(sorry, I haven’t got it in me to do a proper report)
An awful afternoon with no redeeming features. At least it’s over with now.
Danny Murphy had a busy enough game and nearly opened the scoring with a long range volley that very nearly dolloped into Edwin van der Sar’s net. Our old goalkeeper showed why he’s still employed by the best team in the country, stretching expertly to tip the ball wide. It was the closest we would come to scoring.
Meanwhile at the other end a free-kick was awarded on the edge of our box and Owen Hargreaves whipped a clever shot into the corner of Niemi’s net for 1-0.
Murphy nearly scored again, arriving at the far post to power a header low but at van der Sar.
Then United scored a second, playfully working the ball wide for Scholes, who crossed into the six yard box and onto the head of Park Ji Sun, whose header crashed home via the crossbar. How did a diminutive Korean winger find himself doing such a thing in the middle of our defence?
And that killed the game as a contest. The odious Nani dived but was not yellow-carded, and was later hurled into the metal advertising hordings by an irate Konchesky. It was my favourite part of the game.
United added a third thanks to Simon Davies’ own goal.
They then sat back and let Fulham play. This led to the bewildering site of Fulham trying (and failing, obviously) to walk the ball through a massed United defence for twenty minutes.
What a waste of time.
Moritz Volz can be pleased with his energetic display. The German, replacing the suspended Andreasen in midfield, gave a spirited an effective performance. Tackling, passing, and running directly at opponents. He should get another go against more human opponents.
The same might be said for full-debutant Eddie Johnson. The American striker was deployed on the right wing, and proceeded to have a diabolical first ten minutes. His touch was not good, balls bouncing off him and caused big problems for his teammates (Stalteri, playing behind him at right back, in particular). He was regularly outjumped by the not huge Patrice Evra, and seemed to be having a miserable game. As things progressed he regained some confidence, but was still over-reliant on Bullard for easy off-loads. He had a couple of shots, neither of which were particularly close, and will at least know that he’ll never have to play in a match like that again. He seemed overwhelmed by events and will presumably feel like he’s been hit by a big red London bus tonight. No matter: the promise is there, and he’ll get used to things.
Results elsewhere were not kind to us today and we must now appreciate that relegation is more likely than not. Something special is now required, and the team in white looks anything but special.
The teams came out to hundreds and thousands of cardboard washing machine advertisements. The Premiership! Great!
Somewhere out there CCN reader AFJ is trying to kick a ball into a giant washing machine! The Premiership!
Debutant Eddie Johnson realises that this is a bitch of a league to play in.
We are Fulham!
The sun sets on a rubbish season.