A 2-0 loss in which Man Utd hardly broke a sweat and we never looked capable of creating an upset. We avoided a humiliation which is not a bad thing, yet somehow looked lifeless and impotent going forward.
Sanchez stuck with the 4-4-2 formation, bringing Omozusi in to replace Baird at right back, and Kuqi in for Kamara up front. Kamara failed to even make the bench and the suggestion is that he's picked up an injury, but his absence left our replacement options pretty bleak. United got off to a fearsome start and when Steven Davis failed to clear a Giggs corner, the ball eventually fell to Ronaldo who fired in a blistering volley. Fulham's best spell came in the latter stages of the first half. First Danny Murphy had two decent attempts, the first well saved by Van Der Sar the second inches wide. Then Shefki Kuqi failed to make the most of Simon Davies deep cross.
The game was effectively over early in the second half as O'Shea sent in a cross and Ronaldo comfortably beat Stefanovic to the ball for an easy second goal. Niemi was solid throughout but was lucky to stay on the pitch after left facing Ronaldo in a one on one. He probably escaped thanks to the theatrical nature of Ronaldo's fall, but in my view had clearly obstructed the striker. Ronaldo got a yellow and maybe that's a little bit of karmic payback, we'd have been counting the cost if Niemi had seen red. Niemi made several decent saves after that, including an amazing stop when faced with another one on one with Saha. It looks like Antti is back to his best. Fulham brought on Healy for Dempsey and Seol for Bouazza but neither player could really make much impact on the game.
There are easier places to gain your first away win for 15 months so this was always going to be an unlikely place to triumph. Next stop Goodison, which on past experience may be even trickier...
Flawless Fulham throw down the gauntlet
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