This game Monday night brought Fulham to Old Trafford, a place they haven’t scored a goal since 2006. In the away fixture, Manchester United beat Fulham at Craven Cottage 5-0, and Fulham had worries that this game would have a similar ending to it. Fulham has struggled all season on the road, with only 8 goals scored in the league. With Manchester City dropping points against Stoke City this past weekend, this was a chance for United to go 3 points up with only 8 games left.
Wayne Rooney scored his 29th goal of the season, as Manchester United beat Fulham 1-0 to move three points clear of City at the top of the Premier League.
The United number 10 was quick to convert one of United best chances of the first half, as Jonny Evans headed an Ashley Young’s cross back into Rooney’s path.
The result sees United moving three points clear of City but United were made to sweat for the result, as Fulham saw their appeals for a penalty waived away minutes from time after Danny Murphy was challenged in the box by Michael Carrick.
There’s nothing wrong with saying that it’d have been nice for Chelsea and Stoke City to hold a couple of important leads over the last several days, because the opportunity to take a seven-point lead with eight matches left would have been a fantastic one that would leave my soccer picks looking very healthy indeed.
But heading into the home stretch of a tight title race, any advantage is a helpful one, and with a win tonight over Fulham, Manchester United will be three points clear of City, who moved back to top spot with Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Stoke. And along with an advantage in points, United could also take an advantage in goal difference if they can crush the visiting Cottagers, who went down 5-0 to United at Craven Cottage in December.
They might call it a draw, but the picture drawn in Nyon last week left nothing to the imagination. If anything, it was permeated with a feeling of inevitability, an inevitability that would make a bookmaker smile; well, them and UEFA, obviously! Savvy punters would possibly have used their free bets on Real Madrid avoiding Barcelona had there been a market, as it is, the draw has kept the distinct possibility of that becoming the glamour final of glamour finals.
To the governing body of European football, the Champions League draw must be the equivalent of watching the premiere of a thriller already knowing who the killer is or if our heroes will make up and live happily ever after.
Over the years football has created many iconic figures from George Best to Franz Beckenbauer and more recently Luis Figo to David Beckham. Many displayed their talents to the world during World Cup Finals and major European competitions, others weren’t so lucky. Some built their status using their football ability, skill and success while others achieved notoriety and iconic status thanks to their off-field activities and obvious good looks. Others meanwhile, used a mixture of both to become an ICON. One thing’s for sure though; icons are only ever created from supremely talented footballers.
If you’re listening on a Mobile Device, use this link – Episode 28
Welcome to the twenty- eigth Can They Score Manchester United podcast. After a turbulent week, this pod sees Doron, Nik, Tom and I look back at our unsurprising elimination from the Europa League, emphatic victory at Molineux and preview our domestic PL match, next Monday, against Fulham with a little help from Fulham’s Finest, as well as reviewing United’s 1st Leg Semi-Final loss to Chelsea.
Questions Discussed Include:Tactically, do you think SAF was outfoxed by Bielsa in both legs? With many people linking United with Crystal Palace’s young English RB, Nathaniel Clyne, in the summer, how did you rate Rafael at the weekend and what have you made of his progression, or lack of it, over the last 12 months? Once Vidic returns from injury, presumably next season, can you see Evans dropping out of the Starting XI? What does Pogrebnyak offer that Zamora didn’t? If Berbatov is leaving, we will only have Rooney, Welbeck and Little Pea as our recognised strikers, which one player would you bring in to our squad in the summer and why?
Much has been said about the final outcome of this Premier League season. Experts have offered their views, fans have voiced their beliefs while managers have set up smokescreens to shift pressure on their opponents. With nine games left, Manchester United have a 4-point advantage over cross-town rivals City who have one game in hand – tomorrow night’s home clash with Chelsea – bookmakers, including Victor Chandler, have heavily backed Mancini’s men for the title up until now, now they’ve swung their preferences towards the red half of Manchester.