BURNLEY failed to make their pressure pay as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Turf Moor.

The Clarets were the better side against Jose Mourinho’s men but it was a familiar lack of cutting edge that cost them and made it seven Premier League games without victory.

Having troubled United at Old Trafford on Boxing Day Burnley were back it in East Lancashire, but half chances came and went before United showed their clinical edge just after the break.

The Clarets responded to that setback well but couldn’t find the equaliser that their endeavour had deserved.

Ashley Barnes had taken just three minutes to break the deadlock at Old Trafford. There was double that on the clock when he was presented with an early opening at Turf Moor, played in by Scott Arfield but Phil Jones produced a fine last-ditch tackle to get the block in. The loose ball landed at Jeff Hendrick’s feet but his shot was tame and straight at David De Gea.

It had been a bright start from the Clarets and De Gea was called into action again inside the first quarter of an hour. Phil Bardsley stopped Anthony Martial at one end, allowing Steven Defour to clip a ball into Hendrick’s feet on halfway. He freed Johann Berg Gudmundsson down the right and the Iceland winger cut inside Jones but could only curl a low effort straight to the United goalkeeper.

Paul Pogba had flicked a shot over for the Red Devils but it was the Clarets who were having the better of the early exchanges and another free-flowing move ended with Charlie Taylor’s cross reaching Hendrick at the back post and he controlled on his chest before slicing a half-volley wide.

Ben Mee was next to go close, heading over a Gudmundsson corner from six yards under pressure from Pogba.

United had been kept at bay for most of the first half but it was a moment of improvisation from Ashley Young that created an opening just before the break. The re-called left-back seemed to have nowhere to go from the touchline but he nutmegged Gudmundsson and darted into the area before sending a curling effort a couple of yards wide.

On the stroke of half-time Mee was dispossessed as he tried to charge forward allowing United to counter through Pogba and Anthony Martial before the latter skimmed a low shot wide from the edge of the area.

It took United less than 10 minutes of the second half to break the deadlock, although the Clarets will be disappointed with the space afforded the visitors.

Lukaku turned Mee on halfway, showing strength to shrug off the captain’s challenge and break into the Burnley half before picking out Martial, who had space on the edge of the area to shift the ball onto his right foot and crash a shot in off the underside of the bar.

The Clarets were probably unfortunate to be behind but they came close to an equaliser immediately, with Barnes winning a free-kick 22 yards from goal and Gudmundsson clipping an effort against the bar.

It was Burnley who were creating the chances. Barnes picked up a loose ball from a half-cleared corner and poked it through to Gudmundsson on the right side of the area and his low cross took a slight deflection and was just beyond the sliding Tarkowski as he stretched to try and turn the ball home.

United were now set up to play on the counter and they did just that when the ball fell to Pogba deep inside his own half. The midfielder strode through the centre circle unopposed and cut inside Tarkowski but had his shot from the edge of the area blocked by Mee, despite having Martial and Jesse Lingard free on either side.

Barnes had caused Jones and Chris Smalling trouble all afternoon and he had a good chance to equalise with just under 15 minutes to go. Defour took a quick free-kick near halfway and clipped a ball into the striker, who had evaded the attentions of United’s defence but could only flick a header wide from 10 yards.

United were still posing a threat on the counter and Martial burst round the outside of Bardsley and smashed a left-footed effort goalwards, which Pope managed to slap clear.

Burnley were still pushing for an equaliser in the five added minutes but a corner that caused chaos in the United box was hacked clear before substitute Sam Vokes headed a late Gudmundsson free-kick over.

There was still time for one more corner, which saw Pope sent forward, but United managed to clear and cling on for all three points.