is what I mean. Just after we try to force it in the third phase, we then try to force it in the first phase immediately after. The white path is what Maguire tried to do. The red path is what he did.

In any case, neither path should've been used.

OK. I'm 16:38 minutes in and need a break to go to the gym. I will continue when I return, will leave again to open my fast and then will continue after that.

I'll see you all then. 🌹

With the news that teams are dropping out I'll hold off on this thread till later tonight and then will continue.

I hope you're all well.
McTominay's strength and guarding of the ball is underrated. In fact, it's disregarded. Yet, he's retained the ball 64% of the time when challenged this season which is the second highest in the club just behind Matic (66%). Here, he just sits down a challenge and proceeds.
Mason puts in a cross here which goes straight to the keeper. He was trying to find Rashy at the back post. What would have helped them both is if Rashy made Cavani's run to the near post. This would have resulted in a much better chance and, again, shows why Cavani is important.
This is the run here. I hope that if Cavani decides to leave he has quite a few training sessions with our forwards, educating them on CF movement in the box.
We dropped into a 3-6-1 and showed its value against a two-man initial press. Fred commanded the attention of the second CF which meant the RM had to close down Maguire. This resulted Shaw being free and the space behind the RB. It was a good sequence we didn't do enough of.
This annoyed me then and annoys me now.

AWB is outfought on the ball—it's poor but it does happen at times—but Fred dives in completely irresponsibly once more. He's easily played around and now *look* at the space for Burnley.

A better team punishes this.

Stop. Diving. In.
It's so easy to criticise the CBs. They should never be as exposed as they become in our team. It's a credit to them that we've not actually conceded much more.

In a two-man pivot, any diving into challenges *like this* will always be a net negative over a season.
Shaw's passing range is incredible. The problem, however, is that we over-utilise him in our early phases which makes us predictable. We need better personnel in midfield so that Shaw is not so used in this phase or else it becomes easier to prevent.
We win the ball back and start to build. However, after 33 seconds of trying to get out of phase one—this mostly consisted of the CBs passing to each other—we went back to Henderson and kicked it long.

This isn't good enough at all.
Pogba wins a great def. header here in the box and it introduces a point: we are actually very good in the air despite our zonal marking issues. Maguire (76%), Bailly (71%), Lindelöf (68%), Matic (65%), Pogba (62%) and McTominay (60%) all average high amounts of aerial duel wins.
Note: the midfielders average less because they attempt harder aerial duels simply by nature. Thus, their 60%+ is actually quite high. The average by centre midfielders is ~51%. All three of ours are comfortably higher.
This is almost never given by referees and it should be. We've been guilty of it before and so have others. Pushing a player who's about to end up off the pitch anyway is dangerous and *it's a foul*. If it happens in the middle of the pitch it's called.

Poor officiating.
This referee!

Just after he's pushed off the pitch, his foot is then stamped on whilst Burnley are out of shape and THEN the ball is kicked at him whilst he's on the ground!

What does Moss do? He tells Bruno to calm down and nothing else!
Just after this, AWB accidentally challenges and fouls but the Burnley player goes flying off the pitch and Burnley plays are up in arms about it with Dyche leading the protests.

Moss obliges and gives AWB a yellow card.
Lindelöf's long(er) passes are a delight. We are slightly boxed in here and it could become a full box very soon. So, he plays this monster switch to Shaw and it relieves all pressure on us.
Time your runs!

Something both Mason and Rashy have to learn is timing their runs well. You can see the offside line there (approx.). I have drawn two potential paths Mason could take to stay onside but, instead, he runs straight forward with no bend and is immediately offside.
Fred receives a pass from AWB but his touch is so bad the ball just bounces off his foot and ends up almost two metres away. He recovers well by preventing a pass but these small things matter. If he turns on the ball we have a great transition opportunity as a result.
Rashford and Pogba link up well here as Rashy comes short which brings a defender with him. He spins off and Pogba plays him through. The run from Mason is excellent and Rashy tries to find him but the execution was off.

This was a good sequence.
Straight after this Bruno, Rashy and Mason combine beautifully but it's *just* missed at the end by Mason.

We created multiple half and full opportunities in the first half though our execution in the final ball or run was just off.
Lindelöf gets an arm to the head (around right ear) during this challenge and it's enough for him to hold the side of his head. The referee sees Lindelöf hunched over but doesn't even address it.
Burnley play it long and Lindelöf's in full control of the situation. He sees AWB and knows that's an option. Then, he sees Henderson very late—he's not used to that due to de Gea—and tells him to pass to AWB. Henderson kicks it long.

There are two things here in particular:
Firstly, Henderson didn't need to come out like this nor was it beneficial especially since he just punted it long. The ball could have gone back to him for him to do that.

Secondly, there'll be this chemistry issue for a while until the CBs and GK get used to one another.
Henderson's just been two-footed in the leg and nothing is given for it whatsoever. Burnley defend it by saying he's going for the ball which is irrelevant as per the rules — the same rules Moss loves to ignore when officiating our games.
OK. That's the first half DONE!

I hope you've enjoyed it so far. It's lengthy but you guys know how it is!

The second half coming up!
Before we begin the second half analysis, if you guys are enjoying it and would like to support me doing this full time, please consider subscribing to Patreon for as little as £2 a month. It'll go very far in helping this become a permanent thing!

Second half analysis to begin in the next five minutes.
Cavani came on at half time and Pogba moved deeper. In the first half analysis (scroll up) you'll see the amount of attacks where Cavani would've been useful. Ole recognised this and brought him on.

A very good change.
One reason why Shaw's an excellent outlet is because he's constantly scanning forward despite anticipating pressure. Usually, players will focus their attention on the incoming pressure. Shaw's looking forward to his next pass before it comes to him.

A big difference.
Rashford on the left forced Burnley to spread wider due to his direct threat and combinations with Shaw. Bruno and Cavani were effectively CFs for large periods. This forced Burnley back and allowed us to gain easy territory which we lacked in the first half.

Gravity is of two types: player-based and zone-based.

In this situation, both are in play. The LB sees Mason but realises that Bruno's in a more dangerous position. So, Bruno's gravity + the gravity of the zone he's in forces the LB centrally.

The result?

The reason Rashford's take-on created so much space is because whilst his offence was good, the defence was bad.

The RB starts off in a decent position but then becomes square and dives in. Rashy skips by him and it becomes our advantage.
Statistically, zonal marking is better than man marking. However, it relies heavily on personnel. Here, Tarkowski is marked by AWB who's as good as useless against him and then Tarkowski has the run on Maguire who's jumping backwards at the same time. It was incompetent.
When Pogba came on Burnley decided to drop further back when we built in our early first. This is because Pogba's passing ability makes it harder to defend higher (i.e. he can pick out spaces) so retreating is safer.

Personnel matters.
Marcus Rashford!

This was ridiculous. Rashy has single coverage but he's been triangled in. If he goes left he's doubled. If he goes right he's double. He could be tripled.

Rashy disregards the *whole* def. set and plays a wicked pass to Shaw, taking all three out of the game.
This is the third time Henderson's come out and each one has been bad. He didn't have a good game especially with regard to his strengths. Lindelöf even tells him off (third frame) with the ball still in play which is something Victor rarely does.
Mason has improved a lot this season and one aspect is his longer passing. Here, though, he attempts one quite hastily to Rashford when, in fact, the right play was to slip Bruno in which would have started a half-pitch transition — something we're elite at.

Mason's always played as a CF so he's still gaining certain traits that come with being a winger in addition to building relationships. Here, AWB overlaps him but Mason chooses McTominay. That's fine. However, Mason doesn't move and it now makes AWB redundant.

The little things.
Rashford stands up his man centrally — there's nothing inherently wrong here but it's perhaps not ideal. In any case, he shifts it and has two passing angles to either Mason (easier) or AWB (harder). He finds neither and then McTominay dives in which starts Burnley's transition.
Pogba's slowly drifting to the right which makes Burnley follow him. He ends up switching it left to Rashy in space as a result. However, he puts far too much spin on it and it slows the attack down.

The better pass was to Mason who would've been in a spacious one-on-one.
Mason and Bruno bring us forward and Rashy probably could've shot initially but he's consciously tried to avoid loose shots this season to his credit (and benefit).

He does, though, overhit this simple pass to Cavani and it ends the spatial advantage we had.

Close again.
Cavani was so annoyed with the pass that once he retrieves it and gives it to Shaw he just walks off to the side whilst throwing his hands up in the air.

He joins the next sequence seconds later, though.
Burnley are really deep and there's a lot of space down the left. Pogba tells Bruno to go behind him but Bruno looks for Mason who's marked and didn't anticipate the pass at all.

It was minor overall but just shows how sloppy we still be at times.

We have gotten better though.
One reason why AWB is an elite one-on-one defender is because he can do this.

He often squares up to attackers whilst being confident he can go on either side. He doesn't give attackers any angle to beat him. He forces them to choose and then matches them for the majority.
We have two CBs (and now a GK) who can genuinely clear all three opposition lines with accurate kicks. Henderson will get better with time but our CBs are set already. Here, Maguire finds Rashy who brings it down superbly.
Rashy may struggle when carrying but in one-on-ones he's excellent. This was ridiculous. The best part is the RB is frozen. He maintains the same body shape in three of these frames due to how fast Rashy went by him.

Bruno — close!

Bruno's initial positioning is good. He makes it a two vs two duel in a tight space = advantage us.

But then he gets drawn to the ball unnecessarily, leaving his man. This allows Burnley to get into a good position and get a cross in.
Rashy's touch is poor here — it gets caught under him. Over this summer I really want him to develop his left foot for finishing. Ole had this mean right-foot-drag-to-left-foot-finish that guaranteed him 3-5 goals a season. Rashy needs to develop that this summer.
Rashy had a really good game vs Burnley — always tough for a winger.

This pass to Shaw—he's so proficient at it—opened up the left channel and we created a good chance as a result.

Rashy's impact over the game was clear.

I'm almost 70 minutes through and it's time to eat so I'll resume this after food.

I hope you guys are well. :)
OK. I've eaten. I have tea. I have cookies. The only thing left is to finish this analysis.

I'll resume in five minutes! :)
Actually, I'll watch the Villa and City game and will resume after OR if City go 3-1 up or something.

See you then lol.
OK. I'll be continuing this tomorrow. I'm quite tired at the moment. There's 20 minutes left for those wondering.

This is the longest thread I've ever written up lol.

I'll be continuing this analysis—we have 20 minutes left—at 2:00pm UK time which is just above half an hour.

See you then.
OK. Something's gone wrong with the software so I can't continue till it returns. It should be a day or two.
Software back up and running!

I'm going to the gym now so will resume around 7pm UK time (it's currently 5:18pm).
OK. Let's continue.

Here, Pogba tries this thing where he sticks one leg out to get it in front of a challenge and then he guards the ball with his body. Here, he's too late and ends up committing a foul.

I personally don't like this type of guarding from him. It's too risky.
BUR have a FK from that Pogba foul. Look at our defensive set. BUR line up down our right so Harry's not involved. Ole uses both Pogba and McTominay to cover for Lindelöf and AWB who aren't as physically dominant. It's a good use of weapons from us here.
This is really interesting.

Pogba has the ball and Cavani comes short but really doesn't move enough. It effectively means the passing lane remains closed but also that Pogba can't drive. So, he breaks the line to Bruno and then just tells Cavani about it.
It's Rashford...again.

Rashy is double teamed as Shaw makes his run. BUR think they can pressure Rashy enough here with this double team to prevent him from progressing.

Rashy just plays it right between them. He was excellent against BUR.
That's the end of Rashford's performance today. For me, he was the best player on the pitch. I can see why Mason was given MOTM (he did score twice) but Rashy, at least to me, was our best player and it wasn't particularly close.

An excellent performance.
Mason: beautiful.

Mason's set-up to his shot is ridiculously quick. The defender is *still* on his left leg and once he tries to block it Mason puts it through his legs [with a deflection]. Mason does this intentionally.

Also: look at the triple team! They respect Mason.
The BUR defender is in a great position to block Mason's shot. However Donny makes this run and the defender spots it. He has a doubt whether Mason will pass and ends up switching onto Donny. It's that movement the defender makes that results in the deflection.

The small things!
Donny calls for a pass but Bruno rejects it because he wants to slow the game down. He passes to Shaw.

Donny calls for it again but Shaw does the same thing.

Poor Donny lol.
This was funny.

Bruno receives it and his instincts tell him to move forward. It makes both Cavani and Donny make a run. Bruno then realises he was meant to be slowing the game down so he turns and passes back, holding his hands up at the same time lol.
Straight after this he apologises to Donny for not passing twice. Even though Bruno has a good reason for not passing he still acknowledges Donny's runs here which is good to see. If it's 1-1, Donny knows Bruno's firing that ball forward.
One reason why we struggled to hold out the game as well is because we panicked under pressure. Here, Harry's marked and Victor shows himself wonderfully to receive an easy ball. Harry kicks it long and Victor tells him to calm down.

It's that calmness Ole loves from Lindelöf.

Moving directly forward is vital in winning games. Here, Pogba plays a vertical pass to Cavani who squares it to Mason. McTominay's making a vertical run and Mason finds him with a vertical pass.

Two vertical passes + one vertical run = great chance.
Pogba gets kneed in the leg. What does Moss do? He spends more time telling Pogba to “stop taking the p***” because he tried a rainbow flick—legal albeit provocative—and then he ignores Pogba once Pogba questions him. He doesn't say anything about the cynical foul itself.
This is *so* uncharacteristic from Lindelöf. He knows he's the last man down the channel and is off-ball but he still dives into a challenge. Even though he nearly wins the ball he should've turned and stayed on the man. Nevertheless, Shaw makes the challenge and we're fine.
There are 10 seconds between Bruno's two passes. One of them sets Cavani free and the other effectively dictates the eventual goal.

Side note: the speed at which BUR collapsed into their box was ridiculous. Yes, we still broke through but BUR's defence of their box is excellent.
Don't leave, please.
Cavani's leadership. He shows Donny some love and even gives him a kiss on the cheek. I hope Edi stays next season though I fully respect any decision he makes.
Well, that's it from me.

I hope you enjoyed this thread. I apologise for the length. There were a lot of things to mention.

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