Manchester United 1 Fulham 0
I feel guilty, very guilty!
I, like many others, wrote off Fulham`s chances last night expecting us to be blown away by a title chasing Manchester United side who had already blown us away once this season, when they beat us 5-0 at Craven Cottage.
For that reason I`d decided to keep my money in my wallet and not venture north, after all why would I want to spend circa £150 believing that it would all be in vain.
Instead, I sat in my local captivated by a performance that saw Martin Jol`s tactics surprise United and almost scrape us a share of the spoils. At times, yes we were swamped by some very good attacking play, our endeavour had Unite don the back-foot and with the remarkable Mark Schwarzer between the Fulham posts pulling off save after save, there was always the possibility that we could pull back the 1-0 deficit that United had established on the stroke of half time.
The goal, courtesy of Wayne Rooney, was something of a defensive mix-up by the Fulham defence. Riise thought that Hangeland would get a touch on an inbound cross, but the giant Norwegian didn`t, and when it fell to Jonny Evans beyond the far post, he wasted little time in scooping it back across goal for a waiting Rooney to net.
But the goal didn`t deflate Fulham, Jol`s side simply went about their business and seemed to take heart from the brilliance of Schwarzer, which brings us nicely back to the defining moment that saw our recent run become three defeats on the bounce and three games without scoring a goal.
With United getting twitchy and losing their dominance, Murphy charged into the box and clearly had his heels clipped by Michael Carrick, who was tracking back. Murphy went over, penalty everybody around me (in the pub) screamed only for the referee to wave play-on, no wonder Sir Alex Ferguson had a rueful smile on his face he knew it was a penalty as did Gary Neville offering his expert opinion in the Sky Sports studio,
So well done lads, I wish I had gone now, I know I`d be circa £150 out of pocket but it would have given me great satisfaction to mock that no-penalty decision and give our lads a round of applause at the final whistle.