Manchester United made it four wins in a row after beating Fulham 3-1 at Craven Cottage this afternoon. The game was all but over after just thirty minutes; Antonio Valencia opened the scoring before Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney made it three shortly afterwards. United still sit in eighth in the table but have gained points on title favourites Chelsea.
David Moyes made six changes from the win at home to Norwich midweek, with Nemanja Vidic and Adnan Januzaj amongst those who retained their place. Both of which had a massive impact on the result.
Fulham: Stekelenburg; Riether, Senderos, Amorebieta, Richardson; Dejagah, Sidwell, Parker, Kasami; Ruiz; Berbatov
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Jones, Cleverley; Valencia, Rooney, Januzaj; Van Persie
Fulham started off the game by trying to get at Manchester United, and the scorer of the current goal of the season, Pajtim Kasami, had the first effort of the game as he tested David de Gea from outside the area. It didn’t take long for United to impose themselves though. Jones had an attempt on the half-volley on the five minute mark, and that was a signal of things to come.
United took the lead with nine minutes on the clock through an unlikely source in Antonio Valencia. Moyes’ men worked the ball around excellently and Wayne Rooney squared the ball to Antonio Valencia who tapped the ball into an empty net.
The pressure was mounting for Fulham and United kept the ball moving excellently. The front four looked fluid and the confidence was flowing. The next clear cut chance brought the next goal – Adnan Januzaj robbed possession deep in Fulham territory before playing a perfectly weighted through ball into the path of Robin van Persie; He fired home from close range giving United a 2-0 lead on the twenty minute mark.
Then it was three just two minutes later. Robin van Persie beat the offside trap with a great run to the byline before putting a great ball across to Wayne Rooney who couldn’t miss. United’s attacking football was a joy to watch, and the away side kept attacking until the end of the first half but couldn’t add to their tally.
The second half started with David Moyes making three substitutions. Going off was Rafael, Evans and Cleverley, and on came Smalling, Fellaini and Kagawa. This changed the game completely. United’s flow and attacking prowess looked gonne from their play. Fulham grabbed a goal in the 70th minute through Alexander Kacaniklic as his shot deflected off Rooney and nestled into the back of the net.
This gave Fulham a way back into the match, but the goal came out of nowhere and United still looked comfortable despite not attacking. The game was in its dying embers when it was marred by an incident from Fulham’s Sascha Riether. The Fulham right-back stamped on Adnan Januzaj’s leg rather unnecessarily and Marouane Fellaini stepped in and defended his United teammate. The final whistle was blown and United moved onto 17 points, now just two behind City and three behind Chelsea. Things are on the up for United!