Saturday 1 March 2008, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
Manchester United
Manchester United
3
Hargreaves 15'; Park Ji-Sung 44'; o.g. Davies 72'
A strong Manchester United side brush past Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

64' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Alexei Smertin
Off:Danny Murphy

90' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Diomansy Kamara
Off:Moritz Volz

90' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Erik Nevland
Off:Eddie Johnson

15' Goal

Owen Hargreaves

44' Goal

Park Ji-Sung

72' Own-goal

Simon Davies

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Wayne Rooney
Off:Louis Saha

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Cristiano Ronaldo
Off:Carlos Tévez

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Anderson
Off:Nani

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

First Half Action

An electric atmosphere inside Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon. McBride and Bullard got the game underway. Hodgson elected for a 4-5-1 formation and in the opening minutes both sides were guilty of some sloppy passing. Nani fired in the first shot of the game, a right footed curling shot from the edge of the area. Niemi saved with ease.

5 min Former Fulham striker Saha had a a guilt edged chance to put United in front when Scholes played a delightful 30 yard pass over Fulham’s back line. Saha broke through the offside trap and with only Niemi to beat sliced his shot wide.

8 min Fulham flourished down the right flank with Johnson and Bullard linking up superbly twice in succession. A wave of pressure resulted in a fine cross from the right which fell into Murphy’s path 30 yards from goal in a central position. Murphy fired in a superb right footed volley. Destined for the far corner, Van Der Saar leapt to his right to make a superb fingertip save to deny the Whites.

12 min Hangelaand bundled over Tevez to concede a free kick from 18 yards. With Ronaldo and Rooney on the bench Hargreaves stepped up. His set piece was clinical. Right footed, over the wall and into the far corner of Niemi’s goal. United were ahead at the Cottage after quarter of an hour.

Fulham 0 Manchester United 1

20 min The game failed to ignite following Hargreaves goal and United were playing with the swagger of Champions, capable of stepping up a gear and striking with lethal effect. Nani almost made it two with a stinging right footed volley which slammed into the outside of Niemi’s net from 20 yards. Minutes later Niemi pulled off a superb fingertip save to deny Scholes header from a corner.

27 min Fulham’s opportunities were few and far between in the final third. Bullard tried his luck as the half hour mark approached but his effort sailed wide. The Whites earned two free kicks in quick succession and on the second set piece Muphy’s header almost brought the Whites level. Johnson was sythed down on the right flank and Bullard’s set piece to the far post found Murphy. His header from five yards fell into Van Der Saar’s arms.

35 min United conceded a succession of free-kicks in their own half but Fulham could not capitalise on the opportunities. Neither side created anything of real substance as half time approached.

44 min On the stroke of half time Ji-Sung Park doubled United’s lead. Nani released Scholes to the right by-line and his delicate chip found Park who sent his headed effort in off the underside of the crossbar. After keeping United at bay Fulham were dealt a cruel blow with only a minute left on the clock.

Fulham 0 - 2 Manchester United

Second Half Action

45 min United got the second half underway and the opening minutes were punctuated by misplaced passes and a battle for possession. Fulham put the ball in the net on 49 minutes but McBride was adjudged offside before Johnson netted. The decision was marginal and McBride could count himself unfortunate.

50 min Nani infuriated the home crowd with a dive well after Konchesky’s tackle down Fulham’s left flank and the winger was fortunate to avoid a booking. Minutes later Scholes lunged into Bullard. Despite the two-nil deficit the Whites were battling hard and the game was opening up in midfield.

57 min Fulham continued to attack and were enjoying some good efforts on goal. Bullard and Volz both fired in right footed shot on Van Der Saar. Volz’ effort shaved the post and Fulham were unfortunate not pull a goal back. The second certainly had some spice and Wes Brown conceded on the hour mark on the right hand side of the area after manhandling Volz. Fulham could not capitalise but enjoying a fine second half.

64 min Hodgson replaced Murphy with Smertin for the final half an hour of the game and two minutes later Ferguson made a double substitution, replacing Tevez and Saha with Ronaldo and Rooney. Ronaldo’s class was immediately on display with a superb piece of skill on the right flank.

72 min United made it three when O’Shea’s cross from the right caught Davies’ boot and edged passed Niemi on the near post. Ferguson made his final substitution on 74 minutes, replacing Nani with Anderson.

Fulham 0-3 Manchester United

74 min Play was interrupted for a few minutes when Johnson was left grounded following a clash in the air with Brown. The striker returned to the field after receiving attention and resumed his role in attack.

85 min Roy Hodgson introduced Nevland for Johnson and Kamara for Volz before the final whistle but United's third put the game beyond doubt and the final ten minutes were played out without any further clear cut opportunities.

90 min Referee Mike Dean called time on the game and United ran out clear winners at the Cottage. Fulham will now prepare for next Saturday's trip to Ewood Park when they take on Mark Hughes' Blackburn Rovers. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 1 March 2008
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 25,314

Referee: Mike Dean

Fulham

Line-up: Niemi; Stalteri, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Volz (Kamara 90'), Bullard, Murphy (Smertin 64'), Davies; Johnson (Nevland 90'), McBride

Unused substitutes: Keller, Bocanegra

Manchester United

Line-up: Van der Sar; O'Shea, Brown, Ferdinand, Evra; Park Ji-Sung, Scholes, Hargreaves; Tévez (Ronaldo 69'), Saha (Rooney 69'), Nani (Anderson 75')

Unused substitutes: Kuszczak, Piqué

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 28 65
2 Manchester United 28 64
3 Chelsea 27 58
4 Everton 27 50
5 Aston Villa 28 48
6 Liverpool 26 47
7 Blackburn Rovers 28 45
8 Portsmouth 27 44
9 Manchester City 27 44
10 West Ham United 27 40
11 Tottenham Hotspur 27 32
12 Middlesbrough 28 29
13 Newcastle United 28 28
14 Sunderland 28 27
15 Birmingham City 28 26
16 Wigan Athletic 27 26
17 Bolton Wanderers 27 25
18 Reading 28 25
19 Fulham 28 19
20 Derby County 28 10
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 29Antti Niemi
  • 17Paul Stalteri
  • 32Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 4Paul Konchesky
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 27Danny Murphy
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 14Eddie Johnson
  • 20Brian McBride
Substitutes
  • 1Kasey Keller
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 8Alexei Smertin
  • 11Diomansy Kamara
  • 15Erik Nevland
Manchester United (4-3-3)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 22John O'Shea
  • 6Wes Brown
  • 5Rio Ferdinand
  • 3Patrice Evra
  • 13Park Ji-Sung
  • 22Paul Scholes
  • 4Owen Hargreaves
  • 32Carlos Tévez
  • 9Louis Saha
  • 17Nani
Substitutes
  • 29Tomasz Kuszczak
  • 19Gerard Piqué
  • 7Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 8Anderson
  • 10Wayne Rooney