Scrappy win for United
Manchester United got back to winning ways in the Premier League with a scrappy and unconvincing 3-2 victory over Fulham at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
Having been beaten 1-0 by Everton on Monday night, United were looking for a comprehensive victory to kick-start their season. Though they got the three points and saw maiden goals for new boys Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, Sir Alex Ferguson will not be satisfied with his team’s showing.
United got off to a rocky start when a well-worked free kick saw Damien Duff side-foot home the opening goal in just the third minute to make it 1-0 to the Cottagers.
But it took the hosts just seven minutes to restore parity, as Robin van Persie racked up the first goal of his Red Devils career with a sumptuous finish from Patrice Evra’s left-flank cross.
United dominated the first half from then on, and surged ahead ten minutes before the interval when Shinji Kagawa scored from close range, taking advantage of a rebound after Mark Schwarzer failed to hold onto Tom Cleverley’s long range shot.
Right-back Rafael made it 3-1 in the 41st minute, heading home his first goal since late 2009 when he got on the end of a cross from Ashley Young.
Fulham almost pulled one back just before half time, but David De Gea made two good saves to keep his side’s two-goal advantage intact.
Just under 20 minutes into the second half the visitors did halve the deficit, with Nemanja Vidic scoring an unfortunate own goal after De Gea had failed to claim a cross from the left flank.
Fulham’s second goal gave United a case of the jitters and they lost all attacking rhythm in their play, though they were able to hold out for a victory despite having a few heart-in-mouth moments at the back.