Wednesday 18 February 2009, 8:00pm at Old Trafford, Manchester
Barclays Premier League
Manchester United
Manchester United
3
Scholes 12'; Berbatov 30'; Rooney 63'
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
Fulham are overpowered by a strong Manchester United side at Old Trafford.

12' Goal

Paul Scholes

30' Goal

Dimitar Berbatov

63' Goal

Wayne Rooney

26' Yellow Card

Park Ji-Sung Card was given for a foul

45'+16 Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Wayne Rooney
Off:Dimitar Berbatov

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jonny Evans
Off:John O'Shea

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Darron Gibson
Off:Michael Carrick

57' Yellow Card

John Pantsil Card was given for a foul

67' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Olivier Dacourt
Off:John Pantsil

80' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Robert Milsom
Off:Danny Murphy

86' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Wayne Brown
Off:Zoltán Gera

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Roy Hodgson opted to rest Andy Johnson and Paul Konchesky, who were both suffering from muscle fatigue, for Wednesday night's Barclays Premier League clash at Old Trafford. Toni Kallio was selected at left back with Chris Baird coming in for Olivier Dacourt in Hodgson's five man midfield. 

Manchester United got Wednesday's 8pm kick-of underway at Old Trafford. Fulham were quick to latch onto any misplaced United passes during the early stages as Hodgson's compact midfield five worked hard to afford United's players little time and space on the ball.

The home side created the first opportunity of the match, following a spell of possession down Fulham's left flank after seven minutes of play. A neat flick from Ronaldo on the touchline found Carrick bursting into Schwarzer's area but fortunately the midfielder blasted his effort high over the bar.

After 12 minutes of play Scholes opened the scoring for United, firing in a 30 yard, right-footed volley from Carrick's corner. As the ball arrowed through a host of players into the box Schwarzer attempted to save but the ball rebounded off the keeper and into the corner of the net.

Bobby Zamora almost brought the score level after 20 minutes, rising above Ferdinand to meet Pantsil's fine cross from the right flank. The striker's headed effort flew just wide of van der Sar's far post. Moments later the Whites were forced to scramble a goalmouth chance away to safety as Berbatov looked set to add a second for United.

United began to dominate as the half hour mark approached with some sublime passing play, orchestrated by Scholes in midfield. Tevez looked to have added a second when the striker broke through Fulham's defence to fire past Schwarzer from close range but Hangeland had expertly marshalled his back-line forward to catch the striker offside. Fulham's relief was short lived as Berbatov added a second moments later, meeting O'Shea's cross from the right to tap in from close range.

The urgency in United's attacking play dissipated following their second goal and the contest drifted towards half-time with few incidents at either end. Clint Dempsey got the better of Ferdinand and Vidic before the break, muscling past United's defensive duo to latch onto a long ball into United's area. Unfortunately Dempsey could not find a finishing touch as van der Sar collected the American's looping shot with ease.

At the other end Mark Schwarzer pulled off a fine save two minutes before the break to deny Paul Scholes, whose long range effort was heading for the far corner of the net before Schwarzer's diving save intervened. Berbatov headed Ronaldo's free-kick from the right flank into the net right before the half-time whistle but once again Fulham's offside trap was effective and the score remained two-nil to United going into the break.

Fulham made a bright start to the second half, retaining possession with a controlled spell of passing play. Fulham's most effective attacking play came in the form of John Pantsil, whose energy on the right flank saw him make several fine overlapping runs to the by-line over the course of the game.

A fine army of supporters urged on Fulham on Wednesday evening and Mark Schwarzer pulled of the save of the game in front of the away section fifteen minutes into the second half. Berbatov collected the ball on the right hand side of the area and sent a right-footed shot towards the top corner of Schwarzer's net. The Australian international reacted superbly to tip the ball over the bar.

United made two changes on the hour mark; Rooney replaced Berbatov whilst O'Shea made way for Evans. Within 30 seconds of his introduction Rooney added a third for United, tapping home Park's cross from the right at the far post.

Bobby Zamora almost pulled a goal back for Fulham after 65 minutes when his left footed strike across goal beat van der Sar but drifted just wide of goal. Roy Hodgson replaced Pantsil with Dacourt moments after Zamora's effort with Chris Baird switching from central midfield to right back.

Robert Milsom made his Barclays Premier League debut for Fulham ten minutes from time. It was a special moment for the Fulham Academy graduate who replaced captain Danny Murphy in central midfield.

Another Academy graduate, Wayne Brown, joined Milsom for the final five minutes of the contest at Old Trafford.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Wednesday 18 February 2009
Kick-off: 8:00pm

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 75,437

Referee: Andre Marriner

Manchester United

Line-up: Van der Sar; O'Shea (Evans 62'), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Park Ji-Sung, Carrick (Gibson 69'), Scholes; Tévez, Berbatov (Rooney 45'), Ronaldo

Unused substitutes: Kuszczak, Rafael, Nani, Fletcher

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil (Dacourt 67'), Hangeland, Hughes, Kallio; Davies, Murphy (Milsom 80'), Baird, Gera (Brown 86'); Zamora, Dempsey

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Smalling, Gray, Nevland

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 25 59
2 Liverpool 25 54
3 Aston Villa 25 51
4 Chelsea 25 49
5 Arsenal 25 44
6 Everton 25 40
7 Wigan Athletic 25 34
8 West Ham United 25 33
9 Manchester City 25 31
10 Fulham 24 30
11 Sunderland 25 30
12 Hull City 25 29
13 Newcastle United 25 27
14 Bolton Wanderers 25 27
15 Portsmouth 25 27
16 Tottenham Hotspur 25 25
17 Stoke City 25 24
18 Blackburn Rovers 24 23
19 Middlesbrough 25 22
20 West Bromwich Albion 25 22
Manchester United (4-3-3)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 22John O'Shea
  • 5Rio Ferdinand
  • 15Nemanja Vidic
  • 3Patrice Evra
  • 13Park Ji-Sung
  • 16Michael Carrick
  • 22Paul Scholes
  • 32Carlos Tévez
  • 9Dimitar Berbatov
  • 7Cristiano Ronaldo
Substitutes
  • 29Tomasz Kuszczak
  • 2Rafael
  • 6Jonny Evans
  • 17Nani
  • 24Darren Fletcher
  • 28Darron Gibson
  • 10Wayne Rooney
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 33Toni Kallio
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 34Chris Baird
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 9Bobby Zamora
  • 23Clint Dempsey
Substitutes
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 37Chris Smalling
  • 16Olivier Dacourt
  • 17Julian Gray
  • 24Robert Milsom
  • 30Wayne Brown
  • 10Erik Nevland