Owen Coyle's Premier League newcomers had a tough introduction to life back in the top tier with an opening day defeat at Stoke City - but they demonstrated that they were swift learners by matching Manchester United in all areas and providing the moments of inspiration to claim a deserved victory.
Burnley's last league win against Manchester United came at Turf Moor in September 1968, and the ecstatic scenes sparked inside the famous old ground when referee Alan Wiley sounded the final whistle indicated the scale and significance of this triumph for Coyle and his players.
United, in contrast, were bitterly disappointing and allowed Burnley to protect their lead in relative comfort. Ferguson will be particularly concerned by the lack of pace and width on show - two qualities provided to devastating effect by Cristiano Ronaldo in recent seasons.
And for Michael Owen, wearing Ronaldo's old number seven shirt, it was a night of pure frustration as he failed to impress watching England coach Fabio Capello and was substituted just after the hour.
Coyle 'delighted' with Man Utd scalp
But this was Burnley's night, and if they needed a performance to prove to themselves that they can live comfortably alongside the elite, this was it.
Turf Moor welcomed their team to the Premier League in deafening fashion - and Burnley responded in style as they more than matched Manchester United in an enthralling first half.
Owen was making his first competitive start since his move to Old Trafford, and he should have marked it with a goal inside the first two minutes but he failed to get a touch on Evra's cross at the near post.
Burnley took time to bring order and composure to their play, but they soon settled and summer signing Steven Fletcher almost took advantage when he found time and space in the United area but twice failed to find the target.
Martin Paterson was halted by Ben Foster as he attempted to round the Manchester United keeper, but it was the shortest of reprieves as Burnley went ahead with Blake's devastating finish after 19 minutes.
We're a match for anybody - Jensen
Stephen Jordan's cross was only partially cleared by Evra, leaving Blake to lash the most emphatic of right-foot volleys high past Foster to the thunderous approval of Turf Moor.
Owen had faded after a lively opening, and he was guilty of another miss as United went in search of the equaliser. He stole in at the near post to meet Wes Brown's cross, but headed wide.
He was then involved as United wasted the perfect opportunity to restore equality just before the interval when he played in Evra, who was hauled down by Blake. Carrick was the somewhat surprising choice of penalty taker, and he saw his effort saved by Jensen as he dived to his right.
We didn't create enough - Phelan
Burnley might have been expected to retreat in the face of a Manchester United onslaught after the break, but they continued to push forward at every opportunity.
Blake sent a curling free-kick just wide from 20 yards, and United's failure to put concerted pressure on Burnley's defence eventually forced Ferguson into changes.
Antonio Valencia came on after 58 minutes to add pace and width at the expense of Anderson, while the subdued Owen was replaced by Dimitar Bervatov four minutes later.
Goalkeeper Jensen is a cult figure at Turf Moor, and he demonstrated why he is held in such high regard with another fine low stop from Ji-Sung Park, before rushing out to block at the feet of Ryan Giggs.
United pushed predictably for the equaliser in the closing stages, plus four agonising minutes of added time but Burnley were resolute - and Turf Moor reverberated to the sound of joyous celebration at the final whistle.
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