Rooney Again But Berbatov Ran The Show
It was revenge time: Fulham dished out United's biggest beating of the season in December and we could not let them get away with it. Fulham hate visiting Old Trafford where they won only once in the Premier League years.
Rafael and Scholes were late withdrawals for reasons yet unknown so even Oliver Gill and Corry Evans got on the bench. It did not matter much as we had a really strong first XI out there which, after a nervy opening 15 minutes, was completely dominant throughout.
I won't say we were brilliant: far from it as, especially in the first half, our tempo was low and we were almost too patient on occasions. But when the opportunity came, United took it, at the start of the second half: just like against Milan, seconds after the restart Nani's clever pass found Rooney who did not miss.
As Fulham did not really have any attacking plan in mind, conceding goal was a savage blow to their hopes of getting anything out of the match. They could not live with Fletcher and Carrick in midfield and though Valencia had a quiet afternoon while Nani proved he can be inconsistent even within one game, Berbatov ran the show and grew increasingly influential as the game progressed.
United, however, kept missing chance after chance and we were almost punished when a loose ball, deflected off Erik Nevland, sent Bobby Zamora clear but fortunately he was hesitant enough to allow Vidic to tackle him in the last second.
And that was Fulham's last chance, for minutes later Berbatov raced clear of two defenders on the right and provided an inch-perfect pass for Rooney who slotted home from close range. Game over, top of the table we go!
Berbatov added some gloss to the scoreline heading home substitute Park's excellent cross and in the end it was a satisfying afternoon. The defeat at the Cottage was avenged; we got back in front of Arsenal and Chelsea; Rooney is still unstoppable, having scored his 24th and 25th league goal of the season, matching Ruud van Nistelrooy's best haul.
Bring on Liverpool!