Date:Sunday February 5 2006
MAN UTD: Van der Sar, Neville (Vidic 69), Brown, Silvestre,Evra (Bardsley 81), Ronaldo, Smith, Park (Rooney 69),Richardson, Saha, van Nistelrooy.
Subs Not Used: Fletcher, Steele.
FULHAM: Niemi, Rosenior, Knight, Bocanegra, Bridge, Malbranque,Elliott, Brown (Radzinski 46), Boa Morte, Helguson (John 76),McBride.
Subs Not Used: Goma, Warner, Niclas Jensen.
Chris Coleman had a frustrating day, but such is life in the Premiership. Some you win ... some you lose.
Cristiano Ronaldo produced the strikes that made the difference, as he drove home a superb free-kick, then wrapped up victory four minutes from time with an equally clinical close range finish.
But Coleman's outburst at the match officials' failure to spot Ruud van Nistelrooy clearly standing a yard offside in the build-up to United's third, which Louis Saha prodded home, will not take anything away from a great Ronaldo performance.
The action began when Park turned onto Neville's low cross, then chipped a weak effort towards goal which took a massive deflection off Carlos Bocanegra and flew into the corner.
Within 13 minutes Ronaldo swerved the ball left and right, which left Niemi stranded yet again as the winger's 30-yarder flashed into the roof of the Fulham net.
Nemanja Vidic could have had a more solid performance and his lack of inches was twice exposed. Brian McBride profited by leaping over Gary Neville on the first occasion and Heidar Helguson beat Patrice Evra with similar ease at the other post after Wayne Bridge had embarked on a blistering left wing raid.
When Saha prodded home United's third, pouncing on the loose ball when Niemi again repelled Van Nistelrooy, Coleman immediately raced to the TV monitor sensing an offside had been missed in the build-up.
Coleman instantly shot out of the dug-out and referee Martin Atkinson sent him to the stand.
Steed Malbranque almost capitalised on United's defensive vulnerability with a shot Edwin van der Sar needed to claw away after it had taken a deflection off Mikael Silvestre.
By that stage, Silvestre was partnering Vidic at centre-half after the Serbian had replaced Neville in a double change that also brought Rooney's introduction.
However, for once, Rooney was nothing more than a bit part player and it was Ronaldo who finished Fulham off with a clinical low, angled drive after Niemi had once again denied Van Nistelrooy.
Date:Sunday February 5 2006
Brian Greenhoff - RIP (Thursday May 23 2013)
Thiago Bid Imminent? (Thursday May 23 2013)
Rooney - Major PSG Interest (Thursday May 23 2013)
Rooney Forced Out? (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Moyes Interested in Shaw (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Robin van Persie Wins Barclays Golden Boot (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Sir Alex Cleans Up (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Hoping to Make a Killing? (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Carrick Reaction to West Brom Drama (Monday May 20 2013)
Don`t Call Me Boss Again (Monday May 20 2013)
|Man Utd||3||-||0||Aston Villa|
|West Ham||2||-||2||Man Utd|
|1. Man Utd||38||28||5||5||+43||89|
|2. Man City||38||23||9||6||+32||78|
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