Manchester Utd 4 Fulham 1

Javier Hernandez

Man­chester Uni­ted 4 Ful­ham 1, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish FA Cup Fourth Ro­und, Jan­uary 26, 2013. The en­counter be­tween Man­chester Uni­ted and Ful­ham at Old Traf­ford proved to be some­thing of a one-way traffic af­fair wi­th The Reds dom­in­at­ing pos­ses­sion for most of the ga­me. Uni­ted went ahead thanks to an early pen­alty from Ry­an Gig­gs be­fore a Way­ne Roo­ney single and a Chi­charito brace gave the hosts a 4–1 vic­tory ag­ainst the West Londoners.

Man­chester Uni­ted had to make do with­out the phys­ic­al pres­ence of fir­st te­am reg­u­lars Jon­ny Evans and Ash­ley Young for the FA Cup Fourth Ro­und fix­ture, whi­le Ful­ham were mis­sing the ser­vices of key play­ers Si­mon Dav­ies, Ma­ha­madou Diarra, and Ker­im Frei. In their pre­vi­ous meet­ing on the 25 of Au­gust 2012, Uni­ted had edged out Ful­ham by 3–2 at Old Traf­ford cour­tesy of fir­st ha­lf goals from Robin van Per­sie, Shinji Ka­gawa, and Ra­fael da Silva, and Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s men were strong fa­vour­ites amongst the pun­dits to ad­vance to the FA Cup Fifth Ro­und at the ex­pense of The Cot­tagers. In the open­ing min­ute of the con­test, Man­chester Uni­ted were awar­ded a pen­alty by ref­er­ee Ma­rk Clat­ten­burg af­ter Ful­ham and North­ern Ire­land de­fender Aar­on Hug­hes had handled the ball in­side his own area, and wi­th the calmness of a Greek philo­soph­er, for­mer Welsh in­ter­na­tion­al Ry­an Gig­gs ex­ecuted the sub­sequent spot-kick to hand his te­am an early 1-0 lead. The Old Traf­ford club kept on push­ing hard and Way­ne Roo­ney should have doubled the ad­vant­age be­fore the in­ter­val, but ac­ro­bat­ic Ful­ham net­mind­er Ma­rk Schwar­zer ma­naged to push his ef­fort onto the crossbar.

A mere five min­utes af­ter the re­sump­tion, how­ever, Man­chester Uni­ted and Brazil mid­fielder Oli­veira An­der­son threaded a clev­er pass thro­ugh to the al­ways dan­ger­ous Roo­ney who cut in­side onto his left foot to send the ball pa­st Schwar­zer and in­to the back of the net. And on­ly a couple of min­utes la­ter, Waz­za fou­nd fel­low stri­ker Javi­er Her­nandez who slammed the ball ho­me from on­ly a few yards out to make it 3-0 to Uni­ted. Then, five min­utes pa­st the hour ma­rk, the Mex­ic­an marks­man re­gistered his sec­ond goal of the even­ing when he saw his shot de­flec­ted off Hug­hes and pa­st Schwar­zer. The West Lon­don si­de ev­entually ma­naged to pull one back, tho­ugh, as Hug­hes re­deemed him­self by head­ing in an ac­cur­ately taken cor­ner-kick from for­mer Panath­inaikos mid­field dy­namo Gior­gos Kar­ag­ounis wi­th four­teen min­utes re­maining on Clattenburg´s watch. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Da­vid de Gea, Ra­fael da Silva, Phil Jones, Chris Small­ing, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Lu­is Nani, Oli­veira An­der­son, Mi­chael Car­rick, Way­ne Roo­ney, Javi­er Her­nandez, Ry­an Gig­gs. Sub­stitutes: An­tonio Va­lencia, Paul Scho­les, Rio Fer­dinand, Shinji Ka­gawa, Robin van Per­sie, Dan­ny Wel­beck, An­ders Linde­gaard. Ful­ham Te­am: Ma­rk Schwar­zer, Aar­on Hug­hes, John Arne Riise, Brede Hange­land, Chris Baird, Sascha Ri­eth­er, Dami­en Duff, Al­ex Kacanik­lic, Ste­ve Sid­well, Bry­an Ruiz, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov. Sub­stitutes: Phil­ippe Sen­der­os, Hugo Rodal­lega, Mat­thew Briggs, Gior­gios Kar­ag­ounis, Ashkan De­jagah, Mladen Pet­ric, Neil Etheridge.


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