Manchester United really are a very good team aren't they? Maybe it was the detachment of watching the game from home on TV but I really didn't feel any of the anguish I'm reading on the Fulham message boards. I thought we played quite well, certainly showed signs of being able to surprise United in the opening twenty minutes. We just came up against the best team in the world in an unforgiving and determined mood.
Alex Ferguson indicted his intent with a strong starting line up and an early effort from Carlos Tevez pulled a good save from Schwarzer and required a clearance from an alert John Paintsil. United looked less confident at the back. Andy Johnson got his foot to a long through ball and directed it without any real venom towards goal. This caught van der Sar out of position and created a moment of comedy as Vidic only just won the race against a very slowly rolling goal bound ball. Still a moment of promise. Zamora (who I thought looked much more positive than he had midweek) sent in a great cross from the right wing which found Dempsey at the far post. The American's header was well directed but just a fraction too high. AJ and Zamora then interchanged passes on the edge of the box but having broken through the defence Bobby Z sliced his shot well wide of the post. Maybe we could get something out of the game?
United won a corner. Wayne Rooney flicked on from the near post and Tevez was left unmolested at the far post to head home the first goal at close range. A soft goal which you couldn't help feeling we could have avoided but a goal none the less and now we had a lot to do. Tevez received the ball in midfield and went on a run. Etuhu did well to get back on goal side and attempt to hold up the Argentine but then fell over. Neither centre back had got close enough to him to stop the shot that curled past Schwarzer's outstretched hand. 2-0 down at half time and we needed a miracle.
Fulham started the second half brightly enough but then a poor clearance from Hangeland was collected by Tevez who set Rooney free. A run, a jink and a powerful shot into the far corner. 3-0 down and game over. Nothing happened of any great interest for about half an hour as the flow of the game was disrupted by a series of substitutions from both sides. Then a loose pass from Gera set Ji-Sung Park free to run at goal and his shot into the far corner completed the rout.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies, Etuhu, Murphy (Dacourt 57), Dempsey, Zamora (Gera 67), Johnson (Kamara 60).
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Stoor, Kallio.
Booked: Pantsil, Dacourt.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea (Eckersley 52), Ferdinand (Evans 46), Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson, Park, Rooney (Welbeck 64), Tevez.
Subs Not Used: Foster, Berbatov, Giggs, Scholes.
Goals: Tevez 20, 35, Rooney 50, Park 81.
Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral)
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