Feb 2, 2013, 3:14 PM EST
For the same reason you won’t turn off a Manchester United game when they’re trying to hold a 2-1 lead over one of the worst teams in the league, you don’t doubt the Red Devils as time ticks away on a 0-0. Even after he’s spent 26 years at United, we still don’t know how, exactly, Alex Ferguson gets his teams so supremely prepared for these situations, but he does.
That’s why it was not only expected by anti-climatic when Wayne Rooney scored in the 79th minute at Craven Cottage, giving United a 1-0 win over Fulham. It was too early by Manchester United’s standards. Where’s the drama?
That came a few minutes before. Rafael da Silva, defending the right post on a corner kick, had to jump to head the go ahead goal off the Red Devil line. A couple of exchanges later and a long pass out of United’s end sent Wayne Rooney hopping behind the ball into the Fulham box. Just inside the area he pulled up and opened his right foot onto a shot he put around Aaron Hughes and into Mark Schwarzer’s net. Game.
Again they were flawed, nearly going down late to a team that’s struggled all season. And again they were fabulous, a well executed counter giving them full points. For all their spells that lack control and the complains about their defending, Manchester United is still 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League ahead of tomorrow’s Manchester City-Liverpool match.
But that defending which was so error-prone mid-week and has been so suspect all season held up today. There were nervous moments — off the line clearances from both Rafael and Robin van Persie – but the central pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans played well (particularly Evans, who recorded an assist on the only goal). If the Red Devils can keep two of Ferdinand, Evans, and Nemanja Vidic healthy at all times, they may have a chance in Champions League against Real Madrid.
Fulham also had a series of nice defensive plays in a game that should have had more than one goal, one that played out in very United fashion. Against the standard that we normally judge title contenders, giving up near-as many chances as you create would be a problem, particularly against a lower-half team.
But we’re used to finding new ways to judge Manchester United. And against those standards, Saturday’s was just a typical Red Devil performance.
Dec 28, 2014, 10:00 PM EST
Jonjo Shelvey is apparently “lazy” and lacks focus on the field, and Garry Monk is tired of it.
Dec 28, 2014, 8:00 PM EST
A point against Chelsea was nice, but Southampton have passed a much bigger test of late.
VIDEO: Manuel Pellegrini, Louis van Gaal feel two games in 48 hours had negative impact on their teams
Dec 28, 2014, 7:30 PM EST
Two games in 48 hours — too much and managers/players have a point, or not a big deal and they should stop whining?
Dec 28, 2014, 7:00 PM EST
Three straight league losses and Roberto Martinez is beginning to feel the heat just a bit.
Dec 28, 2014, 6:00 PM EST
In the last Premier League game of 2014, Liverpool host Swansea.
Dec 28, 2014, 4:40 PM EST
Harry wants Aguero, presumably because he’s already signed every other player in the world.
Dec 28, 2014, 4:23 PM EST
It’s a super talented bunch with loads of top-notch prospects.
Dec 28, 2014, 3:35 PM EST
After 19 weeks of the PL, here’s the top storylines so far.
Dec 28, 2014, 3:19 PM EST
Could Alan Pardew be heading home to London?
Dec 28, 2014, 2:28 PM EST
The final heavy match day in the Premier League for 2014 had goals, ejections, upsets and disallowed scores.
VIDEO — Allardyce furious with disallowed opening goal against Arsenal: “Officials clearly got it horribly wrong”
Dec 28, 2014, 1:44 PM EST
It was a poor call in our books, but it stands.
Dec 28, 2014, 1:12 PM EST
Newcastle moved back above Everton and into 10th place on the table with 23 points. The Toffees are in 12th with 21.
Dec 28, 2014, 12:28 PM EST
The entire R’s family has joined the world in hoping for the best, as 162 people are missing.
Dec 28, 2014, 12:19 PM EST
Mourinho claims Chelsea are being victimized for simulation, as Fabregas denied penalty kick.
Dec 28, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
They’re still bottom of the table, but not by much anymore.
Dec 28, 2014, 12:09 PM EST
The point Sunderland pulls four points clear of the drop zone, while Aston Villa is a point above the Black Cats.
Dec 28, 2014, 12:03 PM EST
City remains three points back of Chelsea, and now sit 7 points ahead of No. 3 Manchester United.
Dec 28, 2014, 11:59 AM EST
There was little for fans to latch onto at Loftus Road, and it appropriately ended goalless.
Dec 28, 2014, 11:59 AM EST
What stood out from the clash at St Mary’s? Here’s three things.
Dec 28, 2014, 11:55 AM EST
One quality goal from the Stoke forward plus one lucky one meant West Brom slumped to yet another defeat.
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