Harry Maguire Says Manchester United 'Can Beat Anyone' at Their Best

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2019

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Harry Maguire of Manchester United celebrates after team mate Marcus Rashford has scored their second goal during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Manchester United at Turf Moor on December 28, 2019 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has said he believes the team are capable of mixing it with any side when they are at their best.

An up-and-down season for the club continued on Saturday, when they were comfortable 2-0 winners away at Burnley. The team have responded with back-to-back wins following their shock loss to then-bottom side Watford on Dec. 22.

Speaking after the victory at Turf Moor, Maguire told BT Sport that when the team performs well, they are a match for anyone (h/t James Nalton of Goal):

"We maybe could have been better on the ball in the second half and killed the game off, but it's a big three points for us.  We're a team who haven't been conceding many chances, but set-pieces and other basic things have been letting us down. It's nice to come here, get a clean sheet and get the win. 

"On our day we can beat anyone, but we've been far too inconsistent this year. We didn't perform at all at Watford, so it was important to come here, do the basics well and keep the clean sheet."

Here is more of what the world's most expensive defender had to say at the end of Saturday's game:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

✅ Away win ✅ Clean sheet ✅ End 2019 on a high Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford speak to @DesKellyBTS after a job well done for Manchester United 🔴⚫️ https://t.co/WlVukGCRhi

Goals from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford gave United the crucial win on Saturday, pushing the Red Devils up to fifth in the table:

As OptaJoe relayed, the goalscorers are enjoying productive spells in front of goal:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

16 - Marcus Rashford has 16 goal involvements in 20 Premier League games this season (12 goals, 4 assists), as many as he got in 33 games in the competition last term (10 goals, 6 assists). Thriving. https://t.co/pKxUWg7eNO

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

10 - Anthony Martial has been directly involved in 10 goals in his 13 Premier League starts this season. Composed. https://t.co/n8LF1Asrij

Although United's attacking play has drawn plenty of praise recently, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have been impressed by the manner in which the Red Devils defended against Burnley.

The Clarets are renowned for their direct play in the final third, and they sought to cause United trouble by playing a number of long balls to Ashley Barnes. Maguire was able to help snuff out any sort of threat with a commanding display at the back.

Per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, it's been a long time since United kept out the opposition away from Old Trafford:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

First away Premier League clean sheet for #mufc since Fulham on February 9. Martial has broken double figures a month earlier than last year; good going given he was out for eight weeks.

United have picked up some big wins this season against the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, illustrating that they are adept at taking on some high-class opponents. It's against deep-sitting rivals when they have struggled.

The win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day and Saturday's victory suggest United are finding a formula for overcoming these defensive teams. If they are to compete for a top-four spot in 2020, they must continue to show this incision and inventiveness on a consistent basis.