Manchester United 2-0 Fulham

What to make of that? First, we must always remind ourselves that playing away to the champions elect is not an easy thing. Against that, Fulham turned in one of the more empty performances of recent times. It was as if United were playing against their own U18 side at half pace on a Tuesday afternoon.

Which is also weird because for the first few minutes we looked fantastic. Some of the movement between the lines was nice, the passing angles were clever, unusual. We had three decentish half-chances. Then…

Nani waltzed through a few tackles, slipped in Berbatov, goal. Why couldn’t anyone stop Nani in the buildup? Really, really, disappointing. The cries for offside may have been correct, but it was close – Salcido and Berbatov looked level enough to me.

Then another. Schwarzer came out and didn’t get a long ball, eliminating himself from the defence. Nani chipped a falling Aaron Hughes, whose glanced header only diverted the ball to Valencia, who headed home from a yard out.

Two ridiculous goals, and from there it was if Fulham decided that it wasn’t their day after all and stopped trying. These are professional footballers, I know it doesn’t work like that, but it’s so disappointing? They can do much better.

The United team was: O’Shea, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Scholes, Gibson, Anderson, Nani, Valencia, Berbatov. Of course these are good players – they’re about to win the league – but they shouldn’t be able to completely nullify a Fulham side that’s close to full strength and that wanted to have a go. Perhaps with the two goal donation United just didn’t take risks, and there was nowhere for Fulham to play. Perhaps the heat was stifling. Perhaps it’s just one of those things.

Again, let’s remind ourselves: United away. But these games offer players the chance to show what they’re made of, the chance to show that they can compete with the best. Who in the Fulham side earned 7/10? Hangeland did well, as usual, Dempsey showed up, Murphy tried, but Zamora was too isolated, Dembele disappointed, Kakuta (after a very lively start) showed why at the moment he’s best suited to 10 minutes at the end of games, and everyone else really failed to make an impact. Gera came on and at least showed some effort, but effort isn’t enough, is it?

These games happen, but it seems a shame that Manchester United away has become such a waste of a fixture.

6 thoughts on “Manchester United 2-0 Fulham

  1. In years past you’d have to tip your cap to them, even when beaten 3-0. But now, this season, I’d say United has made the “prestige” of winning the title a waste. No panache, no flair, nothing. Champions not by elect but by default. The Walking Dead, them.

  2. I was surprised to see Sparky trying a 4-3-3 against United, and even more-so when I saw the line-up & bench. (Is AJ hurt again?) Too bad Gera didn’t start up front on the wing with Zamora as the middle Target man.

    I couldn’t watch the game today, but I suspect United overwhelmed the midfield with their 4-5-1.

    How was Gudjohnsen?

    1. Thought Gudjohnsen looked ok. Showed good ball control. Very close to scoring, with a sizzler which narrowly went wide (at first I thought it was in). Dembele continues to disappoint me in terms of making any real impact. Kakuta had a few good runs, but also some runs into blind alleys. Baird had a good shot from possibly our best move.

  3. I thought Hughes had completly lost the plot when he brought on Gudjohnsen for Dembele, but actually He looked really usefull when he dropped into midfield, he was running the game albeit for short ineffective spells! Very dissapointing in all, we were at our best for the first 10 minutes of both halves, wierd game to change things round so much – with Kalkuta on and making runs into the box and switching wings there was alot of players covering and swithing positions, maybe we had to try something unexpected in order to get a result and it just didn’t come off, I don’t agree it was from a lack of combined effort though.

    Smalling struggled a bit with Bob but looked pretty solid overall to.

    I was telling a guy at work yesterday, exactly where I was, and what I was doing in 2003, when I heard the final score, I went potty! But then the last time I made the trip up to Old Trafford Centre was a couple of seasons later for the 5-1 drubbing! ah well….

  4. we always seem to get the amazing goal against us that’ll end up on the goals of the season. It already happened this year with that Nasri goal. You still see that Henry goal from 6 years ago on clip shows.

  5. I always expected to lose, but the non-performance just made this game really disappointing.

    Murphy tried to get people going but everyone else just gave the ball away.

    Without the Schwarzer moment of madness (time to drop him?) we might have nicked a thoroughly undeserved point.

    Kakuta was poor, Gudjohnsen looked good. Could we see Eidur recast in a midfield role (murphy backup?)

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