Manchester Utd 4 Fulham 1
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.