Fulham teach petulant Manchester United a lesson

I waited for it  from the first minute. After 15 minutes it still hadn’t arrived. By half-time there was no sign of it showing up. Twenty minutes later there were a few hints that it was on its way, but the Manchester United goal never came.

They came close, though. Had it not been for a miraculous double save from Mark Schwarzer they would have equalised, heads could have gone down and we may have found ourselves vulnerable. But the fact was we totally outplayed the visitors in the first half and offered stubborn resistance in the second.

We were totally up for the fight from the start and really carried the game to United who looked, it has to be said, pretty bereft of ideas. Whereas Anderson and Tevez tortured us in the cup game a couple of weeks back, Berbatov and Ronaldo looked disinterested. There was no bite from United; no fire in the belly.

However, the game really turned in our favour when Scholes patted Zamora’s goal bound header away with both hands in true volleyball style. Danny Murphy – now firmly installed as a Fulham legend – hammered the ball into the roof of the net and belief clearly swept through the team.

The next 20 minutes were fantastic. With United down to 10-men following the dismissal of Scholes, we tore apart their midfield and peppered their goal with shots. Were it not for the brilliance of Edwin Van der Sar, we could have been three or four goals to the good by the time Phil Dowd blew for half-time.

The second half was a slightly different story. With Wayne Rooney replacing the ineffectual Berbatov, it started to look more like the United of old, but we displayed a fantastic amount of self belief. Hangeland patrolled his line like a sliver back gorilla – going for anything that appeared threatening in any way, while Hughes, Konchesky and Paintsil defended like tigers alongside him.

Even when United breached the back four, they found Schwarzer was in no mood for charity, saving a good header from Ronaldo, before pulling off point blank saves from both Park and Rooney. It was fantastic stuff.

Then Roy Hodgson sent on Gera and his exquisite flick and bicycle kick put the game beyond United’s reach. It really was a stunning effort. If Rooney – who was hilariously dismissed at the end for yet another display of petulance – had pulled off something similar they would have been replaying it endlessly on Match of the Day.

In short, then, this was a thoroughly deserved victory…and I enjoyed every minute of it.

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One Response

  1. I am a Canvey Island fan but I enjoyed every minute of it too.Well done Roy and well done Fulham!! Man U remind me of a herd of pigs eating from a large trough ,elbowing everyone else out of the way so they can get “all the food” “all the time”. This was a sweet sweet victory that will be remembered by all for years to come. Fulham for Europe? I hope so!!

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