Burnley won't fear United, says midfield maestro Defour

Steven Defour says that the Clarets don't need to fear Manchester United, with or without Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez.

Friday, 19th January 2018, 8:00 am
Burnley's Steven Defour (16) celebrates scoring his side's second goal, with team-mate Ben Mee during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 26, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Jose Mourinho was closing in on the signature of the Arsenal man ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League game, though the Gunners’ proposal to add Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the £30m deal had seemingly stalled matters.

The Red Devils handed a debut to £59.7m Argentinian midfielder Angel Di Maria against Burnley in 2014, with the hosts holding out for a goal-less draw at Turf Moor against Louis van Gaal’s side.

And Defour feels that the performance in the dramatic stalemate at Old Trafford on Boxing Day less than four weeks ago shows that Sean Dyche’s side are capable of causing their opponents problems too.

Commenting on the 2-2 draw, where United fielded the likes of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Belgium international said: “It will be a nice game but it’s a difficult one.

“I think we showed at Old Trafford that we don’t have to fear them.

“Of course we respect them, but I think we have the qualities to hurt them.

“It’s not really about revenge, but we’ll have the mentality to go out there and win. That will be very important.

“It’s another good test but the Premier League as a whole is a good test.

“There are no bad teams so we just have to keep on going.

“I hope we can get the same performance on Saturday but with a better result.”

The 29-year-old, targeted by then-United boss Sir Alex Ferguson during his time back at home in Belgium with Standard Liege, scored with a wonderful free kick in the reverse fixture, beating David De Gea from 25 yards out.

And he accepts that one moment, in the 36th minute of the fixture, may have been one of the proudest moments of his career.

“I was talking to Johann (Berg Gudmundsson) and he felt good that he could whip it around the wall,” he said.

“I said ‘it is not possible’.

“I wanted to take it because I also felt good.

“As soon as I touched the ball I knew it was going in.

“If you look at his statistics, I think he (De Gea) has only been beaten once from outside the 18-yard box.

“It was a pretty perfect free kick.

“I think it is (one of proudest moments of my career).

“There was a lot of pressure on it but I like it when there’s a lot of pressure to perform.

“It was nice that it was at Old Trafford.

“There were a lot of people around the world who watch Manchester United’s games.

“They were interested (in signing me) at one time, but everything happens for a reason.

“I’m here at Burnley now and I’m very happy.”