An injury-time strike from Manchester United's Jess Lingard ensured that the spoils were shared at Old Trafford as it had looked like a major upset was on as Burnley's incredible season of results continued.
Both sides came into the fixture in decent, rather than spectacular, form. Jose Mourinho's Reds had won four of their last six league games but were still a distant second behind runaway league leaders Manchester City.
Burnley, who have had a terrific season so far, were 7th and only two points outside the Champions League places. They had only lost two of their last six games, although their last match had seen Tottenham Hotspur dispose of the Clarets 3-0 at Turf Moor.
Mourinho made four changes to the United side that disappointingly drew against Leicester City with Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all starting in a 4-4-2 formation. For Sean Dyche he kept to his tried and tested personnel with one enforced change for Burnley being Ashley Barnes replacing the injured Chris Wood in attack in a slightly more defensive 4-5-1 formation.
To the surprise of the boisterous home crowd, Burnley started brightly and earned a free kick after a foul by Marcos Rojo on Jeff Hendrick within the first few minutes. A terrifically flighted ball by Johann Brag Gudmundsson into the United penalty area was clinically fired home by the recalled Ashley Barnes after United were unable to clear the first header.
The early goal sparked United into life and they began to impose themselves, but Burnley remained undaunted. Gudmundssson was causing the hosts problems and delivered yet another quality ball into the penalty area that Scott Arfield deftly volleyed on to United's bar, which left David De Gea in United's goal stranded, but it sympathetically bounced away for a goal kick.
United were picking up the pace and created a few opportunities in a short space of time;
Sustained pressure continued from United with Paul Pogba dictating in midfield, a couple of free-kicks punched clear by Nick Pope, followed by a flurry of corners. Burnley showed their dogged resistance which has served them so well this season, although they remained a threat on the counter-attack.
2 - Burnley are only the second different team to have scored more than once in a game against Jose Mourinho's Man Utd at Old Trafford (after Man City). Upset? pic.twitter.com/yTH8PDF6bJ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2017
9 - Jesse Lingard has been directly involved in nine Premier League goals this season (five goals, four assists), more than in his previous three campaigns combined (8 goal involvements in 51 apps). Flourish.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2017
Within minutes, United hauled themselves back into the match as Young crossed again and Lingard cleverly backheeled into the corner of the net which sent the Theatre of Dreams into an eruption of noise.
United had a free kick in a similar position to Defour's in the first half after Bardsley had lunged at Mkhitaryan. Pogba stepped up and went for the same corner of the goal too, but his effort was slightly too high and flew disappointingly into the Stretford End rather than the net.
As the game wore on, United seemed to run out of ideas and their approach became more direct than using the subtle play they had adopted earlier, to try to break down the resistance of the Burnley's defensive rearguard. Ultimately, the pressure told as a late free-kick from Juan Mata in stoppage time was converted by Lingard on the half-volley for United's equaliser and the England international's second of the match.
For all United's possession and continued pressing it is hard to begrudge Dyche's men at least the draw as they tenaciously got through many challenging spells during an enthralling contest.