Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday December 19 2009
I bet that score line brought a smile to many a face! What a game, what an outcome and what a great early Christmas present!
In the pre-match preview I reckoned United were there for the taking and that was exactly as it turned out with Fulham putting in a marvellous performance and a performance that could have seen Sir Alex Ferguson and his reigning champions further humbled.
United, without any recognised centre half in their starting eleven, just couldn`t cope with our front two of Clint Dempsey and Bobby Zamora. With their squad further weakened by injury Roy Hodgson knew that Fulham had to go for the jugular
Strangely enough, despite the final outcome, it was United that started the brighter of the two teams without actually troubling Mark Schwarzer. The nearest they came to getting a breakthrough was when a Giggs ball into the box saw Valencia request a penalty after he appeared to get a push in the back but Howard Webb was having nothing of it.
After that initial scare, Fulham took control of the half and the United keeper, Kuszczak, had to produce a good save to deny Gera after a move involving Dempsey and Zamora saw Zoltan unleash a superb shot.
Minutes later Carrick produced a decent block to deny Duff after a slick build up involving Gera, Dempsey and Zamora. But the writing was on the wall and after twenty-two minutes Fulham did take the lead.
Paul Scholes dilly-dallied in the middle of the pitch and was robbed by Danny Murphy. Our club captain strode forward and unleashed a shot, from twenty-five yards that beat the keeper. Amazingly Murphy had scored yet another goal against Manchester United.
Fulham could have doubled their lead before half time when Zamora headed over after another quick, slick move involving Duff and Gera. As the half time whistle blew it was hard to believe that it had been so one sided.
The second half started in sensational style when Zamora doubled the lead in the first few seconds. Duff delivered a cross into the box, Dempsey headed it down and Zamora was on hand to score his tenth goal of the season.
The home side were rampant and Dempsey thought he`d scored a third but Carrick deflected his header. Sir Alex, desperate to change things and get some momentum going, introduced Berbatov and the Bulgarian striker had the desired effect.
Suddenly Manchester United were pushing us back but after a few initial scares Fulham regrouped, got ten men behind the ball and contained United but always looking dangerous on the counter attack.
With seventy-five minutes the Craven Cottage crowd were ecstatic when Fulham scored a third. A free kick into the box was placed in the direction of Duff, by Zamora, and the Irishman smashed a left footed volley home.
"can we play you every week?"
echoed around the stadium.
With the game well and truly won, Fulham almost grabbed a fourth when a Baird ball into the danger area saw Zamora force a great save out of the keeper.
What a day, hat a score and what a night down the pub beckons!
Date:Saturday December 19 2009
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