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West Ham United
21 December 2011
• Craven Cottage, London
Referee: M. Halsey
• Attendance: 25700
FULL TIME! United run out emphatic winners, it may not be enough to take them top following City's 3-0 win over Stoke, but a pleasing display none the less!
Assist Antonio Valencia
Goal Dimitar Berbatov
GOAL! It's another for United, again it's the wings where United punish Fulham, Valencia cutting back for Berbatov, who uses his back heal with a lovely little flick to slot past Stockdale, 5-0!
Assist Ryan Giggs
Goal Wayne Rooney
GOAL! Wayne Rooney with a fantastic strike, 35 yards outs leaves Stockdale with no chance! Brilliant drive
Clint Dempsey goes off for Bobby Zamora, the England man receives a standing ovation
United just beginning to see the game out, retaining good possession
Glorious chance for Fulham which Johnson squanders! Great play by Dembele and Dempsey, Johnson 10 yards out but blasts the ball over the bar, really should have worked the keeper.
And that's the England man's last involvement of the night, replaced by last season's top scorer Dimitar Berbatov, Welbeck can be pleased with his work tonight.
Danny Welbeck with a glorious opportunity to dampen the Fulham revival, lovely team move which led to him through on goal, Stockdale spread himself and the United man scooped his effort over the bar.
Persistent work from Dempsey on the edge of the area which leads to the American getting a shot away, brilliantly blocked by Smalling, it's all Fulham!
Tangle on the edge of the United area between Dempsey and Valencia, the Fulham man appeals but it's in vain
It's a much more even contest this second half, to Fulham's credit, this could have turned into a cricket score
Valencia is inches away from making it 4. Again Nani causing problems, this time down the right hand side, drives a low ball into the middle but Stockdale just nips in ahead of the winger
Yellow Card Chris Baird
Chris Baird receives the first yellow card of the night for a soft foul on Welbeck, finally United can relieve a bit of pressure
Dempsey tries his luck from range but Lindegaard deals with it well, Fulham have been much the better side this half
Ashley Young is unable to continue and hobbles off the side of the pitch, Park replaces him
Riise blasts it towards goal but it flashes wide of Lindegaard's far post, good effort
More pressure from Fulham as Giggs brings down Dembele on the edge of the area, good chance for Fulham from the free kick.
Good chance for Fulham! Ruiz's corner is drifted in, Dempsey has a free header at the back post after losing Evans, but Lindegaard makes a good low save
Ashley Young now down injured as United's injury problems mount. He's helped onto the sidelines, looks as though he may be alright to continue
Better start to the half from Fulham, already showing much more attacking intent than in the first
Marc Albrighton has scored the Premier League's 20,000th goal, perhaps would have been fitting for Ryan Giggs to have got it, the Welshman misses out by 1
United get the second half under way!
HALF TIME! As one sided a first half as I've seen in a while, Fulham understandably booed down the tunnel by their fans.
45' + 2'
Lindegaard finally makes a save, nothing more than a routine collection following Andy Johnson's effort from the edge of the area.
45' + 1'
3 minutes of added time announced, Martin Jol will be counting down the seconds!
Goal Ryan Giggs
GOAL! Surely game over before half time. Nani strolls into the box, four Fulham players around him not daring to put a challenge in, he cuts the ball back for Giggs who, via a huge deflection off Senderos, lobs Stockdale
Fulham just beginning to string a few passes together before referee Mark Halsey intercepts! This really has not been their half.
The stats don't lie, 64% possession in United's favour, this has been a one sided half
Since Jones' departure, Valencia has moved to right back, Riise is having a torrid time up against Nani and Valencia!
10 minutes to go till half time, and Martin Jol is going to have his work cut out if his side are to salvage anything from this game, Lindegaard has yet to make a save
United players appeal for a penalty as Senderos bundles into the back of Welbeck, sending the goal scorer crashing to the ground. Mark Halsey couldn't have been better placed and turned down the appeals. Clumsy at best from the Switzerland international.
It's looking a tough task for the home side, United have conceded just 3 goals away from home all season, Fulham will have to match that if they are to pick up a win tonight.
Assist Ryan Giggs
GOAL! United play the corner short, before Giggs delivers a terrific ball into the middle, all Nani has to do is use the pace of the ball and direct it into the corner, past the despairing Stockdale
Corner to United after some good work from Valencia, well tracked by Dembele.
Terrible clearance from Ruiz gifts the ball to Nani, who fires a low shot at Stockdale's front post, but the Fulham goalkeeper gets down well to parry the ball away
Danny Welbeck tries his luck from range but it's a comfortable collection for David Stockdale
The last ditch heroics of Jones have come at a cost, as the young defender is injured and replaced by Ashley Young
Great chance for Fulham, Clint Dempsey threading a ball through for Bryan Ruiz, but the ever dependable Jones denies the Costa Rican a shot with a superb tackle.
Half chance for Wayne Rooney, again coming via the Fulham left hand side, but Rooney scuffs his shot
Another example of United trying to get the ball up the field as quickly as possible, Wayne Rooney eventually getting a shot away, Stockdale gathers comfortably.
Lindagaard collects the ball and immediately throws the ball to Nani to set up a counter attack, Fulham can't afford to go chasing the game or they will become isolated.
The home side just beginning to get a foothold in the game, some good possession but no real threat on Lindegaard's goal
The home side already having problems in the wide areas, the attacking minded Bryan Ruiz is clearly reluctant to track back, causing Baird all sorts of problems
United could be 2 up! Phil Jones delivers a superb ball into the box but it somehow evades everyone.
Goal Danny Welbeck
GOAL! United take the lead and it's all too easy for! Nani beats Baird with ease, before cutting back for Danny Welbeck who strokes the ball past Stockdale, terrible start for the home side!
Already a stoppage in play as Clint Dempsey leads with his elbow into Phil Jones' cheek. The England man seems ok to carry on
Fulham get the game under way! The home side in their customary white shirts, United in red
Surely the man to watch tonight, the ever dangerous Wayne Rooney. The United man has had 66 shots in the Premier League this season, 44 of them on target!
Some big surprises in the way of team news. Bobby Zamora again left out, amid reports of a bust up between him and Martin Jol. Meanwhile, David De Gea drops to the bench for United despite keeping a clean sheet away at QPR.
United Starting XI: Lindegaard, Smalling, Evans, Jones, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Giggs, Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck. Subs: De Gea, Berbatov, Park, Hernandez, Young, Rafael, Fryers
Fulham Starting XI: Stockdale, Baird, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise, Ruiz, Etuhu, Murphy, Dembele, Dempsey, Johnson. Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Gecov, Duff, Hughes, Frei, Zamora
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of Fulham v Manchester United. Both teams come into the game in good form, Fulham having lost just one of their last 5 Premier League games, United winning the last three. A tough contest for the champions is in store!
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