Manchester United needed a stoppage time winner from 18-year-old prospect Alejandro Garnancho as they edged past Fulham at Craven Cottage.
In the first half, the home side were constantly positive and on the front foot, often looking the better side, but lacked quality in the final third. United were often frantic, but good in spells, and looked more threatening to score when they attacked.
Fulham looked to target Tyrell Malacia for the majority of the game, who didn’t look comfortable playing as a right back over his usual left back position.
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Throughout the game, the visitors lacked patterns of play, long balls were a constant feature, which didn’t usually come off for them, and Fulham were often the more determined side to get on to the loose second balls.
Scott McTominay coming on for Anthony Elanga seemed to stagnate United’s attack and as Bruno Fernandes went out to the right, creativity in the middle of the pitch lacked from that point on.
Fulham on and off the ball were brave, played passes through the final third quite often and committed men forward. Created more than enough chances and will be kicking themselves that they haven’t got a win tonight.
But what a week for Garnacho, two assists on Thursday against Villa, and a last gasp winner tonight against Fulham. Fearless and confident, looks to have bags of potential. Ten Hag runs over to congratulate the youngster as the full-time whistle blows, and rightfully so.
Christian Eriksen scored his first goal in a red shirt to give Man Utd the lead in the 14th minute. Good build up play led to a deflected Fernandes pass which fell perfectly for the Dane only a few yards out from goal, he couldn’t miss.
But they were far from on top, Fulham persisted and eventually got their deserved equaliser through Dan James, who looked well up for the occasion, playing against his former side. His eagerness to dash and get involved in the box is how he got onto the end of the cross.
Once Garnacho came on, he gave United something different, something extra. His willingness to run at defenders and drive his team forward was excellent, and was clinical when it mattered. A darting run forward, a perfectly timed pass from Eriksen, and a composed finish. Three points secured for the Red Devils.
This win takes Man Utd to within three points of top four, with a game in hand. While Fulham remain in ninth place.
TALKING POINT – A GOLDEN BOY IN THE MAKING
What a eventful few weeks it has been for the teenager, he’ll be gutted at the timing of the World Cup. From scoring the only goal in a Europa League fixture against a resilient Real Sociedad side, to two assists against Unai Emery’s Villa side in cup action, and now tonight, a Premier League winner in stoppage time. A goal which looked all too familiar to a winner scored by none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, against Fulham, at Craven Cottage , in a 2-1 victory. Scary resemblance.
Ten Hag and Fernandes have spoken on how he has improved his attitude, his appetite for the game is unquestionable and his quality is clear to see. An eyebrow raising recipe for any opponent.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN (MANCHESTER UNITED)
While he may not snatch the headlines, the Danish international was critical in the moments that mattered for United today. A goal and a classy assist in stoppage time. For not the first time this season, he has been the difference maker for Ten Hag’s team, a constant outlet from defence into attack.
Christian Eriksen of Manchester United celebrates after scoring their team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Manchester United at Craven Cottage on November 13, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Image credit: Getty Images
FULHAM: Leno 7, Reid 6, Diop 6, Ream 7, Robinson 7, Cairney 6, Palhinha 8, Wilson 6, Pereira 7, Willian 6, Vinicius 6
SUBS: Rodak N/A , Adarabioyo N/A , Duffy N/A , Mbabu N/A, Chalobah N/A, Onomah N/A, Harris N/A, Sekularac N/A, James 7
MAN UNITED: De Gea 8, Shaw 6, Martinez 7, Lindelof 6, Malacia 6, Eriksen 8, Casemiro 7, Rashford 6, Fernandes 6, Elanga 6, Martial 6.
SUBS: Bishop N/A , Dubravka N/A , Maguire N/A , Fred N/A , Van de Beek N/A , McTominay N/A , Iqbal N/A , Garnacho 7
14′ GOAL! FULHAM 0-1 MAN UTD (ERIKSEN) – Eriksen finishes from close range! Some good build up play, Martial finds Fernandes in the box, who’s deflected pass falls to the Danish international at the back post, a yards from goal, he couldn’t miss!
52′ DE GEA SAVES AGAIN AND AGAIN – Vinicius on the spin, gets a stinging shot off. Saved and out for a corner. The following corner produces a great headed chance for Fulham, and the Man Utd goalkeeper is there once again!
61′ GOAL FULHAM 1-1 MAN UTD (JAMES) – Fulham have picked up where they left off in the first half, on the front foot, really positive and not afraid take risks. Dan James shows real determination to pace into the box and gets on the end of a low cross to score. A constant threat to De Gea’s goal and deserving of their equaliser.
90+2′ GOAL! A LATE WINNER: FULHAM 1-2 MAN UTD (GARNACHO) – The 18-year-old at it again for Man Utd! Pure pace, determination, with a calm and collected finish! A last gasp winner from the youngster to snatch all three points.
Manchester United haven’t dropped any points when leading in Premier League fixtures this season.
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