A Win Over Fulham Takes Man United Top

Man United have returned to the top of the Premier League table after beating Fulham 3-0 at Old Trafford this afternoon. United dropped down to third yesterday after both Chelsea and Arsenal won, it was vital that United won against a Fulham.

Dimitar Berbatov came in for Ji-Sung Park, Michael Carrick also came in for Paul Scholes, who was replaced on the team sheet by Corey Evans after Scholes was forced to pull out for some reason. Man United Chief Executive David Gill’s son Oliver was named on the bench.

Roy Hodgson made four chances to the side who lost to Juventus 3-1 on Thursday. Nicky Shorey, Clint Dempsey, Danny Murphy and Stephen Kelly all started, replacing Paul Konchesky, Damian Duff, Dickson Etuhu and Jonathan Greening.

United were restricted to only one or two opportunities at goal during the first half. The first fell to Berbatov but his header flew wide of the post, minutes later Darren Fletcher rolled the ball towards Wayne Rooney but Kelly did well to get a block in for Fulham.

The Londoners didn’t just sit back, they did have a few chances, one of which was hit by Dempsey from 25 yards out, the ball wasn’t that far over the bar.

Fulham should have really been 1-0 down after Berbatov failed to head the ball into the back of the net from a cross in by Luis Nani.

With half an hour gone Man United had, had a few good chances to take the lead but the main thing was that we were starting to take hold of the game.

Yet again, Rooney looked like the most likely to score for United, just after the half hour mark he hit a 20 yard strike, which had to be knocked away by Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer.

Edwin Van Der Sar may not have had to do too much so far but he found himself under a bit of pressure after Murphy’s stunning pass to Bobby Zamora was hit over by the striker, Van Der Sar would have been stranded if that had been on target.

United had been frustrated by Fulham during the first half but the half time stats showed that United had dominated the game. The homes side had seen 64% of the possession, during which we had, had 10 attempts on goal, five on target and five off.

With only 30 seconds gone in the second half, United did take the lead and it was not a surprise to see Rooney score the goal. Rooney passed the ball wide to Nani, his simple ball into the area was well finished by Rooney from only 10 yards out.

Fletcher and Carrick started to dominate the midfield, unlike the first half. Nani should have really put United 2-0 up after a scramble in the Fulham penalty area. Both Rooney and Nani had a swing at the ball but the Fulham defence finally managed to clear.

United may have dominated the second half but whilst it was only 1-0 there was still a chance that Fulham could pull a goal back and chance the game. That almost happened but luckily for United, Zamora didn’t have his shooting boots on. Erik Nevland found Zamora, who only had to get past Van Der Sar after Nemanja Vidic had slipped but thankfully Vidic managed to get back and make the tackle.

Berbatov wasted another great chance for United after substitute Ji-Sung Park (who had come on for Antonio Valencia) crossed in but Berbatov’s header fell wide of the post.

With 84 minutes on the clock, United finally had the second goal we had been looking for. Some good work by Berbatov, who had run with the ball to the byeline, he squared it to Rooney and his shot from 7 yards out beat Schwarzer.

Five minutes later, United had a third and a well-deserved goal for Berbatov. A long ball from Rooney found Park, his cross in was headed into the back of the net by Berbatov.

After three minutes of stoppage time the fulltime whistle was blown and that took United back to the top of the Premier League table, two points ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal.

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