Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday January 26 2013
And so ends the dream of a long run in the FA Cup.
Old Trafford is always a difficult place to visit, even more so when it was 1908 when you`ve last won an FA Cup game there.
So, perhaps the last thing you want to do is to give the home side the chance to get off to a great start, but that`s exactly what we did. Something like two minutes had passed when Manchester United were awarded a penalty, after Aaron Hughes had handled the ball. Ryan Giggs, now 39, stepped up and coolly slotted the ball past Mark Schwazer, although the Aussie did well to get a hand to it.
From that moment on, in the opening forty-five minutes we were up against it. Schwarzer performed miracles to keep us in the game, denying numerous United strikers. United thought they should have had a second penalty, this time when Damien Duff handled the ball, but the referee waved away, much to our delight, the appeal.
As for our attacking options, Bryan Ruiz and Dimitar Berbatov showed brief glimpses of their class but it was a forty-five minutes in which we`d had our backsides kicked and were, in truth, lucky to go in only 1-0 down.
Half Time - United 1 Fulham 0
Jol made a change at half time, introducing Karagounis in place of Baird. But matters didn`t really improve, instead the floodgates opened. With fifty minutes gone, Wayne Rooney doubled the lead, turning our defence all over the place before rifling home and just four minutes later Javier Hernandez made it 3-0 when the little Mexican turned in a cross from Rooney, from six yards out.
Fulham tried to play football to get back into the game but any defence splitting passes were not getting through and when Javier Hernandez netted his second of the night, running through from distance, it was in danger of getting to be a rout still with twenty-four minutes left.
Jol shuffled things again taking off Ruiz and bringing on Dejagah, the rain, pouring down could well have been the tears of realisation that it`d be another season without a trophy, something we`ve become accustomed to.
But there was a consolation goal when Aaron Hughes made partial amends for his early handball when he headed home from a Karagounis corner. With thirteen minutes to go. But any hopes of a dramatic comeback were pie in the sky. United were denied a fifth goal, after Rooney netted at the far post, with Hernandez having been deemed to have committed a foul in the build-up.
With the home support heading for the exits, Dejagah saw a shot deflected for a corner and with the board held up to indicate two minutes of stoppage time our FA Cup journey was about to end.
Date:Saturday January 26 2013
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