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Reactions To Victory Over Fulham

1. United got the three points they deserved in what was a great game to watch at Craven Cottage. The first half in particular was end to end and by the time the final whistle went the woodwork had been hit almost ten times between both sides. It wasn’t the walk in the park we’d enjoyed in the FA Cup a couple of weeks earlier, with United not even looking like they were even really trying when they beat Fulham 4-1 at Old Trafford, but it was the result we wanted. Going ten points clear, which has been reduced to a still impressive nine today, is brilliant, and the first time we’ve managed it since 2000-2001, when we eventually finished ten points clear of Arsenal to win the league.

2. With plenty of talk about United being a one-man team, Wayne Rooney stepped up to the plate to win us another game, scoring his 10th goal in as many games. He tends to go through phases of scoring, before a barren patch, so let’s hope this one lasts as long as possible. With Van Persie not as sharp in front of goal in the past few weeks, it’s great timing for Rooney to start scoring for fun. Now that he’s not on penalty duty, a sacrifice Rooney admirably made himself for the sake of the team, you imagine we’ll be scoring even more goals. There was something very Ronaldo circa 2007 about the goal, not just because of the opposition or location, but because of how the goal was actually scored, as well as the importance it had on that year’s title race. With City dropping points in both games this week, and United winning both of theirs, we’re in a great position. It’s important to remember that Rooney scored all of our goals in both these wins, marking what could be a crucial week in the title race.

3. Whilst Van Persie hasn’t scored for a couple of games, as United welcomed pressure from Fulham as the clock was ticking down towards the end, our Dutchman was on the line to head clear. That is what has been noticeable in plenty of our games this season. We’re working as a team. Ferguson claimed Southampton was our one lucky game this season, I’d argue we’ve been lucky on plenty of occasions, but the point is all the lads are chipping in and doing what they can to get us the three points. Whether it be the impressive number of assists Evra has picked up, players like Jones, Kagawa and Welbeck regularly playing out of position, or Chicharito biding his time on the bench despite a great scoring record that would allow him to start for most clubs in Europe. Aside from anything else, this work ethic and ‘all in it together’ attitude is what is setting us apart from the rest at the moment.

4. David de Gea pulled off some great saves which, unsurprisingly, haven’t received the credit they deserve in the press, but made all the difference to our result. He is so agile and makes saves you wouldn’t expect any keeper to make. He was rewarded with his name being sung on repeat and a “In David We Trust” Spain flag. It’s good to see the vast majority of fans are still giving him support as that is what will help make the difference to his performances. He won’t be reading what some knob at The Mirror has to say about him, but he will pick up on the mood of the fans, so it’s important for him to get our backing.

5. Whilst De Gea can take credit for some of the top saves, the defence in general should be applauded, particularly Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand. Some of the blocks and tackles they put in against Fulham were top notch. Evans has missed a few games and was a bit rusty at times, but put his foot in when it mattered. Rio has ‘lost a yard or two’, as the old cliché goes, but we have to give him credit for marshalling the defence, and doing well to forge a partnership and help bring Evans up to standard.

6. Javier Hernandez made a big difference to the game after coming on with 25 minutes left to play. He really stretched the Fulham defence and gave us more room to play in, with him darting up the pitch to get on the end of balls forward. Valencia hadn’t caused the threat we would hope for, again, but Chicharito gave Fulham something to think about, which definitely worked to our advantage.

7. Tom Cleverley will be disappointed with his performance, after getting a chance following several games of not playing. He didn’t play badly but then he didn’t do anything brilliantly well either. After a poor display from Anderson midweek, Cleverley had the opportunity to show why he should be in the starting team every week, but didn’t manage to leave his mark on the game. Michael Carrick has been ruled out of England’s game with a hip injury, so if that keeps him out of United’s next game against Everton, Cleverley will almost certainly get another start.

8. I’m just counting down the games now, ticking them off, desperate for the season to come to an end. In year’s when we aren’t champions I always feel that desperation more. I’m not as picky about performances, I’m not too bothered how we score or who plays well, I just want us to win and get the title back. When we’re champions, I’m more spoilt and have higher expectations, but for now, scrappy and narrow victories over the likes of Southampton and Fulham are more than good enough for me. Roll on next week.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Completely agree it was a deserved United win. Could have been 4 up by the half. Also want to point out the completely diabolical piss take that ESPN coverage put on De Gea. What’s a lad to do to get some praise from this crew. Now bother, they havn’t been renewed. So that Liverpool loving lot can go comment to themselves next year HA.

    Beautifully Red just posted his best GIF moments from the game.

    Hadn’t realized that he got a finger on that shot from Ruiz that cracked off the post. De Gea should have been MOTM, not that Rooney didn’t deserve his bottle.

  2. markg says:

    played well ,players did their job-just when we haven’t the ball you would like to see a bit more pressing

  3. FletchTHEMAN says:

    PS. Great point Scott about the one man team accusation. What a load of crap that is.

    3 strikers in double figures and just starting February. Very good to see and the scoring doesn’t look to lighten up.

  4. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    I love that last point. I have started ticking off the games. It’s been a while since we held the trophy. I want it back. Already looking forward to the Everton game. We’ve GOT to win that one.

  5. James7t7 says:

    Good points..

    Had Utd scored the ones that hit bar in 1st half it would prob have been as comfortable as in the FA Cup.

    This is a Squad game and its great to see all our strikers covering for those when not in form

    The game was great in the 1st half, but very nervy in the 2nd half but thats just how united roll

    Its good to see a lot of our players returning and coming to form (esp Ando & Nani) to give rotation over the biggest period.

    Brilliant vocal support from the travelling fans – kicking a blue was excellent.

    Just hope it keeps going. GGMU!!

  6. Costas says:

    Squeaky bum time has arrived early this season. Not surpring though. Given our fixtures from April and on, we might as well build a healthy lead now.

  7. medumtum says:

    Cleverley looks like he relies on a quick understanding with the players ahead of him. His game appears to improve the more he plays and develops that understanding. Whenever he has returned from a break he has taken time to get going, so hope he gets a run that allows him to come into his own. Of course the squad rotation with our fixtures is crucial, and it is really tricky for the gaffer to get that midfield right. Particularly with Real madrid coming up it is vital that we get a best combo sorted.

    Nine points clear with the everton match coming up. Good position to be in. Just hope by the time we face City we dont have to treat it as the decisive encounter.

  8. Mr_Superman says:

    Roll on Everton

  9. iRed says:

    It was good to get 3 points but it was an awful performance, to be ashamed if they keep playing like they did yesterday

  10. Hans says:

    Glad we won last night as for the long time it looked it may be one of those nights. I believe that if we had scored early, we would have gone on to score 3 or 4.
    One has to worry about Valencia. Just cannot understand what is happening to him?

    Looking at our fixtures, when Shitty come to OT in April, I would be surprised if we are no at least 9 points clear, and finish them off that day!

    After, what happened last season against Everton at OT, I hope lads are fired up for a REVENGE!

  11. wayne says:

    Imo this was a very telling weekend,Utd’s next 6 games are very winnable,City have to play Rent Boys at home and Southampton and Everton away.By the time they show up at OT a win will put them out of their fucking misery and Utd can concentrate on winning the treble.I have no doubt we’ll take the virus out over 2 legs

  12. James7t7 says:

    Wayne.. I hope yer right mate!

  13. aberbacadabra says:

    some encouragement there @wayne. le virus are up for the taking. i love cr7 but it will be no mincing words when we meet. i hope evra will be up for it, he always is. no hard feelings for the lad but he has to play like he’ll drop dead the next minut

  14. aberbacadabra says:

    typo right there mean’t ‘minute’ am forgiven as far as it goes. am praying for you mr. frenchman. ‘let not cr7 skin you’ thats my prayer. because he will try to do exactly that. woe unto him that will be watching him. sorry guys, he’s just that good

  15. bah_humbug says:

    I thought Evans was great in the 2nd half. I also had the Ronaldo flashback for the goal! Just about deserved it I think. BIg game next week, but we should be up for it after last season.

  16. NBI Red Onion says:

    @ aberbacadabra – I don’t think Madrid are up for the taking at all, they are playing much better and seem to have got over some of their issues as a team, I think we are very vulnerable through the middle and lacking on the wings. Jose will see the obvious weaknesses and I think we will have a very tough game with Madrid, a lot will depend on our defence and ability to get balls into our strikers. Ronnie will target De Gea and test him to the max. They have the second best player in the world in their team and he will be relaxed at OT. In addition, they have several players who have played in the EPL and against United.

    Right now none of our MF partners for Carrick have made the position their own and they are up and down in their performances. It’s not rotation, its no one has made the grade convincingly enough to be first X1 auto-pick. They could do great on the day or very poorly. Remains to be seen what turns up. Valencia is also appallingly bad this season and shows no sign of improving, Rafael crosses 100 times better than him. I would stick Valenica at RB and Rafael at RW against Madrid. We get played off the park in MF too often, our pressing is crap, our defending in AMF is crap, though so far our attack and defence has bailed us out.

    On form earlier I would say United looked a decent bet. Right now I think Madrid are stronger in several areas. We need to bring our AAA game and step up in MF if we are going to turn this in our favour. But with this United team you never know, sometimes they bring their A game, sometimes there is complacency and a complete lack of ability to string passes. I am backing the A game to turn up, but I will be nervous about our obvious vulnerabilities, we have great strikers, if we could put in some decent crosses we could do some damage.

  17. wayne says:

    NBI never figured you out i still think you might be a troll but you’re smart

  18. NBI Red Onion says:

    For me against Madrid

    De Gea
    Valencia – Rio – Vidic – Evra
    Rafael – Carrick – Kagwa – Giggs/Nani
    RVP – Pea

    Bench: Lindy, Rooney, Evans, Jones, Cleverly, Ando, Scholes.

    I know Rooney has been scoring well, but I agree with @ Daniel and Scott that Pea’s movement makes a difference especially in taking pressure of our weaker MF and opening space. I also think Rooney off the bench does well.

  19. NBI Red Onion says:

    @ wayne – dude you see trolls everywhere. Smart? I think this is the first nice thing you have said to me, what wrong with you?

  20. wayne says:

    nothing wrong with me mate just a die hard,you make smart assessments but normally in the negative.Me i’m just a Red

  21. calebkzh says:

    Gotta thank the Bitters for doing us a favour, though I must say the resurgence of Captain Comedy Reina meant City still escaped with a point. Grr.

  22. domunited says:

    3 points, clean sheet, no injuries.

  23. gfunk says:

    NBI Red Onion is Moriaty to waynes Holmes!

  24. In David We Trust says:

    Nbi – am I missing something here, or madrid lost yet again? We always say do not underestimate other teams, yet many united fans underestimate united this season. What if madrid had uniteds form, and united had madrids form? U would say we are doomed. The. Backline is the strongest has its ever been, and upfront, united are killing teams. This is the same convo many said about shitty, we beat reading 4 3, and fans said we do not wake up we are gonna get destroyed, what happened? Shitty 2 3 united, enough said. I have no idea how anyone can say madrid are in better form, just because you compare sides on paper

  25. rohan_19 says:


    you serious mate. carrick and kagawa as a central midfield..? we will get fookin murdered.
    i would say
    rafael rio evans evra
    nani carrick cleverly kagawa
    van persie

  26. Pratyush says:

    Madrid have put their troubles behind them yet they lose.

    United keep winning, but are a weak team.

    Makes total sense.

  27. Doghouse says:

    Isn’t it nice to be crushing the league like this? I fucking love it me. Nothing to complain about really. Even when we’re bad you know it’s just because we’ve had a bit of a shocker. There’s no cracks to be papered over in this squad. It’s playing beautiful football.

    Right now I think Kagawa/Welbeck on the left with Nani on the right is the good option. Nani has looked very dangerous since his return in a way that Valencia hasn’t.

    Not much to be said about our attack. It’s fucking huge. Is it as good as Ronnie/Tevez/Berba/Rooney? You know what? Probably not -quite-. Rooney is better than he was. Van Persie is better than Berbatov. But Welbeck is no Tevez, not yet. And Chich is a wonderful little Ole-style supersub, not a superstar. But that said we’re still packing more firepower than the Deathstar.

    I think Welbeck is very close to a goal rush too. He’s been so near so often and his technique is so good, one day his luck is going to chance and the goal will bulge.

  28. BayoRed says:

    I liked Nani’s performnce in the first half really reminded us of what he can bring to the team. Hope Nani and Rooney can continue their comeback and if they do we will be ready for Real Madrid. Great game once again Wayne!

  29. kk says:

    Is the reason Chicharito a nice humble person the reason why it is so easy to call him a supersub? Just asking coz even if he delivers the good people put him down on the bench for no or very little objective reasons.

  30. kk says:

    Nani for me was determined. He was working hard trying to make things happen. Him and Evra make an interesting combo

  31. Doghouse says:

    There’s another perfectly good reason which is that he is a brilliant substitute. Coming into the game late actually improves some aspects of his game. Tired defenders have to change their plans to deal with him. He is a the last thing you want to see bouncing onto the pitch after an hour trying to keep Rooney and RvP from tearing you to shreds.

    United play as a squad, and I think he knows he is doing his part whether he starts the game or comes in late to deliver the killing blow.

  32. tolumancunian says:

    On current form, madrid aren’t a better side and if we can just step it up a bit like we did against city and our big games this season, then we’l definitely knock out the virus. Just snuff out ronaldo and they run out of ideas.

  33. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    Deserved win, a bit workmanlike at times but a clean sheet and 3 points.
    Well done DDG – excellent goalkeeping. Well taken goal by Rooney.
    Cleverly below par but he was playing well then was ‘dropped’ for 3 or 4 games.
    Players find it hard to be in and out of the side so much.
    It happens at Madrid. Mou criticised those who played against Granada that hadn’t played during the week saying they shouldn’t have been tired. Maybe not but the lack of continuity never helps.
    Whatever about losing against Granada they will be absolutely buzzing about the CL as I know we will. Can’t wait.

  34. Manc Harvin says:

    Mancini said a few days ago that the gap at the top would be very, very small at the end of February.

    He must have meant the gap between 2nd and 3rd place?

  35. kk says:

    We are a team I agree. Brilliant sub yes, but when he starts he is also as good. He makes an impact from the bench and also from the start hence am not getting how he is easily put to start from the bench by some fans

  36. Manc Harvin says:

    Last season, we were 8 points clear with 6 games to go, and threw the title away. That memory and the hurt that went with it, will stay with the players, and ensure that there’ll be no repeat this time around. When Vidic lifts the trophy in May, the players will shout even louder than usual, and release 12 months worth of anguish.

    Fergie will make sure that the players put their blinkers on, and ignore the fact that City have got a very difficult run-in, and have still got to play Tottenham away, Everton away and of course come to Old Trafford. He’ll tell the players to concentrate on winning their own games and tick them off one by one. He’ll also remind everyone in the squad that they’ll have a part to play, which will become even more important as we progress in the Champions League and the FA Cup.

    The 20th title is on its way.

  37. andromeda says:

    Slightly off-topic, Everton is a good team and this season they are trying their best to be among the top 4 so obviously it will be a tough game, nevertheless we should be too ruthless as giving them too much respect will be costly for us.and least let us avoid the anguish of last season.The title is still far away and any complacency at this time will knock us down.

  38. bRed says:

    rohan_19 @ 05:49,

    Agree with that lineup, although Ando might edge out Cleverley.

  39. FletchTHEMAN says:

    DeGea was MOTM for me.
    Ruiz shot off the post was actually pushed there by the keeper.

  40. In David We Trust says:

    FletchTHEMAN – well their team mates like rooney said, its no surprise, he has been doing this for weeks

  41. ak47 says:

    if we win on Sunday, the title’s within touching distance. It’s games like Everton which have troubled us in the recent past. If we can get over that hurdle, there’s only a few speed bumps left on the road to May.

  42. FletchTHEMAN says:

    AK. Agree, there will be slip ups, and teams like Everton can do damage. But the stats are starting to favor us and we are playing much better than earlier in the season.
    Squeaky bum time to be sure, but you have to have been been dropped on the head as a child to not be liking our chances.

    Speaking of dropped on the head, There are reports of former youth player Danny Simpson being left unconscious on the road by two thugs. Hope he’s alright.

  43. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Here are some numbers:

    There are 39 points on offer in the remaining 13 games.

    United have 62 points . . . . . . . . . . . City have 53
    We win 2.48 pts/match. . . . . . . . . . . City win 2.12 pts/match

    If these trends continue:
    United finish on 94 points . . . . . . . City finish on 80

    Keeping in mind that either team could pick up all 39 points which would see
    United finish on 101 points . . . . . . . City finish on 92

    Even IF they won all remaining games, City would still loose the title by 2 points if United finish on trend with 94 points.

    Last night, Joe Hart is quoted as saying City have to win all their games. But looking more closely, they would have to win all, but still might not get a sniff. Even if they do win the next 13, United would have to drop a minimum of 9 unanswered points.

    Season isn’t done, not by a long shot. But there is plenty of room for optimism.

  44. Sparkz says:

    Agree with a lot of these points. Rooney has constantly stepped up when we’ve needed him, particularly in the last 2 years, so it’s no surprise that he’s helped us to 6 crucial points this week. Hope he can keep this rich vein of form up. Massive props to Rio as well who was magnificent, one of his best performances this season.

    Nani was very bright IMO, our attacking play is a lot more fluid with him. He drifts infield and links up with Rooney, RVP and Cleverley very well….but he can also stay wide and stretch them if need be. Chicharito also made a massive difference despite a couple of poor attempts in front of goal. His movement was outstanding and he stretched them well.

    Cleverley had a very good first half, but was pretty quiet in the second. I do agree with the poster above who said he needs that regular game time.

  45. parryheid says:

    We all pretty much agreed less than a week ago it was vital we won both our next two games,and so it came to pass great stuff lads.

  46. King Eric says:

    NBI – Hello mate, you well? Did you see Madrid at Granada? They were fucking dreadful.

  47. King Eric says:

    Just for the record United have NEVER in their history won the first 20 of 25 league games. We are also on the best unbeaten run in all of Europe. Played 13. Won 12. Drawn 1.

  48. King Eric says:

    Manc – Spot on pal. Been saying for a while the hunger is back with Fergie and the lads. Fuck me Tyler is a right cunt. He was gutted that City dropped points yesterday and even said we could be only 4 in front by Everton game. Well thats you fucked Martin you abu cunt. How many times does he sneak the Ageuro goal in? Wanker.


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