Writer: Red Boy
Date:Sunday February 3 2013
Down at Craven Cottage, in a thrilling game, it was a solitary goal from Wayne Roony that settled matters in an enthralling affair.
With the unique atmosphere Craven Cottage provides making it a pleasurable night by the Thames, it`s fair to say that our hosts gave us a good run for our money.
In fact it was Fulham that, once the action had started, engineered the first chance with Rodallega setting up Dejagah but the resulting shot was blocked.
United responded with a flurry of attacking activity of their own whenSchwarzer was forced to make an instinctive save after Van Persie`s corner took a deflection off of Hangeland. Evra almost capitalized on the loose ball but scooped it against the cross bar before Riether hacked th eball clear off the line as Rooney threatened to open the scoring.
With the action switching from end to end, Riise unleashed a long range shot that De Fea did remarkably well to tip away. However, minutes later, United had to rely on the woodwork to keep the score at 0-0 when Ruiz hit a half volley, from the edge of the box, against the underside of the bar.
Rooney, of all people, was then on hand to clear a dangerous looking cross from Duff as our hosts has us back-peddling . Next it was our turn to hit the woodwork when a lay-off from Cleverley was met by Rooney but his effort came back off of the post.
As half time approached Craven Cottage was plunged into darkness when the floodlights went out, fortunately the problem was rectified and the last few seconds of the half were played out.
Half Time - Fulham 0 United 0
Fulham were forced into a substitution, at half-time, with Hughes coming on for Hangeland The first chance of the half saw Schwarzer save a weak header from Van Persie, from a Nani cross. Matters upped a gear, physically, when Karagounis took a chunk out of Valencia with a crunching tackle.
The Greek international then capitalized on a mistake by Ferdinand but his low shot skidded wide whilst Bird thundered a long range shot straight into the arms of De Gea as Fulham started to look a little dangerous.
Van Persie almost opened up the Fulham defence before cutting the ball back to Nani but his effort was deflected over the bar by a great challenge from Baird. As we approached the mid-point of the half, Schwarzer dealt comfortably with a Van Persie set piece before the home side made a second substitution bringing on their deadline day signing Emanuelson in place of Karagounis. The substitute almost had an immediate chance to cover himself in glory but just couldn`t reach a Ruiz shot that De Gea spilled.
As the home side increased the pressure Dejagah headed just wide after out-jumping Evra. Trying to force the issue, Sir Alex took off Cleverley and brought on Giggs but Fulham, straight after were almost ahead when Rafael was forced to head away an effort from Ruiz, off of the line.
But with seventy-nine minutes gone, United went ahead Hughes and Senderos made a meal of a long ball allowing Rooney to skip past and plant the ball past Schwarzer. Fulham responded by making a third substitution bringing on Petric for Dejagah with nine minutes left.
United had a great chance to wrap the game up when Nani set up Van Persie but his elaborate attempt at a finish flew over the bar. Sir Alex made a late change, bringing on Welbeck for Nani and with three minutes of stoppage time left United had to survive one last scare.
As our hosts pushed forward looking for an equalizer, a Senderos header looked to be creeping in but up popped Van Persie, of all people, to clear off the line.
The win took United ten points clear of City, is it too much to ask Liverpool to do us a favour this afternoon?
Date:Sunday February 3 2013
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