Saturday 1 October 2005, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
John 2'; Claus Jensen 28'
Manchester United
Manchester United
Van Nistelrooy (pen) 17', 45'; Rooney 18'

2' Goal

Collins John

28' Goal

Claus Jensen

51' Yellow Card

Luis Boa Morte Card was given for a foul

60' Yellow Card

Papa Bouba Diop Card was given for a foul

72' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Heidar Helguson
Off:Brian McBride

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Tomasz Radzinski
Off:Collins John

17' Penalty

Ruud Van Nistelrooy

18' Goal

Wayne Rooney

45' Goal

Ruud Van Nistelrooy

27' Yellow Card

Darren Fletcher Card was given for a foul

57' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Phillip Bardsley
Off:Kieran Richardson

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Cristiano Ronaldo
Off:Ryan Giggs

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Paul Scholes
Off:Ruud Van Nistelrooy

Five first-half goals in a thriller at Craven Cottage where Collins John and Claus Jensen both get on the scoresheet for Fulham. But two goals from Ruud Van Nistelrooy either side of a Wayne Rooney strike meant that despite a valiant display from the Cottagers, it was United who took all three points.

Chris Coleman rang the changes for this match as Fulham looked to get back to winning ways against Manchester United.  Tomasz Radzinski, Zat Knight and Tony Warner made way for Collins John, Alain Goma and Mark Crossley. 

Fulham got off to a flying start when, with their first attack, John gave the Whites the lead.  Having received the ball on the edge of the box, his first shot was charged down but the ball fell kindly and the Dutchman lashed a shot past former Fulham keeper, Edwin van der Sar.

The lead, however, only lasted 15 minutes before Park embarked on a mazy run that took him deep into the heart of Fulham’s defence.  The South Korean international was not challenged until an illegal tackle from Moritz Volz sent him sprawling.  Ruud Van Nistelrooy stepped up and placed the ball beyond the reach of Crossley.

With Fulham barley able to get their bearings, United struck again.  A  wide gap appeared in the centre of Fulham’s defence and Park fed the ball into the path of Rooney who made no mistake.

Fulham were almost straight back into the tie.  Luis Boa Morte’s swift break was abruptly halted by Darren Fletcher’s crude challenge.  From the resulting free kick, Claus Jensen whipped in a teasing ball.  It missed a number of potential targets on the way through but successfully bent inside the far post.

Fulham were back in the game and with little less than half an hour gone, the match was already proving great entertainment.  Steed Malbranque then stung the hands of Van der Sar with a ferocious strike following good hold-up play from John.

Papa Bouba Diop next tried his luck on 35 minutes with a long range effort that skidded through and forced Van der Sar to smother down low.

The goal brought about a spell of dominance from Fulham as United dropped away from the midfield battle, allowing the Whites to patrol the middle of the park relatively freely.

United had been walking a fine line with Fulham’s offside trap all afternoon and with a minute to go before the interval, the trap was sprung as Park ran clear and centred the ball to Van Nistelrooy who rolled a pass into an empty net.  United had been threatening the goal as only moments earlier Carlos Bocanegra produced a stunning goal line clearance to deny a certain goal scoring opportunity.

The seconded period opened with Wayne Rooney missing a golden opportunity to further increase United’s lead when he edged in front of Goma and placed his side footed effort right of Crossley’s left hand post.

Bouba Diop almost repeated last season’s wonder strike against the Reds on 58 minutes.  Leading the counter attack, Diop unleashed a fierce 35-yard effort which swerved just wide of goal.

United proceeded to turn the screw as they wrestled back possession and began to dictate the pace in the centre of the park, however Fulham were still looking comfortable at the back with Goma and Bocanegra’s understanding improving as the match progressed.

With time running out and Fulham still in search of an equaliser, Coleman replaced his strike pairing of McBride and John with Radzinski and Helguson.  The Icelandic front man certainly wasted little time in acquainting himself with his opposing defenders, as he demonstrated with a firm challenge on Silvestre.

Helguson came tantalisingly close to netting the equaliser after a fine run from Malbranque ended with the Frenchman feeding the ball to Radzinski.  The Canadian drifted his cross to Helguson at the back post but he was unable to stretch his neck muscles to get a meaningful contact on the ball.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 1 October 2005
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 21,862

Referee: Howard Webb


Line-up: Crossley; Volz, Goma, Bocanegra, Jensen; Malbranque, Diop, Claus Jensen, Boa Morte; McBride (Helguson 72'), John (Radzinski 77')

Unused substitutes: Warner, Leacock, Elrich

Manchester United

Line-up: Van der Sar; O'Shea, Silvestre, Ferdinand, Richardson (Bardsley 57'); Park Ji-Sung, Smith, Fletcher, Giggs (Ronaldo 77'); Van Nistelrooy (Scholes 84'), Rooney

Unused substitutes: Howard, Piqué

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 7 21
2 Charlton Athletic 7 15
3 Tottenham Hotspur 8 15
4 Manchester United 7 14
5 Bolton Wanderers 7 14
6 West Ham United 6 11
7 Manchester City 7 11
8 Blackburn Rovers 8 11
9 Arsenal 6 10
10 Wigan Athletic 6 10
11 Newcastle United 8 9
12 Middlesbrough 7 8
13 Liverpool 5 7
14 Birmingham City 7 6
15 Portsmouth 8 6
16 Aston Villa 7 6
17 Fulham 8 5
18 West Bromwich Albion 8 5
19 Sunderland 7 4
20 Everton 6 3
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Crossley
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 33Niclas Jensen
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 14Papa Bouba Diop
  • 8Claus Jensen
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 20Brian McBride
  • 15Collins John
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 22Dean Leacock
  • 27Ahmad Elrich
  • 10Heidar Helguson
  • 13Tomasz Radzinski
Manchester United (4-4-2)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 22John O'Shea
  • 27Mikael Silvestre
  • 5Rio Ferdinand
  • 23Kieran Richardson
  • 13Park Ji-Sung
  • 14Alan Smith
  • 24Darren Fletcher
  • 11Ryan Giggs
  • Ruud Van Nistelrooy
  • 10Wayne Rooney
  • 24Tim Howard
  • 19Gerard Piqué
  • 26Phillip Bardsley
  • 7Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 22Paul Scholes