The home crowd got their first taste of the new summer signings, Fulham rode high off their few days at the peak of the Premier League summit, a rogue robin of a different kind interrupted proceedings momentarily, and Anderson was caught playing football. It was an eventful day at Old Trafford.
After a disastrous (but not entirely damaging) performance on Monday night against Everton, Manchester United showed a more dominant form of play with Martin Jol’s Fulham on the receiving end of a defeat clawed from the clutches of victory. Despite an early lead and a gifted goal from a defensive misunderstanding between goalie and captain, Fulham were outclassed by a rather experimental Red Devils who showed finishing expertise in front of the net and controlled the vast majority of the game.
I watched the game as it happened, following the action via Twitter, and put together five key talking points coming out of the game.
1. Man Utd Still Falter On The Back Line…
Despite my own belief that this will become less of a problem once the injury table starts to empty, the lack of Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans sorely left United in a pickle, conceding a goal within three minutes after Michael Carrick gave away a free kick which found its way to Damien Duff to slide past David De Gea. Later on in the second half, a mix up between Vidic and the keeper handed Fulham a lifeline when the ball clipped the skipper’s heel and went in. The cracks are still showing and opposition managers are zoning in on it with venomous fury.
A couple of fantastic stopped shots from De Gea kept Fulham from equalising or even winning, but the story has been the same for the last two games. Carrick is wasted at the back and Vidic is yet to fully immerse himself into the game again. Once Ferdinand and Evans return, things may become a lot tighter across the back four, but games are won and lost on goals and, arguably, neither of the consolation strikes should have even had the opportunity to go in. Communication is key and United are sorely lacking. The nerves simply haven’t dissipated for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men just yet.
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