Manchester United’s Starting XI
Van der Sar – 7: Brilliant double save from Ethutu in the first half! Could do little for either goal conceded considering how close Davies and Hangeland were to goal – did well to get a hand to either. Would be overly harsh to criticise him for either goal.
O’Shea – 5.5: Not his best game, perhaps still finding his feet after a long term injury. Was wasteful in possession and offered little in attack. Rafael may be preferred against West Ham.
Vidic – 6: Started well, but his performance gradually deteriorated during the second half. Lucky not to concede a penalty for blatant shirt pulling and could have done better for Fulham’s second goal.
Evans – 5: Possibly his worst game in a Man United shirt, as he struggled against the powerful Zamora. Still young and will have the odd poor game. With doubts surrounding Ferdinand, he is going to be an important player. To drop him after a poor performance is the wrong move.
Evra – 6: Was okay. Bombed forward down the left wing offering an attacking threat. Tad unlucky with Duff incident for Fulham’s first goal, but should have done better.
Valencia – 5: Similar to his performance against Newcastle. Plenty of endeavour without real quality. He is more effective playing alongside an overlapping full-back dragging away an opposition defenders. O’Shea was unable to offer him this support.
Scholes – 7.5: Magnificent during first half – controlled play and scored a brilliant goal. Faded during the second half. Our best player.
Fletcher – 6.5: Okay-ish. Passing was good, rarely gave away possession. Effortless in his attempts to create space for Scholes.
Park – 5.5: Park was Park – work rate and continually harassed Fulham’s players. His best work is done when the opposition have the ball. Lacked constant quality when in possession of the ball. Prefer Cleverley to have an opportunity.
Berbatov – 6.5: Started brightly, but faded badly – became less influential once Fulham started to dominate midfield.
Hernandez – 5.5: Quiet full debut. Initially looked rushed with his touch and passing, as he tried to do everything at 100mph. His accustomed movement was there, but was not picked out by team mates.
Nani – 7: Impressive cameo adding a creative spark and drive in attack. Missed game winning penalty.
Giggs & Owen – Limited time
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