Fulham 0 Manchester Utd 5

Luis Nani

Ful­ham 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 5, Craven Cot­tage, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Dec­ember 21, 2011. Ful­ham nev­er really stood a chan­ce ag­ainst a highly ef­fi­cient Man­chester Uni­ted te­am brim­ming wi­th con­fid­ence and self-be­lief. Uni­ted ul­ti­mately ran out com­fort­able and con­vin­cing 5-0 win­ners thanks to goals from Dan­ny Wel­beck, Lu­is Nani, Ry­an Gig­gs, Way­ne Roo­ney, and Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov respectively.

De­fend­ing Pre­miership Cham­pi­ons Man­chester Uni­ted made their sec­ond vis­it to West Lon­don in the space of just four days as they en­countered Ful­ham at Craven Cot­tage in a Pre­mier Lea­gue mid­week meet­ing shortly be­fore Christ­mas 2011. Man­chester Uni­ted had beaten re­cently pro­moted Queens Park Ran­gers by a 2–0 score at Shepherd´s Bush in their pre­vi­ous Pre­miership fix­ture thro­ugh goals from Way­ne Roo­ney and Mi­chael Car­rick, where­as Ful­ham had de­feated Bol­ton Wan­derers by the ex­act same mar­gin at Craven Cot­tage wi­th Clint De­mp­sey and Bry­an Ruiz net­ting one goal apiece for the hosts. Ma­naged by for­mer Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur, Ham­burg, and Ajax boss Mar­tin Jol, Ful­ham had on­ly ma­naged to score 18 goals in 16 Pre­miership fix­tures thus far in the 2011-12 sea­son, whi­le Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s Uni­ted had fou­nd the back of the net in each of their 16 mat­ches in the Pre­mier Lea­gue. The Cot­tagers, who­se last ho­me vic­tory ag­ainst Man­chester Uni­ted had come on the 19th of Dec­ember 2009 when they be­at The Reds 3-0 cour­tesy of a goal each by Dan­ny Murphy, Bob­by Zamora, and Dami­en Duff re­spect­ively, nev­er had a chan­ce ag­ainst a co­her­ent and con­fid­ent Old Traf­ford te­am which ev­entually ran out 5-0 win­ners in the end. Dan­ny Wel­beck han­ded Man­chester Uni­ted an early lead fol­low­ing five min­utes of play wi­th an ef­fort from six yards af­ter re­ceiv­ing a low cross from Por­tugal in­ter­na­tion­al Lu­is Nani and the vis­it­ors had their sec­ond goal in the 27th min­ute as Ry­an Gig­gs cros­sed for the Por­tuguese speed mer­chant who steer­ed a power­ful head­er pa­st Ful­ham cus­todi­an Da­vid Stock­dale and in­to the net. And on­ly two min­utes be­fore the sound of the ha­lf-time whistle, the om­ni­present Iberi­an wing­er fou­nd Gig­gs who gave Uni­ted a 3-0 cush­ion wi­th a loop­ing shot over the ho­me goalkeeper.

Af­ter be­ing booed off the pitch by their own sup­port­ers at the ha­lf-time in­ter­val, the West Lon­doners answered wi­th a strong and of­fens­ive open­ing to the sec­ond pe­riod and De­mp­sey for­ced Man­chester Uni­ted goal­tender An­ders Linde­gaard in­to a su­perb save shortly fol­low­ing the re­sump­tion of ac­tion. Ful­ham con­tin­ued to search for a goal and Moussa Dem­bele and John Arne Riise bo­th came clo­se to re­du­cing the de­fi­cit for the white shirts as the ha­lf pro­gressed. But wi­th the clock tick­ing down, Man­chester Uni­ted stret­ched their ad­vant­age even fur­ther when Roo­ney, who was ma­king his 300th Pre­miership ap­pear­ance, sent an un­stoppable long dis­tance drive fizz­ing in­to the back of the net off the right-hand up­right wi­th three min­utes left on ref­er­ee Ma­rk Halsey´s watch, giv­ing the in­creas­ingly over­worked Stock­dale no chan­ce to save, whi­le Bul­gari­an marks­man Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov fi­nally roun­ded off the scor­ing spree wi­th a de­light­ful back-heel goal in the 90th min­ute of the one-sided af­fair. Un­for­tu­nately for Man­chester Uni­ted, tho­ugh, sum­mer sign­ings Phil Jones and Ash­ley Young bo­th picked up their re­spect­ive in­jur­ies dur­ing the Wed­nesday en­counter at the Dick­ensi­an Craven Cot­tage on the banks of the River Thames. Any­ways, af­ter over­com­ing Ful­ham by 5-0 away Man­chester Uni­ted would go in­to Christ­mas just two points adrift of ta­ble-top­ping neigh­bours Man­chester City in the Pre­mier Lea­gue title race. Ful­ham Te­am: Da­vid Stock­dale, John Arne Riise, Chris Baird, Brede Hange­land, Phil­ippe Sen­der­os, Dick­son Etuhu, Dan­ny Murphy, Moussa Dem­bele, Clint De­mp­sey, Bry­an Ruiz, An­drew John­son. Sub­stitutes: Aar­on Hug­hes, Steph­en Kel­ly, Mar­cel Ge­cov, Ker­im Frei, Dami­en Duff, Bob­by Zamora, Neil Eth­eridge. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: An­ders Linde­gaard, Chris Small­ing, Phil Jones, Jon­athan Evans, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Lu­is Nani, Mi­chael Car­rick, An­tonio Va­lencia, Way­ne Roo­ney, Ry­an Gig­gs, Dan­ny Wel­beck. Sub­stitutes: Ezekiel Fry­ers, Ash­ley Young, Ra­fael da Silva, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Ji-Sung Park, Javi­er Her­nandez, Da­vid de Gea.


Luis Nani Quickfacts

Lu­is Nani ac­cu­mu­lated sev­en goals in 27 Por­tuguese Primeira Di­vi­sion ap­pear­ances for for­mer te­am Sport­ing Clube de Por­tugal in a highly suc­cess­ful loan pe­riod in the 2014-15 campaign.


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