Saturday 25 October 2003, 3:00pm at Old Trafford, Manchester
Barclays Premier League
Manchester United
Manchester United
Forlán 45'
Fulham FC
Clark 3'; Malbranque 66'; Inamoto 79'

45' Goal

Diego Forlán

17' Yellow Card

Diego Forlán Card was given for a foul

42' Yellow Card

Eric Djemba-Djemba Card was given for a foul

50' Yellow Card

Quinton Fortune Card was given for a foul

58' Yellow Card

Ryan Giggs Card was given for a foul

46' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Quinton Fortune
Off:Mikael Silvestre

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Paul Scholes
Off:Cristiano Ronaldo

80' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:David Bellion
Off:Eric Djemba-Djemba

3' Goal

Lee Clark

66' Goal

Steed Malbranque

79' Goal

Junichi Inamoto

43' Yellow Card

Junichi Inamoto Card was given for a foul

81' Yellow Card

Zat Knight Card was given for a foul

30' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:Junichi Inamoto
Off:Mark Pembridge

74' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Martin Djetou
Off:Jerome Bonnissel

86' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Barry Hayles
Off:Luis Boa Morte

Super Steed Malbranque starred in Fulham's amazing raid on Old Trafford in a historic win in a game that will live long in the memory of every Fulham fan.

Malbranque ran the champions ragged as Chris Coleman's buoyant Londoners stormed to their first win over United for 39 years. Fulham deserved to win by more on an afternoon where the home side's defensive frailties surfaced again and left boss Sir Alex Ferguson - starting his two-match touchline ban - seething in the stand. 

Lee Clark set Fulham on their way with his third-minute strike and United were hugely fortunate to go in level at the break from Diego Forlan's injury-time strike. But the brilliant Malbranque ran the show in the second half, firing Fulham's second in the 66th minute and providing the through-ball for Junichi Inamoto to wrap up a wonderful victory 11 minutes from time. 

Louis Saha and Luis Boa Morte each could have grabbed a brace while United were only left to rue a missed Forlan effort early in the second period which could have changed the course of the game. Fulham immediately began to over-run a United midfield bearing no resemblance to that which had battled out a midweek win at Ibrox. 

How Ferguson must have wished he had not rested Roy Keane and dropped Paul Scholes to the bench as Chris Coleman's confident side took control. Malbranque set up the opener with three minutes on the clock when he caught Mikael Silvestre and John O'Shea sleeping down the right and crossed to give unmarked captain Clark the simplest of chances. 

The visitors maintained their early momentum and but for wayward finishing would have had a first-half hat-full. Saha's header was held by Tim Howard in the United goal while his counterpart Edwin Van Der Sar was only called into action once in the early stages when he saved well from O'Shea. Fulham were entirely unswayed by their famous surroundings and continued to look the more likely to grab the game's second goal. 

They came agonisingly close in the 18th minute when Volz cut the ball back from the right and Mark Pembridge hammered a rising 20-yard effort whichclattered the crossbar before bouncing down onto the goal-line and away to safety. Then Boa Morte almost connected with a header in front of goal as Fulham completely dominated. Ruud Van Nistelrooy was being shackled so well by Volz and the towering Zat Knight while Ryan Giggs swapped flanks with the unimpressive Ronaldo. 

Forlan shot across the face of goal but whenever United began to exert pressure they were undone by the fluidity of Fulham's sweeping counter-attacks. Howard was called upon to deny Saha again in the 28th minute after he had swivelled between Ferdinand and Silvestre and fired a left-foot shot which the United keeper parried. Giggs shot across the face of goal for United and Ronaldo resorted to a long-range effort which careered over the bar. 

But Fulham were still given acres of space and Saha was inches wide with a free header from Clark's right-wing cross. Forlan grabbed an undeserved equaliser deep into first half stoppage time when he raced onto a Giggs through-ball and shot home to Van Der Sar's right. Quinton Fortune replaced Silvestre at the re-start - but was immediately booked by referee Riley for his bench not signalling the change in the required fashion. And although United began the second period with much more purpose their defensive frailties were soon to resurface. 

Forlan should have scored his second in the 54th minute when he sprang the Fulham offside trap only to shoot horribly wide to Van Der Sar's right. But Fulham were not to be denied.  O'Shea's brilliant challenge denied Saha a clear run on goal in the 63rd minute.  Three minutes later Fulham were back in front when Ferdinand failed to clear Boa Morte's left-wing cross and Fortune deflected the ball into the path of Malbranque, who drove home low past Howard. Ferguson flung on Scholes in a desperate bid to turn the tide but only succeeded in giving the rampant Londoners more space to exploit. Again it was the sensational Malbranque who did the damage, knocking an inch-perfect through-ball in the 79th minute which Inamoto swept majestically over Howard to seal their wonderful win. United came close to reducing the deficit but substitute David Bellion's close-range effort hit Van Der Sar's legs.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 25 October 2003
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 67,727

Referee: Mike Riley

Manchester United

Line-up: Howard; Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre (Fortune 46'), O'Shea; Ronaldo (Scholes 69'), Djemba-Djemba (Bellion 80'), Butt, Giggs; Forlán, Van Nistelrooy

Unused substitutes: Carroll, Fletcher


Line-up: Van der Sar; Volz, Knight, Goma, Bonnissel (Djetou 74'); Malbranque, Pembridge (Inamoto 30'), Clark, Legwinski, Boa Morte (Hayles 86'); Saha

Unused substitutes: Crossley, Hudson

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 10 23
2 Arsenal 9 23
3 Manchester United 10 22
4 Birmingham City 10 19
5 Fulham 10 18
6 Southampton 10 16
7 Manchester City 10 15
8 Newcastle United 10 15
9 Liverpool 10 14
10 Charlton Athletic 9 14
11 Portsmouth 10 12
12 Tottenham Hotspur 9 11
13 Everton 10 10
14 Aston Villa 10 10
15 Wolverhampton Wanderers 10 9
16 Blackburn Rovers 10 8
17 Bolton Wanderers 10 8
18 Leeds United 10 8
19 Middlesbrough 9 7
20 Leicester City 10 5
Manchester United (4-4-2)
  • 24Tim Howard
  • 2Gary Neville
  • 5Rio Ferdinand
  • 27Mikael Silvestre
  • 22John O'Shea
  • 7Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 14Eric Djemba-Djemba
  • 22Nicky Butt
  • 11Ryan Giggs
  • Diego Forlán
  • Ruud Van Nistelrooy
  • 1Roy Carroll
  • 22Paul Scholes
  • 24Darren Fletcher
  • 25Quinton Fortune
  • 12David Bellion
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 18Jerome Bonnissel
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 7Mark Pembridge
  • 10Lee Clark
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 8Louis Saha
  • 12Mark Crossley
  • 5Mark Hudson
  • 17Martin Djetou
  • 6Junichi Inamoto
  • 15Barry Hayles