London - British-record signing Angel di Maria was unable to inspire Manchester United to victory on his debut as they drew 0-0 at Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday.
A £59.7 million acquisition from Real Madrid, Di Maria started the game, but despite some probing passes and darting runs, he could not illuminate United's path to goal against Sean Dyche's promoted side.
Having seen his team beaten by Swansea City and held by Sunderland
before being humiliated 4-0 by third-tier Milton Keynes Dons in the
League Cup, new United manager Louis van Gaal has now gone four
competitive games without recording a win.
"We were the stronger
team, certainly in the second half," Van Gaal told BT Sport. "We created
chances, but you have to score. That is where we have failed. The
progress is there, but you have to win.
"A club like Manchester United has to win. We have two points from nine and that's disappointing."
frustrations were compounded in the last five minutes when Spanish
playmaker Juan Mata had to go off after appearing to injure his
Di Maria came into the United team in central midfield
alongside Darren Fletcher and witnessed Burnley twice go close to taking
the lead inside the first five minutes at a sunny Turf Moor.
former United trainee Dave Jones curled a free-kick against the bar and
visiting goalkeeper David de Gea then had to save alertly after Lukas
Jutkiewicz seized on a miscued back-pass by Jonny Evans.
produced his first moment of quality in a United shirt in the 15th
minute with a raking 50-yard pass for Robin van Persie, who chested the
ball down, only for Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton to parry his shot.
Jones worked De Gea from 25 yards at the other end, while United felt
they should have been awarded a penalty after Burnley right-back Kieran
Tripper appeared to push Ashley Young over in the area shortly before
Van Persie threatened twice for United around the hour,
seeing a volleyed cleared off the line by Dean Marney and heading over,
before Di Maria was replaced by Anderson with 20 minutes to play after
taking a kick to the calf.
Van Gaal also sent Danny Welbeck into
the fray, but with newly appointed England captain Wayne Rooney heading
wide and Burnley substitute Ashley Barnes surviving a penalty-box
handball claim, the Dutchman had to content himself with a point.
Later on Saturday, champions Manchester City host Stoke City, while the late game sees Chelsea visit Everton.
Neil Warnock begins his second stint as Crystal Palace manager away to
Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers welcome Sunderland to Loftus Road,
Swansea host West Bromwich Albion, and Southampton visit West Ham