It was supposed to be a little bit easier for Manchester United in their first home game of the season, hosting Fulham, but eventually, it came down to David de Gea making some saves to keep United’s 3-2 lead alive till the end off of debut goals for Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa to highlight the win.
Alex Ferguson can’t be pleased with what he saw in the second half, although the first was certainly an improvement from the season prmiere against Everton. Damien Duff did stun the 76,000 in attendance after only three minutes, but Robin van Persie opened his Manchester United account with a beautiful volley in the 10th minute, beating Mark Schwarzer for the first time this season.
The pressure kept on coming and although Fulham featured some good minutes, mostly thanks to the physically imposing Moussa Dembele, simply bulldozing over the Manchester United midfield, United’s brilliant wing action brought them a deserved second goal as Shinji Kagawa managed to stay onside and become the second player to score his first goal for the club with a simple 5-yard box tap in.
Rafael was the next to score from such a tap in during United’s best minutes, when low crosses kept buzzing across the Fulham penalty box without the visitors from London managing to handle the attacks quite well, but he was offside when his ball did cross the line. A few minutes later, just before half time, the Brazilian right back scored with his head after some poor coverage from the Fulham defense.
The second half was a little bit less eventful, but United took it down a notch and almost paid dearly from it. Nemanja Vidic and David de Gea have some serious trust issues to work out, as a case of some bad communication led to Fulham’s second goal, with Vidic scoring an own goal due to his goalkeeper’s mistake while coming out unnecessarily to a cross. This resulted in more Fulham pressure that resulted in more long range shooting and a few more De Gea saves, including one in stoppage time with a close range header.
Wayne Rooney, who started on the bench and came on for the final 22 minutes had to come off on a stretcher, suffering from a bad landing of Hugo Rodallega’s boot, which created a large, bleeding gash in Rooney’s thigh, forcing him to come off a couple of minutes before the final whistle.