David de Gea and Edinson Cavani stood out, but Paul Pogba was sub-par as Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Fulham on Tuesday.
The early exchanges was largely a sombre affair, with both sides being rather tentative in their forward movements. However, Manchester United ended up breaking the deadlock in the most exquisite of fashions, as Edinson Cavani produced a beautiful dinked finish to beat Alphonse Areola from range.
Thereafter, Manchester United were in total control of the proceedings, but never really put Areola in too much trouble in the Fulham goal. The visitors then ended up scoring against the run of play with 15 minutes left in regulation time, as Joe Bryan headed in the equaliser from close range after being set up by an inch-perfect cross from Bobby Decordova-Reid.
Manchester United then pushed to grab the lead for a second time, but the goal was not coming for them, as the game petered out to a draw. The result means second place is still not confirmed for the Red Devils, and The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
David de Gea: 7/10
Back in the side in place of Dean Henderson, de Gea was involved in the lead-up to the goal that was scored by Edinson Cavani. The Spaniard made a couple of fine saves to keep Fulham at bay, but could not have done anything to deny Joe Bryan from close range. Did all he could to keep his clean sheet, but it was not to be for him in the end.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 5/10
As ever, Wan-Bissaka carried little threat going down the right flank, although he did provide one dangerous cross in the first half. In the more disappointing aspect of his performances, though, the 23-year-old failed to keep a track of Joe Bryan for the Fulham goal. His only major error, but it ended up being telling in the end.
Victor Lindelof: 5/10
Lindelof has been exposed quite badly in the absence of Manchester United captain Harry Maguire and it was more of the same on Tuesday. The Swede had some extremely nervy moments but did manage to win each of his 4 duels. Had to do a better job of keeping the backline organised.
Axel Tuanzebe: 6/10
Handed a rare Premier League start at the heart of the Manchester United defence, Tuanzebe was much-improved compared to his last outing for the Red Devils. The youngster made a couple of tackles while winning 3 duels. On the ball, he was quite precise, misplacing just 5 passes all game. Decent enough.
Luke Shaw: 6/10
Named the Players’ Player of the Year for Manchester United, Shaw looked intent on making things happen on the day. Unfortunately for him, his ideas did not exactly come off, although he cannot really be faulted for a lack of effort. Carried a fair bit of threat, but also wasteful on the ball, losing possession 21 times. Not tested a whole lot at the back, though.
Once again, Fred left a lot to be desired with his output on the ball. While he did not lose possession as often as Bruno Fernandes, he was still quite sloppy at times and lost the ball 15 times. Put in the hard yards off the ball, as he so typically does, completing a couple of clearances and tackles each. Has to do better on the ball, though.
Scott McTominay: 6/10
Scott McTominay’s game by numbers vs. Fulham [62 minutes]:
88% pass accuracy
9 ball recoveries
3 fouls suffered
3/3 tackles won
A solid Old Trafford return. 🏴 pic.twitter.com/mC1doDKQWD
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 18, 2021
A game of hits and misses for McTomiany, who was extremely solid at the back and won 9 of the 10 duels he contested. Looked to move the ball forward at pace, but did not have the cutting edge to make any sort of tangible difference going forward. Came off with an injury around the hour mark.
Mason Greenwood: 5/10
One of the form players for Manchester United in recent weeks, Greenwood endured a difficult game against Fulham. At times, the prodigious attacker failed to get into the game and managed to muster up just one shot on target, although he should have scored from close range. Completed all but two passes, but needed to do so much more.
Bruno Fernandes: 6/10
Fresh off being named the Matt Busby Player of the Year, Bruno Fernandes showed tremendous awareness in the build-up to the goal that Cavani scored and was generally the most creative player for his side, as is the case usually. However, at the same time, the Manchester United talisman was also wasteful on the ball, losing possession a staggering 29 times while misplacing a few shots.
Paul Pogba: 5/10
A sub-par showing from Pogba, who just could not manage to influence the proceedings as well as he would have liked. The Frenchman flitted in and out the game and linked up well with Shaw but failed to create anything meaningful. Has to do better when Manchester United play the cup final next week.
Edinson Cavani: 7/10
Edinson Cavani has now scored as many PL goals for Man Utd as Diego Forlán (10) in 37 fewer games 🇺🇾🏹 pic.twitter.com/5fN69KsGzc
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 18, 2021
Playing in front of an Old Trafford crowd for the first time as a Manchester United player, Cavani ended up having a game to remember, producing a peach of a finish to put the hosts ahead. Hardly got another chance to find the back of the net, but Cavani ended up creating one fine chance that ought to have been converted.
Marcus Rashford: 5/10
On for McTominay, Rashford, who was the Player to Watch in our preview, did precious little in his cameo. Needs to step up big time ahead of the upcoming UEFA Europa League final.
Amad Diallo: N/A
On for Greenwood, Diallo did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Donny van de Beek: N/A
Barely had any time to make an impact after replacing Cavani.