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Defour Free-Kick 'Like Beckham'

26 December 2017

Steven Defour’s stunning free-kick at Old Trafford was as good as a David Beckham special – according to former team-mate Phil Bardsley.

Bardsley played alongside the former England captain in their days together at Manchester United.

And he ranked Defour’s effort up there with Beckham’s best as the Belgium international gave the Clarets a 2-0 lead before Jesse Lingard’s injury-time leveller denied Burnley a famous win.

“I was lucky enough to watch Beckham do it on a regular basis but that was Beckham-esque. It was phenomenal,” said Bardsley, who played his part in a heroic defensive performance against his former club as the Clarets were only a whisker away from a first victory at United since 1962.

“He’s had a few chances that have been close, so I was delighted for him to get the goal today.

“It’s a tough one to take because we were so close. But you have to take a point when you come to these places.

“For me it’s the best ground in the country and it’s always nice to play here. It’s a great occasion, a great stadium and you thrive on it and try and enjoy it.

“We were so close to the three points, which I think the effort and the belief and the all-round team attitude deserved.

“Defending is part of the game as well. It was a great performance and onto the next one.”

Defour admitted his strike had been one of his best ever goals but was too wrapped up in the moment to feel it at the time.

“It is (a special moment), but you only look like that after. For me at that time, it was like any other goal. I don’t score a lot of goals, so I’m always happy to score a goal,” said the midfielder, who took aim ahead of Johann Berg Gudmundsson to get on the scoresheet in a league game for the first time since last September.

“I was discussing it with Johann just before,” explained Defour.

“We were watching the wall and Johann said he could get it across the wall but then Matic just stepped to the right and I said ‘you can’t get it, let me take it’ and it went straight in.”

Defour’s wonder-strike – after Ashley Barnes had given Burnley the lead at Old Trafford for the first time since 1975 – looked for a long time as though it might be the winner as Dyche’s men hit back from last Saturday’s home defeat to Tottenham.

But Lingaard struck for the second time right at the death as United avoided a home Boxing Day defeat for the first time in 39 years and only a second loss at Old Trafford in 43 matches.

“It was almost (so much more). We fought all game. Especially in the first half we played very well,” added Defour.

“United played a bit slowly in the first half, which gave us a chance to play and we tried to do that.

“We were good, scored an early goal and had the game under control.

“In the second half, of course United had to put on pressure and take a lot of risk and they were rewarded at the very end.

“United also have qualities and they got the goal at the end but that doesn’t change the way we performed. I think we performed well.

“That was the right way to respond and I hope we can get another positive result at Huddersfield.”

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