Manchester Utd 2 Fulham 2
Manchester United 2 Fulham 2, Old Trafford, English Premier League, February 9, 2014. Manchester United could only manage a 2-2 draw against Fulham. Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick found the target for United, while Steve Sidwell and Darren Bent scored for Fulham who had lost ten of their previous eleven away games against The Reds.
Manchester United had statistics on their side as they had emerged victorious from each of their last nine Premier League encounters against The Cottagers at Old Trafford. In the reverse Premiership meeting on the 2nd of November 2013, United had comfortably defeated Fulham by a 3-1 score at Craven Cottage courtesy of first half goals from Antonio Valencia, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, and the defending champions were favourites to win this time too. Manchester United entered this clash on the back of a 2-1 Premier League loss against Stoke City at Britannia Stadium, whereas Fulham had succumbed to a 1-0 FA Cup Fourth Round Replay defeat at the hands of League One team Sheffield United at Craven Cottage in their previous match. United had to manage without without the injured Jonny Evans, Marouane Fellaini, Luis Nani, and Phil Jones, but Nemanja Vidic returned from a three-match suspension. Fulham, meanwhile, were missing Matthew Briggs, Neil Etheridge, and Kostas Mitroglou who were all sidelined with different injuries.
The West London club, who were bottom of the table, went into a surprise lead, when a lofted pass from Germany international Lewis Holtby found fellow midfield man Steve Sidwell who brilliantly volleyed the ball past Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net in the 19th minute of the Sunday fixture. David Moyes´s Red and White Army managed to turn the game around with a goal each from Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick in the 78th and 80th minutes respectively, but then, much to the utter disbelief of the home supporters, Aston Villa loanee Darren Bent recorded the equalising goal for Rene Meulensteen´s men with a well placed header from a few yards out during stoppage time. Manchester United Team: David de Gea, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Rafael da Silva, Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick, Juan Mata, Darren Fletcher, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Ashley Young. Substitutes: Rio Ferdinand, Shinji Kagawa, Antonio Valencia, Ryan Giggs, Adnan Januzaj, Javier Hernandez, Anders Lindegaard. Fulham Team: Maarten Stekelenburg, Dan Burn, Johnny Heitinga, John Arne Riise, Kieran Richardson, Sascha Riether, William Kvist, Steve Sidwell, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Lewis Holtby, Muamer Tankovic. Substitutes: Brede Hangeland, Larnell Cole, Alexander Kacaniklic, Scott Parker, Damien Duff, Darren Bent, David Stockdale.