Manchester United returned to winning ways in the Premier League, as they thrashed Claudio Ranieri’s Fulham 4-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Manchester United ended their four-game winless streak in the Premier League with a resounding 4-1 triumph over bottom dwellers Fulham at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Red Devils were off to a flying start to the game, as English veteran Ashley Young handed them the lead just 13 minutes into the game with a fantastic strike from a difficult angle. Fifteen minutes later, Manchester United were two up, with Juan Mata applying the finishing touches on a fine team move by the hosts.
Three minutes from half-time, Romelu Lukaku put the result beyond doubt, poking home a finish from point-blank range to make it 3-0. Jose Mourinho’s men continued to cause problems to the Cottagers post the break, but the visitors pulled a goal back through Aboubakar Kamara’s penalty in the 67th minute.
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Minutes later, Fulham were reduced to ten men, as midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa was sent off, before United made it 4-1, courtesy of a sensational hit from academy graduate Marcus Rashford.
The result meant Mourinho’s side moved up to sixth on the standings, eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea. And here’s how the Manchester United stars fared on the day against the newly promoted side.
David De Gea: 6/10
Last season’s Golden Glove award winner had very little to do for most of the game, with Fulham hardly looking threatening. Got nowhere near the penalty, however. Distributed well from the back.
Diogo Dalot: 8/10
Starting just his second Premier League game, the young Portuguese full-back showed what he brings to the table, with a fine attacking display on the right side. Dalot constantly looked to get forward, causing serious problems to his counterpart Joe Bryan and delivered some dangerous crosses into the box. Should have had a couple of assists.
Chris Smalling: 7/10
Starting against his former club, Smalling’s attempts to distribute from the back didn’t always reap the intended results, but he was otherwise a solid and reliable presence in defence. Full marks for playing through the pain barrier, before walking off injured close to the hour mark.
Phil Jones: 7/10
Back into the starting XI for the Red Devils, the England international dominated the battle against Aleksandar Mitrovic, so much so that Claudio Ranieri was forced into withdrawing the Serb at the half-time break. Did not put a foot wrong all game long, snuffing out whatever threat the visitors conjured up.
Ashley Young: 8/10
Back into the starting lineup after serving out his one-match suspension, the veteran Englishman opened the scoring for Manchester United with a terrific strike – his first goal in a little over a year. Was a constant outlet down the left hand side and set Rashford up for the final goal. Stood up well to the threat posed by Andre Schurrle. A captain’s display.
Ander Herrera: 7/10
The Spanish international was his usual industrious self in the middle of the park, as he kept winning possession with key interceptions and strong tackles. Passing wasn’t the sharpest at times, but Herrera was a key connection between the two halves of the pitch. Harshly adjudged to have felled Kamara in the box, when he got the ball with his tackle.
Nemanja Matic: 6.5/10
The Serbian midfielder fared much better than he has done in recent matches, but is still nowhere near his best form. Protected his defence well, although Fulham didn’t really threaten a great deal. Looked to direct play forward when in possession. A decent enough display.
Juan Mata: 8/10
Returning to the starting lineup, the Spaniard offered the creative spark that Manchester United have so sorely missed in recent matches. Mata caused problems with his movement and eye for a pass. Scored his 50th Premier League goal with a composed finish, before setting Lukaku up with a neat pass, which turned out to be his 50th assist. Should be a regular in Mourinho’s lineup.
Jesse Lingard: 7/10
Starting in the hole behind the striker, the academy graduate was involved in almost everything positive that Manchester United conjured up in the attacking third against the Cottagers. Found Mata with a brilliant through ball in the lead-up to his side’s third goal. A sharp presence on the field, until he was replaced by Fred.
Marcus Rashford: 8/10
The Manchester United No. 10 seems to be growing in confidence with every passing game. Rashford got the assist for Young’s opener, before setting Mata up for the second goal. Was a constant menace in the final third with his pace and directness, although his decision-making was iffy at times. Terrific hit to beat Sergio Rico at his near post for United’s fourth.
Romelu Lukaku: 6.5/10
Recalled into the starting lineup owing to Anthony Martial’s injury-enforced absence, the Belgian superstar ended his goal-drought at Old Trafford that went back till March with the simplest of the tap-ins in the first half. Worked well off the ball and his link-up play in the buildup to Mata’s goal was eye-catching. Still needs to improve a great deal, though.
Marcos Rojo: 7/10
Sent on for the injured Smalling close to the hour mark. Took over from where the Englishman left off, keeping things tight at the back. One particular challenge on Kamara drew applause from the manager.
Replaced Lingard in the 73rd minute. Offered good energy, but was wasteful on the ball on a few occasions.
Scott McTominay: N/A
Came on to replace Rashford with less than ten minutes left on the clock. Could have scored with his first touch.