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Mason Greenwood’s second-half double and a stoppage-time goal from Edinson Cavani helped Manchester United close the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City to eight points after a hard-fought 3-1 win over Burnley.

It looked set to be a frustrating outing for the Red Devils as Greenwood’s 48th-minute opener was almost instantly cancelled out by James Tarkowski for Burnley, who had not lost on their previous four visits to Old Trafford.

But Greenwood’s deflected strike in the 84th minute put his side ahead again before substitute Cavani added gloss to the scoreline as United kept their remote hopes of reeling in their crosstown rivals alive.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were far from fluent – and had some luck in the opening seconds as Chris Wood saw his header ruled out for a marginal offside call – but this was their fifth successive league victory.

Marcus Rashford, doubtful beforehand because of a foot complaint he has been managing for the last few weeks, was influential for United but he was withdrawn before Greenwood and then Cavani made sure of a win for the hosts.

A third successive defeat was cruel on 17th-placed Burnley, who find themselves six points above the drop zone after Fulham’s draw at Arsenal earlier on Sunday.

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