Saturday 2 November 2013, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Kacaniklic 65'
Manchester United
Manchester United
Antonio Valencia 9'; van Persie 20'; Rooney 22'

65' Goal

Alexander Kacaniklic
Assist by Kieran Richardson

33' Yellow Card

Ashkan Dejagah Card was given for a foul

58' Yellow Card

Fernando Amorebieta Card was given for a foul

61' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Alexander Kacaniklic
Off:Ashkan Dejagah

74' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Adel Taarabt
Off:Bryan Ruiz

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Darren Bent
Off:Scott Parker

9' Goal

Antonio Valencia
Assist by Wayne Rooney

20' Goal

Robin van Persie
Assist by Adnan Januzaj

22' Goal

Wayne Rooney
Assist by Robin van Persie

51' Yellow Card

Antonio Valencia Card was given for a foul

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Shinji Kagawa
Off:Jonny Evans

45' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:Marouane Fellaini
Off:Tom Cleverley

45' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:Chris Smalling

Alex Kačaniklić’s goal proved to be a consolation as a first-half onslaught saw Manchester United emerge winners.

Alexander Kačaniklić’s goal proved to be a consolation as a first-half onslaught saw Manchester United emerge 3-1 winners at Craven Cottage.

Fulham started brightly but were behind within the first 10 minutes when Antonio Valencia fired in from Wayne Rooney’s cross.

Robin van Persie doubled the advantage on 20 minutes and a matter of seconds later it was three when Rooney tapped in as the Reds threatened to run riot.

Substitute Kačaniklić’s strike deflected in via Rooney to give Fulham hope but despite the home side’s best efforts – which included a Darren Bent header that came off the bar – the deficit was too great to come back from as the current champions left with the points.

Having made nine changes for the midweek League Cup game at Leicester City, Martin Jol restored a number of a familiar faces to his starting line-up, plus Ashkan Dejagah was handed a first league appearance of the season on the right wing.

Fulham began the match positively with a high-energy pressing game and had the first attempt when Pajtim Kasami cut in from the left-hand side in the third minute and bent a decent effort towards goal, although David De Gea held his low strike without too much trouble.

United looked to respond and had their first effort on goal five minutes later, but Phil Jones’ speculative attempt from range sailed miles over the crossbar as he attempted to clip the ball with the outside of his right boot.

But just moments later the Reds found themselves in front when a killer throughball caught Fulham out. Rooney was played into space in the penalty area and although Maarten Stekelenburg closed the angle down, the England striker just had wait for the opportune moment to square to Valencia who had the simple task of firing into the back of the net.

The Whites’ best opportunity to equalise came in the 18th minute when a sublime pass from Scott Parker looked as though it was going to send Dimitar Berbatov in one-on-one, but Rafael made a great last-ditch interception to send it behind for a corner. From that set-piece, Steve Sidwell’s header cannoned off Kasami and behind for a goal-kick.

And within minutes United were two up when Van Persie was sent sprinting into space and the Dutchman finished beyond his compatriot Stekelenburg with aplomb.

United were finding it far too easy to create space for themselves in the Fulham box and they made it 3-0 in the 22nd minute when Van Persie was played through down the right and squared for Rooney who will not score an easier goal all season.

Craven Cottage was stunned but the players did their best not to let their heads drop and they created a half chance in the 26th minute when Kasami played a fine crossfield ball to Kieran Richardson who cut inside and fired an effort over on his weaker right foot.

A sublime move then brought a decent save out of De Gea when Bryan Ruiz’s clever first-time flick from Parker’s pass was drilled goalwards by Berbatov but held well by the United stopper.

Dejagah was then booked for a slightly mistimed challenge, before a stretcher was called for when Rafael landed awkwardly following an aerial battle with Kasami. Within a minute, though, the Brazil international was up and running once again.

And a man in red lay stricken again in the 40th minute when Adnan Januzaj lost out to Parker in the air. The halt in play was incredibly frustrating for Fulham who were on the attack a mere 20 yards from goal – yet the game was restarted with a United defender thumping the ball down to Philippe Senderos in his own box.

There was a third hold up of the half in the final minute when Tom Cleverley kicked the ball out so he could receive treatment for an unknown issue – the midfielder was back in action seconds later, though.

At half-time, two of the players who had required treatment – Rafael and Cleverley – made way for Chris Smalling and Marouane Fellaini – while Jonny Evans was also withdrawn, with Shinji Kagawa the third man introduced at the interval.

Fulham began the second period as they started the first and Kasami showed his side’s intent with a powerful clipped effort that flew inches wide of De Gea’s far post.

There was a lull to the second half but Whites fans were on their feet on the hour mark when Kasami dinked a dangerous ball into the six-yard box where Ruiz was lurking, but Nemanja Vidic bravely stuck his head in the way before former Fulham centre-back Smalling cleared the danger. Jol then made his first change of the game when Dejagah made way for Kačaniklić.

United thought they’d made it four when Fellaini rose highest to connect with Rooney’s free-kick in the 64th minute, but the ripple of the net was a result of his header sailing the wrong side of the post.

Fulham clawed one back a minute later when Kačaniklić smashed an effort in that fizzed off the outstretched boot of Rooney and beyond the wrong-footed De Gea to give the home side the slightest glimmer of hope.

The Whites were much improved in the second half but didn’t have much more to show for their efforts than Kačaniklić’s strike, with Jol introducing Adel Taarabt to the action to add a creative spark as Ruiz made way.

Berbatov then saw an acrobatic effort headed to safety after connecting with Kasami’s cross, before Richardson saw his shot blocked in a congested penalty area. Taarabt was then denied a penalty when he was body-checked by Vidic, as Fulham turned the screw looking for a way back into the contest.

As we entered the final 10 minutes, Kačaniklić showed nice initiative to flick the ball up on the edge of the area, but his dipping volley flew harmlessly over De Gea’s crossbar. Parker was then taken off in the game’s final change, with Bent the man replacing him.

And, with his first touch, the striker almost got his side back in it when his clever looping header from Berbatov’s cross landed on the top of the bar, before Taarabt forced another save from De Gea with a low effort on the angle.

Richardson was next to try his luck when he threw himself at a cross, but his header went wide of the far post as Fulham refused to accept the game was already lost – although that proved to be the case as United saw out the remaining moments without too much duress.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 2 November 2013
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 25,700

Referee: Lee Probert


Line-up: Stekelenburg; Riether, Senderos, Amorebieta, Richardson; Dejagah (Kacaniklic 61'), Parker (Bent 83'), Sidwell, Kasami; Ruiz (Taarabt 74'); Berbatov

Unused substitutes: Stockdale, Hughes, Karagounis, Derek Boateng

Manager: Martin Jol

Manchester United

Line-up: de Gea; Rafael (Smalling 45'), Evans (Kagawa 45'), Vidic, Evra; Jones, Cleverley (Fellaini 45'); Antonio Valencia, Rooney, Januzaj; van Persie

Unused substitutes: Lindegaard, Young, Nani, Hernández

Manager: David Moyes

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 9 22
2 Liverpool 9 20
3 Chelsea 10 20
4 Manchester City 10 19
5 Southampton 10 19
6 Tottenham Hotspur 9 19
7 Everton 9 18
8 Manchester United 10 17
9 Newcastle United 10 14
10 Hull City 10 14
11 West Bromwich Albion 10 13
12 Swansea City 9 11
13 Aston Villa 10 11
14 West Ham United 10 10
15 Fulham 10 10
16 Stoke City 10 9
17 Cardiff City 9 9
18 Norwich City 10 8
19 Sunderland 10 4
20 Crystal Palace 10 3
Total Shots
Shots On Target
Passing Accuracy
Sending Offs
Fulham (4-4-1-1)
  • 1Maarten Stekelenburg
  • 27Sascha Riether
  • 4Philippe Senderos
  • 35Fernando Amorebieta
  • 15Kieran Richardson
  • 24Ashkan Dejagah
  • 28Scott Parker
  • 7Steve Sidwell
  • 8Pajtim Kasami
  • 10Bryan Ruiz
  • 9Dimitar Berbatov
  • 13David Stockdale
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 11Alexander Kacaniklic
  • 14Giorgos Karagounis
  • 19Adel Taarabt
  • 23Derek Boateng
  • 39Darren Bent
  • Martin Jol
Manchester United (4-2-3-1)
  • 1David de Gea
  • 2Rafael
  • 6Jonny Evans
  • 15Nemanja Vidic
  • 3Patrice Evra
  • 4Phil Jones
  • 23Tom Cleverley
  • 25Antonio Valencia
  • 10Wayne Rooney
  • 44Adnan Januzaj
  • 20Robin van Persie
  • 13Anders Lindegaard
  • 12Chris Smalling
  • 18Ashley Young
  • 17Nani
  • 26Shinji Kagawa
  • 31Marouane Fellaini
  • 14Javier Hernández
  • David Moyes
Total shots
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
Minutes played by player
Assists from open play
Successful aerial duels
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
Pass forwards
Successful dribbles
Sum of all a players ball events
Accurate passes
Key passes
Player intercepts a pass
Goalkeeper saves
Goalkeeper catches a cross
  • A spirited Fulham fightback is not enough after Kacaniklic scored to reduce Man United's lead to two.
  • 90 Three minutes added.
  • 89 A free header from Richardson, attacking the ball from ten yards out, drifts just wide of the post.
  • 86 Taarabt takes his second shot in quick succession, the first is blocked, the second makes De Gea work, as Fulham attack with gusto.
  • 85 Bent's first touch is a glanced head which cannons off De Gea's crossbar. A terrific Whites move created the opportunity.
  • 83 Here comes Bent. Parker is withdrawn as Martin Jol gambles in search for late goals.
  • 82 Kacaniklic engineers himself an opening on the edge of the United are and his strike floats just over De Gea's crossbar.
  • 78 A quick-fire counter between Kasami and Kacaniklic comes to an end when Taarabt goes down in the area. Appeals for a penalty are waved away.
  • 76 United survive a goal-mouth scramble after Berbatov's volley is cleared off the goal-line by Smalling.
  • 74 Ruiz is substituted for Taarabt as the Whites seek another goal.
  • 65 Fulham 1-3 Manchester United. Substitute Kacaniklic hits a strike which clips Rooney and the ball diverts past De Gea.
  • 61 A tiring Dejagah, who is short on match fitness, is replaced by Kacaniklic.
  • 58 Amorebieta is shown a yellow card for going in late to block.
  • 54 Riether bombs forward on the right and delivers a testing cross which looks set to fall for Kasami, until Evra's header takes the ball to safety.
  • 49 Valencia goes in late on Kasami and plays the man. It's a yellow card for the Ecuadorian.
  • Kasami almost makes it a perfect start to the half, turning well on the edge of the area and rattling a shot just wide of goal.
  • Triple change for United at half-time. Kagawa, Fellaini and Smalling on for Evans, Cleverley and Rafael.
  • The Whites are fighting to get back in the game after Valencia, van Persie and Rooney's goals have put United ahead at the break.
  • 45 Four minutes will be added on in the first half after injuries to Rafael and Cleverley.
  • 39 Dejagah swings the free-kick in, Evans heads only as far as Parker, who puts the ball back in the danger zone, but United manage to clear again.
  • 38 More smart approach play from the Whites, switching play from right to left, and Rooney slides in to foul Parker on the edge of the box.
  • 33 Dejagah slightly mistimes a tackle and the referee has decided to book him.
  • 29 Really nice move from the Whites ending with Ruiz backheeling to Berbatov, who tests De Gea low to his right with a fierce shot.
  • 25 Richardson runs forward, rides a tackle and hits a 25-yard shot with his unfavoured right foot which flies past De Gea's post.
  • 22 van Persie breaks the Whites offside trap and squares for Rooney to roll the ball in.
  • 20 van Persie blazes the ball into the roof of the net on the break, as Whites players protest for a foul which wasn't given in midfield.
  • 19 A precision pass from Amorebieta puts Berbatov through on goal but, under pressure from two players, he steers his shot against De Gea's hand.
  • 17 Dejagah's nicely weighted pass almost puts Berbatov through but Evra shepherds him towards the corner and Dejagah's cross is blocked.
  • 13 Following the goal, the Whites are forced to soak up some United pressure with Parker breaking up play well in midfield.
  • 9 Fulham 0-1 Manchester United. Valencia is left with a simple tap in after Rooney breaks free of the Whites defence.
  • 7 Phil Jones attempts an outrageous effort with the outside of his left foot but gets it all wrong, the ball spooning miles over the crossbar.
  • 5 An excellent Whites move ends in a Kasami-Berbatov one-two which Rafael has to be alert to deny, conceding a corner.
  • 3 Parker robs Rooney in midfield and Ruiz finds Kasami, who cuts inside and makes De Gea stretch to save from 25 yards.
  • Rooney and van Persie get us kicked off and the Whites will be attacking the Putney End in the first half.
  • Dimitar Berbatov leads out the Whites as a jam-packed Craven Cottage is upstanding for Fulham and the Premier League Champions.
  • The Fulham team: Stekelenburg; Riether, Senderos, Amorebieta, Richardson; Dejagah, Sidwell, Parker, Kasami; Ruiz, Berbatov.
  • Dimitar Berbatov and Kieran Richardson both start against their former club, while ex-White Chris Smalling has a place on the United bench.
  • Martin Jol makes one change from our last Premier League match with Ashkan Dejagah making his first start of the season, and Darren Bent on the bench.