Saturday 25 August 2012, 3:00pm at Old Trafford, Manchester
Barclays Premier League
Manchester United
Manchester United
3
van Persie 10'; Kagawa 35'; Rafael 41'
Fulham FC
Fulham
2
Duff 3'; o.g. Vidic 64'
Fulham produced a brave display at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon but an early Damien Duff strike and Nemanja Vidic’s own goal proved in vain as we went down by three goals to two.

10' Goal

Robin van Persie
Assist by Patrice Evra

35' Goal

Shinji Kagawa

41' Goal

Rafael
Assist by Ashley Young

68' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Wayne Rooney
Off:Shinji Kagawa

68' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Danny Welbeck
Off:Ashley Young

81' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ryan Giggs
Off:Anderson

3' Goal

Damien Duff
Assist by Bryan Ruiz

64' Own-goal

Nemanja Vidic

35' Yellow Card

Brede Hangeland

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Steve Sidwell
Off:Alexander Kacaniklic

73' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Hugo Rodallega
Off:Mladen Petric

82' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Chris Baird
Off:Mahamadou Diarra

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Fulham produced a brave display at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon but an early Damien Duff strike and Nemanja Vidic’s own goal proved in vain as we went down 3-2.

Martin Jol was forced to make one change from the side that beat Norwich City 5-0 a week ago, with Matthew Briggs coming in at left-back after John Arne Riise picked up a knock in training.

The major team change for the home side was the absence of Wayne Rooney. The England striker started the game on the bench, with £24m man Robin van Persie leading the line on his full debut for the club.

Fulham made an absolute dream of a start when we took the lead after just three minutes. Mladen Petric won a free-kick in a wide area just outside the box after being tripped by Rafael and Bryan Ruiz’s clever free-kick was tucked home by Duff.

Good play by Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa minutes later set Antonio Valencia free down the right but his cross was expertly cleared by a diligent Fulham backline.

The lead lasted just seven minutes as Van Persie did what he failed to do against us last season. A whipped ball from the left fell to the Dutchman who finished superbly past Mark Schwarzer to draw United level.

The goal galvanised the home side and they enjoyed the lion's share of possession for the following 20 minutes, although United only troubled Schwarzer once when the Aussie stopper comfortably claimed Kagawa’s effort from range.

They came close, though, on the half-hour mark when Valencia’s bending shot went just over the top of Schwarzer’s bar. United were certainly having the better of the play but Fulham were coping admirably.

Just when it looked as though Fulham had weathered the storm, United took the lead on 35 minutes. Tom Cleverley’s long shot was parried following Van Persie’s corner, leaving Kagawa with the simple task of finishing from close range. There were hints of offside about the goal but replays showed the Japanese midfielder was onside when Cleverley’s shot came in.

United thought they’d doubled their advantage moments later when Rafael slotted into an empty net but the assistant referee made the correct decision once again, this time disallowing the goal.

The home side were in full flow now and it needed a great piece of improvisational goalkeeping from Schwarzer to prevent Van Persie from having a shot from 12 yards after a lofted throughball found the striker in space.

On 41 minutes, however, the 19-time champions made it 3-1 when Rafael headed in at the near post from Ashley’s Young’s lofted cross from the left.

Fulham went excruciatingly close to reducing the deficit minutes later. First, Duff’s shot was parried superbly by David De Gea, who then deflected Petric’s shot onto the crossbar, before Ruiz was hurried into scooping the rebound over.

The second period started at a gentler tempo than the first half and it was Fulham who had the first chance when Michael Carrick headed onto the roof of his own net after Alexander Kacaniklic had beaten Rafael with delightful trickery before delivering a teasing cross.

Rafael had been getting forward to good effect all game and he almost scored his second just before the hour mark when he headed over from close range.

Jol made his first change of the game on 62 minutes when Kacaniklic was replaced by Steve Sidwell. And just two minutes later Fulham made a real contest of things. Briggs’s cross completely bewildered De Gea and the ball found its way into the back of the net via Vidic’s heel.

Sir Alex Ferguson, evidently unhappy at losing his two-goal lead, introduced both Rooney and Danny Welbeck on 68 minutes, with Young and Kagawa the men replaced.

The Whites were refusing to lie down, though, and Mousa Dembele came close to a spectacular equaliser when he let rip from 30 yards only for De Gea to be equal to the effort.

The Belgian was running the show now and came close again from the resulting corner when he poked straight at De Gea from close range. Anywhere else and Fulham would have drawn level.

Jol played his next card on 72 minutes when Hugo Rodallega entered the action in place of the tireless Petric.

Schwarzer had to be alert on 78 minutes when Rafael again fancied his chances. This time, the Brazilian tried his luck from range, only for the veteran keeper to tip the ball to safety.

Both sides made their final changes with 10 minutes of the match remaining. Chris Baird came on for Mahamadou Diarra, while Ryan Giggs replaced Anderson for the hosts.

Fulham continued to press and Rodallega’s shot was goal-bound until it was crucially deflected away for a corner. Following an injury to Rooney, the Whites came desperately close to a dramatic equaliser when Ruiz connected with Dembele’s cross in the seventh minute of injury time. Unfortunately it was too close to De Gea and Fulham were to leave Manchester empty handed, despite a valiant effort.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 25 August 2012
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 75,352

Referee: Kevin Friend

Manchester United

Line-up: De Gea; Rafael, Evra, Anderson (Giggs 81'), Carrick; Vidic, Antonio Valencia; Cleverley, van Persie, Kagawa (Rooney 68'); Young (Welbeck 68')

Unused substitutes: Lindegaard, Evans, Scholes, Hernández

Manager: Alex Ferguson

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Riether, Briggs, Diarra (Baird 82'), Hughes; Hangeland, Duff, Dembélé, Petric (Rodallega 73'); Ruiz; Kacaniklic (Sidwell 62')

Unused substitutes: Stockdale, Kelly, Halliche, Kasami

Manager: Martin Jol

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Swansea City 2 6
2 Chelsea 2 6
3 Everton 2 6
4 West Bromwich Albion 2 4
5 Fulham 2 3
6 Manchester City 1 3
7 Newcastle United 1 3
8 Manchester United 2 3
9 Wigan Athletic 2 3
10 West Ham United 2 3
11 Stoke City 1 1
12 Arsenal 1 1
13 Sunderland 1 1
14 Tottenham Hotspur 2 1
15 Reading 2 1
16 Norwich City 2 1
17 Queens Park Rangers 2 1
18 Southampton 2 0
19 Aston Villa 2 0
20 Liverpool 1 0
Goals
3
2
Total Shots
20
16
Shots On Target
7
6
Passing Accuracy
93%
89%
Fouls
12
7
Corners
8
8
Offsides
1
0
Bookings
0
1
Sending Offs
0
0
Manchester United (4-2-3-1)
  • 1David De Gea
  • 2Rafael
  • 3Patrice Evra
  • 8Anderson
  • 16Michael Carrick
  • 15Nemanja Vidic
  • 7Antonio Valencia
  • 23Tom Cleverley
  • 20Robin van Persie
  • 26Shinji Kagawa
  • 18Ashley Young
Substitutes
  • 13Anders Lindegaard
  • 6Jonny Evans
  • 11Ryan Giggs
  • 22Paul Scholes
  • 10Wayne Rooney
  • 14Javier Hernández
  • 19Danny Welbeck
Manager
  • Alex Ferguson
Fulham (4-4-1-1)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 27Sascha Riether
  • 17Matthew Briggs
  • 19Mahamadou Diarra
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 30Mousa Dembélé
  • 10Mladen Petric
  • 11Bryan Ruiz
  • 31Alexander Kacaniklic
Substitutes
  • 13David Stockdale
  • 2Stephen Kelly
  • 6Chris Baird
  • 37Rafik Halliche
  • 7Steve Sidwell
  • 8Pajtim Kasami
  • 20Hugo Rodallega
Manager
  • Martin Jol
Goals
0
0
Total shots
0
0
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
0
0
Minutes played by player
0
0
Assists from open play
0
0
Crosses
0
0
Tackles
0
0
Successful aerial duels
0
0
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
0
0
Pass forwards
0
0
Successful dribbles
0
0
Sum of all a players ball events
0
0
Accurate passes
0
0
Key passes
0
0
Player intercepts a pass
0
0
Goalkeeper saves
0
0
Goalkeeper catches a cross
0
0
  • Match ends, Manchester United 3, Fulham 2.
  • 90'+8' Second Half ends, Manchester United 3, Fulham 2.
  • 90'+8' Attempt missed. Ryan Giggs (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Danny Welbeck following a fast break.
  • 90'+7' Attempt blocked. Matthew Briggs (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
  • 90'+7' Attempt saved. Bryan Ruiz (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé with a cross.
  • 90'+7' Delay over. They are ready to continue.
  • 90'+3' Delay in match Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) because of an injury.
  • 90'+3' Attempt blocked. Hugo Rodallega (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
  • 90'+3' Attempt blocked. Hugo Rodallega (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
  • 90'+2' Foul by Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).
  • 90'+2' Matthew Briggs (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 90'+1' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Nemanja Vidic.
  • 90'+1' Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Tom Cleverley.
  • 90' Danny Welbeck (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 90' Foul by Hugo Rodallega (Fulham).
  • 89' Foul by Rafael (Manchester United).
  • 89' Damien Duff (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 88' Attempt missed. Steve Sidwell (Fulham) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right from a direct free kick.
  • 88' Foul by Rafael (Manchester United).
  • 88' Damien Duff (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 87' Attempt missed. Tom Cleverley (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Antonio Valencia.
  • 86' Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Brede Hangeland.
  • 82' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Michael Carrick.
  • 82' Attempt blocked. Hugo Rodallega (Fulham) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Bryan Ruiz.
  • 82' Attempt blocked. Bryan Ruiz (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.
  • 82' Substitution, Fulham. Chris Baird replaces Mahamadou Diarra.
  • 81' Substitution, Manchester United. Ryan Giggs replaces Anderson.
  • 78' Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Mark Schwarzer.
  • 78' Attempt saved. Rafael (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.
  • 78' Attempt blocked. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
  • 77' Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 77' Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).
  • 76' Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Robin van Persie following a set piece situation.
  • 75' Robin van Persie (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 75' Foul by Brede Hangeland (Fulham).
  • 73' Substitution, Fulham. Hugo Rodallega replaces Mladen Petric.
  • 71' Anderson (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 71' Foul by Mahamadou Diarra (Fulham).
  • 70' Attempt saved. Mousa Dembélé (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Aaron Hughes.
  • 69' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by David De Gea.
  • 69' Attempt saved. Mousa Dembélé (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Bryan Ruiz.
  • 68' Substitution, Manchester United. Wayne Rooney replaces Shinji Kagawa.
  • 68' Substitution, Manchester United. Danny Welbeck replaces Ashley Young.
  • 64' Own Goal by Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United. Manchester United 3, Fulham 2.
  • 62' Substitution, Fulham. Steve Sidwell replaces Alexander Kacaniklic.
  • 59' Attempt missed. Rafael (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Robin van Persie with a cross following a corner.
  • 58' Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Brede Hangeland.
  • 58' Attempt blocked. Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rafael.
  • 56' Attempt blocked. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Robin van Persie with a through ball.
  • 55' Foul by Michael Carrick (Manchester United).
  • 55' Mladen Petric (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 52' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Michael Carrick.
  • 51' Hand ball by Ashley Young (Manchester United).
  • 51' Attempt blocked. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Antonio Valencia with a cross.
  • 48' Foul by Michael Carrick (Manchester United).
  • 48' Mladen Petric (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • Second Half begins Manchester United 3, Fulham 1.
  • 45'+5' First Half ends, Manchester United 3, Fulham 1.
  • 45'+3' Attempt missed. Rafael (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.
  • 45'+2' Foul by Anderson (Manchester United).
  • 45'+2' Bryan Ruiz (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 45'+1' Delay over. They are ready to continue.
  • 45'+1' Delay in match Ashley Young (Manchester United) because of an injury.
  • 44' Delay over. They are ready to continue.
  • 44' Delay in match Patrice Evra (Manchester United) because of an injury.
  • 43' Attempt missed. Bryan Ruiz (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.
  • 43' Attempt saved. Mladen Petric (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
  • 43' Attempt saved. Damien Duff (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
  • 43' Attempt blocked. Mladen Petric (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexander Kacaniklic with a cross.
  • 41' Goal! Manchester United 3, Fulham 1. Rafael (Manchester United) header from the right side of the six yard box to the top right corner. Assisted by Ashley Young with a cross.
  • 40' Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Sascha Riether.
  • 38' Offside, Manchester United. Ashley Young tries a through ball, but Rafael is caught offside.
  • 37' Attempt saved. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
  • 37' Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) hits the left post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Rafael.
  • 35' Goal! Manchester United 2, Fulham 1. Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal following a corner.
  • 35' Attempt saved. Tom Cleverley (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
  • 35' Brede Hangeland (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.
  • 35' Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Matthew Briggs.
  • 33' Foul by Anderson (Manchester United).
  • 33' Mousa Dembélé (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 30' Attempt missed. Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Patrice Evra.
  • 29' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Anderson.
  • 29' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Michael Carrick.
  • 24' Attempt missed. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Shinji Kagawa following a fast break.
  • 24' Foul by Ashley Young (Manchester United).
  • 24' Damien Duff (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 23' Attempt saved. Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Antonio Valencia.
  • 20' Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Matthew Briggs.
  • 18' Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  • 18' Foul by Matthew Briggs (Fulham).
  • 17' Anderson (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 17' Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Fulham).
  • 17' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Nemanja Vidic.
  • 13' Attempt missed. Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
  • 13' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Michael Carrick.
  • 13' Attempt blocked. Bryan Ruiz (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.
  • 12' Foul by Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United).
  • 12' Bryan Ruiz (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 10' Goal! Manchester United 1, Fulham 1. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Patrice Evra with a cross.
  • 9' Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 9' Foul by Mladen Petric (Fulham).
  • 8' Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Aaron Hughes.
  • 8' Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Sascha Riether.
  • 3' Goal! Manchester United 0, Fulham 1. Damien Duff (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Bryan Ruiz following a set piece situation.
  • 2' Foul by Michael Carrick (Manchester United).
  • 2' Mladen Petric (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 1' Foul by Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United).
  • 1' Mahamadou Diarra (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • First Half begins.
  • Lineups are announced and players are warming up.