Fulham vs. Man U
The starting line ups for both teams.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Evra, Ferdinand, Brown, O’Shea, Nani, Scholes, Hargreaves, Park, Tevez, Saha
No Ronaldo, Rooney, Carrick or Anderson In Man U’s starting line up.
Fulham: Niemi, Stalteri, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Volz, Johnson, Bullard, Murphy, Davies, McBride
Only 2 of the 5 Americans in the starting line up for Fulh-America, another 2 are on the bench.
3 very impotant points for both teams, Fulham is at the bottom of the table trying desperately to get out of that relegation zone
While Man Utd is only 3 points from the top of the table.
Fulhams line up looked too defensive, with only McBride up top, it was going to be a long day for Roy Hodgson. Eddie Johnson was clearly out of position by playing right mid.
4 minutes in Saha had a great opportunity after a quick restart from Paul Scholes. Saha was 1v1 with the keeper after controlling the ball flawlessly, Saha’s attempt was horrible. A ball that should have been volleyed over the keeper who was 6 yards off his line, instead Saha tried to hit it with the side of his left foot and put it wide
Tevez took a crack from 25 yards out in the 7th minute, Niemi couldn’t handle it, luckily for him the defender was just in front of Nani to win that ball and clear it.
Fulham do strike back in the 9th minute with a wicked shot by Murphy, Van der Sar had to step up for United and he did with a fabulous save. If Van der Sar didn’t get a hand on that, It would have certainly gone in.
The first goal came from a patient United side, who knocked the ball around until Scholes connected with Park, who made the right run, who then played Tevez one time who returned the favor but was fouled at the top of the 18.
Hargreaves stepped up along with Nani, and much to everyone’s surprise it was Hargreaves that took the shot from 19 yards out and an even bigger surprise when he curled it up and over the defense into the bottom left hand corner, Niemi didn’t even dive. It was Hargreaves first goal for United!
In the 24th minute Nani showed what he was capable of if and when Fulham gave him space, he took a right footed shot (using the back part of his cleat, to give it an extra spin) from the left side, and just put it wide
Eddie Johnson won a free kick on the right flank for Fulham in the 32nd minute After Wes Brown hacked him from behind.
If Fulham hopes to stay in this match they are going to have to take full advantage of the their set pieces. And they did, Fulham came very close after Murphy took advantege of Manchester United’s sloppy defending, clearly lack of communication, United got sucked to the first post while Murphy snuck in through the back. Luckily Van der Sar was in the right place at the right time to make that save.
In the 35th minute Evra put in a beauty for Scholes, who I don’t think expected it to land on his feet. Scholes reacted late and missed a clear volleyin front of goal. It looked he thought Saha was going to hit or deflect that ball, but he didn’t and Scholes puts it wide.
Right before half, Tevez picks out Nani on the opposite side of the 18 who receives and holds the ball long enough for Scholes to overlap. Nani dishes of to Scholes into space and Scholes picks out Park who made a great run down the middle of the goal box to get a head on it and score Uniteds 2nd goal.
At half time Arsenal was down 0-1 and Manchester United was up 2-0
No changes at half time for either team
McBride is not gonna get any balls with the way Fulham is playing, Fulham is just waiting for United to attack, not a very good tactic especially with United who have such a strong strike force.
With the score 2-0 and United dominating this match, I cant help but wonder what Fulham supporters thought when Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo entered the match.
The depth in midfield and up top is incredible of Man Utd. If its not Scholes its Anderson, if not Carrick then Hargreaves, if not Ronaldo then Nani, If not Tevez then Rooney.
And sure enough Ronaldos first touch is followed by his first piece of individual skill followed by a bit of magic, as he cuts back to leave his defender stumbling off and puts in a center by hooking his right foot behind his left to do so.
Only 3 minutes after Rooney and Ronaldo come on to the pitch, United is on the score board again. This time from an own goal. Davies puts it in after O’shea attempted to put a center and it hit Davies while he was taking his stride, and that should put it out of reach for Fulham
In the 75th minute Anderson comes on for Nani, another unfair substitute for Fulham.
Man Utd does not seem to have any weak players coming on or off at the moment.
The last chance of the game went to Fulham after a strange attempt by Van der Sar, who completely miss timed a ball from Fulham, but put it wide.
Personally I think Van der Sar was just trying to make it fair.
Unfortunately Arsenal tied 1-1. Arsenal scored in the 94th minute.
It looked like the referee in that match was incorporating the “Its not over until Arsenal tie” rule