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Man Utd 1-1 Fulham: 5 talking points as fans’ return to Old Trafford ends in frustration

Manchester United could only manage a 1-1- draw with Fulham, as fans endured a disappointing return to Old Trafford.

There were 10,000 home fans in attendance and they were treated to one of the goals of the season as Edinson Cavani scored an audacious, outrageous dink from almost 40 yards to give the hosts an early lead.

Already relegated, Fulham struggled to make any impact on the first-half, but completely against the run of play, could have had an equaliser, only for Fabio Carvalho to spurn a glorious chance.

It was much of the same after the break, but the visitors punished United’s wastefulness as Joe Bryan headed home from close range with just over ten minutes to go.

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The result opens the door for Leicester to still leapfrog them by the end of their season, but it’s United’s form going into the Europa League final that will be of real concern.

Here are five talking points from the stalemate at Old Trafford:

1. A green and gold sight to behold

United fans continued their protests against the Glazers as they made their long-awaited return to Old Trafford
United fans continued their protests against the Glazers as they made their long-awaited return to Old Trafford

After 14 long months, seeing 10,000 socially-distanced fans back in Old Trafford was a true sight and sound to behold.

Football has been a welcome relief since its return last June, but it has made crystal clear that without fans, the game is simply not the same.

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The roar when Solskjaer’s players trotted out to warm-up was a memorable one, as was the noise when they entered the field of play ahead of kick-off.

And while protests were considerably more low key than against Liverpool, the sight of green and gold on the Stretford End was a clear message to the Glazers.

While fans were delighted to back their team at last, there is a long…long way to go before there is any support for the Americans.

2. King Cavani treats the crowd

Cavani opened the scoring with a stunning dink from long range
Cavani opened the scoring with a stunning dink from long range

It may have been his first appearance in front of them, but Cavani was already an undoubted fan favourite.

His new contract was greeted with almost universal relief after making such a huge impression in his debut season in Manchester.

But his ridiculous opening goal, one which is sure to be replayed for years to come, felt like a really seminal moment in his Manchester United career.

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There are very few strikers in the world that would have the confidence, or the ability to even attempt his long-range chip.

That it went in so effortlessly was hardly even a surprise. United have another bona fide superstar wearing the No.7 shirt and those leaving Old Trafford will have been left in no doubt.

3. More home woes

Joe Bryan celebrates his second-half equaliser
Joe Bryan celebrates his second-half equaliser

It’s now 28 times that United have conceded at home this season, with Leicester’s 26 the only top four challenger to have shipped even close to as many.

Bryan was given the freedom of Old Trafford to head Fulham level and you can’t even argue that it had been coming.

The visitors struggled for possession but looked as if they could get at United’s back-line, as most have done this season.

Harry Maguire’s absence is starting to look a potentially catastrophic one, should he not return for next week’s Europa League final.

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But even with the skipper, their inability to keep shutouts at home is an area that must be improved, should they truly challenge for the title.

4. Misfiring Mason

Mason Greenwood endured a frustrating night against Fulham
Mason Greenwood endured a frustrating night against Fulham

Gareth Southgate will have named his 26-man England squad this time next week and Mason Greenwood’s inclusion remains a divisive topic

The United striker had six goals in his last seven Premier League games before tonight, but some have argued it may be too little, too late.

With that in mind, he will have been desperate to further his case against a side already destined for the Championship.

But he cut a frustrated figure as he missed a number of chances to put the game out of sight for his team.

He will likely have one more chance to impress Southgate, he will hope that final audition goes better than this one.

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5. Stumbling to Gdansk

It's now just one win in five for Solskjaer's side
It’s now just one win in five for Solskjaer’s side

Make no mistake, Manchester United are in real danger of seeing their season completely fizzle out.

A home draw to Fulham means they have won just one of their last five matches, including picking up just one point from their last three at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer warned his players that it will be difficult to discover form for the Europa League final with Villarreal, but they may need to do just that.

They have one final chance against Wolves on Sunday to rediscover some swagger, Unai Emery will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing this iteration of United.

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