Sunday, March 14, 2010

Manchester United crushed Fulham 3-0

Wayne Rooney scored twice as Manchester United crushed Fulham 3-0 at Old Trafford to return to the summit of the Premier League.

All three goals came in the second half as Rooney made his Premier League tally 25 and overall season haul 32 as he chases Cristiano Ronaldo's target of 31 and 42 from 2008-09, while Dimitar Berbatov added a third late on after impressing throughout but failing to find the target.
United move two points clear of Chelsea and Arsenal after the win, while Fulham stay 10th.
The result was a reverse of Fulham's 3-0 victory at Craven Cottage in December but, unlike that game, Roy Hodgson's side were comprehensively outplayed by a United side keen to continue the momentum after their 4-0 thrashing of Milan in the Champions League.
Both sides are renowned for quick, incisive passing and the first half panned out in entertaining fashion, although neither side could break the deadlock.
United, as expected, had more of the ball and created the greater number of chances.
Rooney, who hit his 30th goal of the season against Milan in midweek, mis-kicked his finish on 10 minutes, had a penalty appeal rejected after a challenge from Stephen Kelly 11 minutes later, forced an excellent save from Mark Schwarzer on the half-hour mark, was denied by a Hangeland-Kelly double-block seven minutes later and curled an imaginative effort inches wide just before the break.
His striker partner Berbatov was heavily involved too, and missed one gilt-edged chance when he headed Nani's cross over to cap off a move he started.
Portugal winger showed both sides to his game - impressing with his running and crossing, having a shot deflected over but frustrating when he tried to go it alone with Rooney unmarked in the box.
Fulham had their opportunities too. Bobby Zamora was a touch isolated up front, with Dempsey providing the support and firing just over once and straight at Edwin van der Sar twice.
Zamora should have put Fulham in front on 39 minutes when, after beating Rio Ferdinand to a long ball from Danny Murphy, he opted to finish first-time with his preferred left foot when his right was better placed: the shot skewed well over, with Van der Sar grateful as he was stranded.

Fulham made one change at the break, bringing on the surprisingly benched Damien Duff for Simon Davies, but they were a goal down almost immediately.
After United went forward from kick-off, Rooney turned on the edge of the box to slip the ball wide left to Nani. For some reason Fulham opted not to track Rooney, standing and watching as he waltzed into the middle and diverted the low cross past the helpless Schwarzer.
An old-fashioned goalmouth scramble saw the visitors lucky to survive repeat shots from Rooney and Nani, while Ferdinand hooked an improvised volley just wide after Antonio Valencia's corner.
Berbatov nearly doubled the lead with an audacious bicycle kick from the edge of the box but the effort went wide as United bossed the game with Fulham barely leaving their half.
On one rare foray forward, the Whites should have levelled when, after Zamora was played clean through by a fortuitous deflection, Nemanja Vidic raced back to block a finish that the Cottagers' top scorer should have released earlier.
Park Ji-sung, on for Valencia, laid on a simple headed finish for Berbatov with a delightful scooped cross from the outside of his right boot but the Bulgarian again mis-directed his finish just wide of the far post.
Patrice Evra got forward to fire wide after combining with Park, while Schwarzer had to be at his acrobatic best to tip Darren Fletcher's rising finish over.
They finally got a second when, with six minutes remaining, Berbatov killed Michael Carrick's long pass with a superb first touch before gliding between Nicky Shorey and Chris Baird to hand an easy finish to Rooney.
Fulham were a broken team now, and Berbatov scored a deserved third when he stooped to nod Park's cross into the bottom right.

No comments:

Post a Comment