Manchester United will go to Anfield three points clear of the Premier League champions after Paul Pogba’s well-taken volley gave Manchester United a gritty 1-0 win over Burnley on Tuesday.

It is the first time Manchester United have been top of the table at the New Year stage of the season since 2013 when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge. They went on to win the Premier League title that season.

A double VAR review near the half-hour mark saw referee Kevin Friend show United defender Luke Shaw yellow for a foul on Johann Gudmundsson, while waving off a caution initially given to Burnley’s Robbie Brady at the other end for a foul on Edinson Cavani.

Burnley stood firm again throughout the first 25 minutes of the second half before Pogba scored a magnificent goal.

United were the dominant side after the break and Pogba proved the difference as his volley from Marcus Rashford’s cross deflected past Nick Pope in the Burnley goal.

The victory means United go to 36 points and overtake Liverpool, with 33, after 17 games – this having last been achieved after the same number of matches when beating Sunderland 3-1 on 15 December 2012 under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer:
“When you get three points in the Premier League it makes you smile.”

“It was a hard-fought three points though.”

“Liverpool have had an unbelievable three and a half seasons, but we couldn’t have asked for a better time to play them. We’re in good shape, and we’re hungry.”

Burnley manager Sean Dyche:
“I thought it was a good performance against a top side who are going well, we’ve been improving as the season’s gone on.”

“They had chances but not golden chances, and we created a few ourselves particularly at the end.”

After the match, Pogba said: “We know that the game today was very hard, and obviously we wanted to win. It’s not easy to play here and we got the three points, and we’re happy for that. But there’s still a long way, and now we have to focus again for the rest of the season.”

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