In the end Manchester United completed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Fulham. The first half performance was okish, I felt we laboured to begin (as the norm after a midweek Champions League game) but grew into the half. We upped the tempo, closed down Fulham quicker which lead to chances notably for Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov. Both should have scored really, which would have made the match less stressful. Even though we were controlling the game at 1-0, it only takes one mistake or one attack from Fulham and we could have easily finished drawing the game.
United were much better in the second half, completely controlled the game. The game was virtually played in the Fulham half of the pitch. Thankfully we scored around the 80th minute mark, which calmed my nerves. Why do we leave so late to kill the game off? It does me no good! 🙂
Dimitar Berbatov, what a performance. A man of the match performance and possibly his best in a Manchester United shirt. Perhaps the threat on missing future big games is spurring Berbatov on. Berbatov really put a shift in against Fulham; he was running all over the place, closing down & tackling defenders and he was a constant threat in attack, especially in the first half. The second half Berbatov was still closing down defenders, slightly less threat in attack but he burst into life for the final twenty minutes of the game.
Berbatov’s assist to set up Rooney for the second goal was nothing short of class. He controlled the ball superbly (something I take as a given now from Berbatov) from a long Michael Carrick pass. With two defenders around Berbaotv he knocked the ball past one of the defenders and with a burst of speed reached the ball and laid a cross on for Rooney which he could not fail to score.
Berbatov rounded off a superb performance with a goal for himself. I was over the moon Berbatov scored, what was his 10th League goal of the season and I think his 6th goal in his last 8 starts?
Rooney scored his 31st and 32nd goal of the season as he rapidly closes in on Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 42. Rooney, rightly so receives all the plaudits for his goal scoring achievement but Berbatov’s contribution over the last two or three months should not go unnoticed.
I also enjoyed Rio Ferdinand’s and Nemanja Vidic’s performances against Fulham. When a player doesn’t play for a long time you sometimes forget how good they actually are. Rio and Vidic are streets ahead of the over central defenders at United, their performance was commanding and didn’t allow an inform Bobby Zamora a kick of the ball. Every time the ball was laid up to Zamora, Vidic or Rio were always first to the ball, stealing the ball away from Zamora. We also saw a cracking last ditch tackle on Zamora from Vidic. Zamora was clean through on goal and with the score still only at 1-0 the tackle was vital.
With all the top three teams winning over the weekend the title race is still in the balance, no advantage gained, we move on to next weekend. United play Liverpool and I can’t wait! Chelsea travel to Blackburn which is a tough ask, Chelsea have already lost three times in the North-West this season whilst Arsenal take on West Ham in a London derby at the Emirates.