BURNLEY, England (AP) — Romelu Lukaku's first-half double gave an improved Manchester United a 2-0 win over Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday.
Only a second-half penalty miss from Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford's sending off shortly after, prevented United from producing the margin of victory its dominant performance merited.
But considering the media spotlight on United and manager Jose Mourinho's future after the previous round of fixtures, Rashford's red card being the biggest drama represents a form of respite for the club.
United had entered the match under intense scrutiny after successive defeats to Brighton and Tottenham contributed to the club's worst Premier League start in 26 seasons.
After a promising opening, Lukaku settled any remaining nerves by heading in Alexis Sanchez's cross in the 27th minute.
The Belgium forward should have scored again soon after as Sanchez teed him up once more, but this time Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart saved his chipped effort.
However, Lukaku was ruthless with the next opportunity that came his way. Jesse Lingard's shot was blocked and fell kindly for Lukaku to turn home from close range.
Pogba should have put United out of sight in the 70th but had his spot kick saved by Hart after Rashford, who looked lively after being introduced from the bench, was fouled.
Moment later, Rashford reacted angrily to a kick from Phil Bardsley by pushing his forehead into the face of the Burnley defender.
Referee Jonathan Moss deemed the incident violent conduct and showed Rashford a straight red card, just 11 minutes after the striker had entered the match.
Despite being a man down, United gave as good as it got in the final stages. Lukaku should have completed his hat trick — after earlier being denied the chance to take the penalty — when Pogba played him through on goal.
United now has six points from its first four games. Burnley is still looking for its first league win of the season.