Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday March 21 2009
Read it, read it again and again, it was a glorious day!
In his pre-match amble Roy Hodgson mentioned that not a lot of Fulham supporters can remember a win over Manchester United at Craven Cottage, well now a whole generation can, the first generation to witness such a win since 1964 and it feels damn good.
It was a game of two halves though, the first was the best we`ve played this season and the second was a virtual siege as United pushed relentlessly forward.
Thankfully, Clint Dempsey recovered from his bout of food poisoning and was free to resume his place in a familiar looking starting eleven.
Fulham started the game well with Dempsey having a half chance with a near post shot whilst a United foray saw Ronald and Evra combine for Berbatov to head over the bar. It was to be a rare United charge forward.
With eighteen minutes played, Fulham were awarded a penalty. It came after Park had conceded a corner, the ball was played over and Hangeland saw his header half saved but as the ball fell invitingly for Zamora to score the rebound the outstretched arms of Paul Scholes pushed the ball away.
Scholes was shown a straight red card and from the penalty spot Murphy remained cool, clam and collected to score. The dream was on, three points and safety at that mythical forty point mark a reality!
Down to ten men, United struggled to mount a first half come back and it was to be Fulham that carved out chance after chance. Dempsey saw a shot go wide, Zamora had a double chance, the first shot being blocked and the second being saved before a Zamora drive, from twenty-five yards, was straight at Van der Sar.
It was the sort of first half you didn`t want to end because you knew Sir Alex would give his side the hairdryer treatment.
United emerged for the second half with Rooney on for the ineffective Berbatov and straight away United were playing at a higher tempo. The visitors wound the pressure up and at times I knew how Davy Crockett felt at the Alamo.
But cometh the hour cometh the hero in the shape of Mark Schwarzer. The Aussie keeper produced heroic saves from Fletcher, Rooney and Park to keep us ahead. And when Ferguson took an enormous risk shoving on Tevez for a defender, O`Shea, you knew we had them worried.
That worry turned to United anguish when Fulham doubled their lead in the 87th minute. Gera, on for Dempsey, exchanged passes with Johnson and somehow managed to do a scissor kick that saw the ball bounce down and into the net.
It really was all over and the day was finished off superbly when the petulant Rooney received a second yellow card to leave United down to nine men.
Do days get any better than this?
Date:Saturday March 21 2009
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