The league leaders claim a 1-0 victory at Turf Moor...
BURNLEY 1 (Arfield 1), UNITED 0
Burnley team: Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Boyd, Jones (Marney 75), Barton, Arfield, Vokes (Barnes 71), Gray (Taylor 89). Subs: Robinson, Tarkowski, Dyer, Darikwa.
United team: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Diagouraga (Adeyemi 81), Murphy, Cook, Dallas (Mowatt 87), Carayol (Antenucci 65), Wood. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Bellusci, Phillips.
Referee: Lee Mason
Booked: Murphy (United), Barton (Burnley)
Att: 18,229 (2,188 United)
The televised lunchtime trip to Burnley saw United head coach Steve Evans make three changes from the midweek draw at home to Queens Park Rangers, with goalkeeper Marco Silvestri returning to the side in place of youngsters Bailey Peacock-Farrell. Elsewhere, Liam Bridcutt missed out through injury so Toumani Diagouraga stepped into the midfield, while captain Sol Bamba replaced Giuseppe Bellusci in defence.
But United couldn’t have made a worse start to proceedings at Turf Moor as the hosts took the lead inside the opening minute, Scott Arfield firing into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to round off Burnley’s first attack of the game.
Evans’ side looked to mount a quick response, though, and Bamba’s sweetly-struck volley - after the ball had fallen kindly into this path 20 yards out - forced the Clarets’ England goalkeeper Tom Heaton into his first save of the afternoon to beat the strike away with two hands.
League leaders Burnley, who entered the game looking to extend their 17-match unbeaten run, then called Silvestri into action after a swift break up-field from the resulting corner, with Matthew Lowton’s low effort held by the United stopper after being forced wide by Bamba.
Luke Murphy tried his luck from distance and saw his strike sail well wide of the Burnley goal, but the visitors were struggling to get going during the early exchanges and could have conceded a second from a similar position to Arfield’s opener - this time George Boyd firing inches wide of the far post.
United started to come into it as the first half progressed, though, and Heaton held Wood’s towering header from six yards out before Leeds' joint-top goalscorer sent an effort sailing over the crossbar from distance after collecting the ball in space.
Both sides took turns to see strikes blocked inside crowded penalty areas, before United enjoyed their best period of play shortly before the half-time whistle. Stuart Dallas’ deliveries from the right appeared to be their most likely source and the Burnley defence was called upon to scramble clear several times as they held firm to take their slender lead into the break.
The teams re-emerged unchanged and it was United, now attacking towards the travelling supporters, who started the second half the brighter of the two, with Wood twice being on the end of good opportunities during the early stages.
The New Zealand international fired a first-time effort over on the turn after being slotted in by Lewis Cook on the edge of the Burnley area, before United’s best chance of the game so far fell to Wood on 56 minutes. Carayol’s inch-perfect cross from the left evaded Ben Mee and found the striker lurking six yards out, only for his downwards header to bounce wide of Heaton’s near post.
Evans was prompted into his first change of the afternoon shortly after the hour-mark, introducing Mirco Antenucci in place of Carayol to partner Wood in attack, and the Italian forward made himself a threat within seconds of entering the field, brushing the side-netting from inside the area after latching onto Wood’s knockdown.
Wood then passed up another golden opportunity to bring United on level terms, this time heading high and wide from close-range after meeting Charlie Taylor’s whipped delivery from the left.
United were being frustrated by their hosts as they continued to enjoy the better of the second-half openings, but Evans’ side needed to remain alert at the back as Cooper made a crucial intervention to cut out Andre Gray’s low cross.
United introduced midfield duo Tom Adeyemi and Alex Mowatt in the final 10 minutes in a bid to force a late equaliser, but it was Burnley who should have added the second goal of the game deep into stoppage time as substitute Ashley Barnes fired wide in front of an empty net after Matthew Taylor’s cutback