As always, when Manchester United have a dismal performance it takes me a little longer to gather my thoughts and post my opinion.
Let’s look at United’s starting 11; O’Shea is a problem for me, always has been. I have a lot more confidence in Rafael then O’Shea at right back. The other three were fine. In the midfield, Park should not have started, it should have been Nani, and Giggs could have come on for the Portuguese winger. Up top, I don’t know what Sir Alex was thinking, playing Chicharito and Berbatov together.
It didn’t take long for United to look dangerous, the first 10 minutes, it was all United in Fulhams eighteen, and after a few corners it was a short perfectly executed corner that led to yet another brilliant Paul Scholes goal. It was a rocket, hit from 23 yards out, with the outside of his right foot to curve away from the keeper.
There was only one team on the pitch for the first 25 minutes. United were touching and moving well but like any opponent, if you don’t finish them off when you can, they will begin to build confidence. And that’s what happened with Fulham, and if it wasn’t for Van der Sar, Fulham would have had that confidence going into the second half, But the Dutch keeper made an absolutely brilliant save to deny Etuhu, not once but twice in the 31st minute.
Berbatov would scuff a shot in the 37th minute. All while Fulham’s possession and confidence were growing.
It was 1-nil, United at half
As United went longer and longer with out putting away a second, Fulham had more possession and managed to equalize only 10 minutes into the second half, as they built an attack down their right wing. The very lucky, Duff manages to nut-meg Evra and make brilliant pass to Zamora who then finds Davies in the middle. Davies was O’Shea’s man, but he was caught ball watching and followed Vidic’s man in.
Nani would come in for Park in the 66th minute, It was a very good sub I think. Park was not doing well and doesn’t have the creative attack minded mentality that Nani has
Valencia and Hernandez came off in the 74th minute for Giggs and Owen. It was youth for experience, 15 minutes to make a difference.
In the 83rd minute, off a corner kick, United would cash in the a very unfortunate mistake by Fulham defender Hangeland, as he scores an own goal. And with 5 minutes of regulation time, United led 2-1
And just when it looked like it couldn’t go any worse for Fulham, penalty on Duff for a hand ball in the box.
Why Nani was given the kick, I don’t know, maybe cause he hadn’t scored? United had both Giggs and Scholes on the pitch. Why didn’t one of them take it?
It was a mistake that would come back to haunt them, it should have been 3-1 United.
After some sloppy play in the back for United, Fulham would earn a corner. A corner that would see Hangeland turn from villain to hero as he finds the back of the net from a header just outside the six, it was Vidic’s man and much like O’Shea in the first goal, Vidic gets caught ball watcing and Fulham score the equalizer in the 90th minute.
A very disappointing game for United who should have picked up all three points, it’s games like this that could end up costing you the Premier League title 9 months down the line.
Tags: Chicharito, Fulham, Manchester United, Scholes