Manchester Utd 4 Fulham 1
Manchester United 4 Fulham 1, Old Trafford, English Premier League, December 8, 2018. Jose Mourinho recorded his 50th Premier League victory as manager of Manchester United as his Old Trafford side overcame Premiership newcomers Fulham by 4-1 courtesy of a goal each from Ashley Young, Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku, and Marcus Rashford.
Seventh placed Manchester United put in a convincing performance as they outclassed and outhustled bottom of the Premier League Fulham by a 4-1 score at their Old Trafford base thanks to first half goals from Ashley Young, Juan Mata, and Romelu Lukaku before Marcus Rashford sealed the margin of victory late in the second frame. The West Londoners, who were reduced to ten men midway through the second period when Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa received his second yellow card of the day, never stood a chance against a determined and energetic United team desperate for three points at home. In their previous five Premiership fixtures, Manchester United had defeated AFC Bournemouth, drawn against Crystal Palace, Southampton, and Arsenal, and been beaten by Manchester City, while Fulham had overcome Southampton, drawn against Leicester City, and lost against Huddersfield Town, Liverpool, and Chelsea. The Old Traffordians started the first period of the tie on the front foot and the home outfit were one goal up when Young hammered the ball past Fulham and Spain international shot stopper Sergio Rico and into the far corner of the net after just thirteen minutes of the play. Manchester United continued to dominate proceedings and attacking midfielder Mata, who was beginning to look more like the influence of old, made it 2-0 to the red shirts with a well placed effort into the bottom right corner some fifteen minutes later in the game, while Lukaku hit a third goal for the hosts when the massive marksman found the back of the net from close range in the 42nd minute.
In the second period, Manchester United continued to control possession and territory. As the contest progressed, though, Aboubakar Kamara reduced the deficit for Claudio Ranieri´s Fulham from the spot in the 67th minute of the clash after United midfielder Ander Herrera had brought down the French forward inside the penalty area, but only two minutes later the plucky visitors had playmaker Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa sent off for a second bookable offence. And with less than ten minutes remaining of the encounter, Marcus Rashford scored Manchester United´s fourth goal of the afternoon when the twenty-one-year-old England striker unleashed an unstoppable shot from outside the eighteen-yard box. After soundly defeating Fulham 4-1 at Old Trafford, United had now won twenty-two of their twenty-four home matches against The Cottagers in all competitions since the 14th of January 1905. But unfortunately, the win proved to be something of a false dawn as The Manchester Reds suffered a humiliating 3-1 Premier League loss to old enemies Liverpool at Anfield the following weekend, and Jose Mourinho was replaced by caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a mere two days later after spending only two-and-a-half years in the hot seat at The Theatre of Dreams. Manchester United Team: David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford. Substitutes: Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo, Andreas Pereira, Marouane Fellaini, Fred, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay. Fulham Team: Sergio Rico, Alfie Mawson, Denis Odoi, Tim Ream, Joe Bryan, Ryan Sessegnon, Tom Cairney, Jean Michael Seri, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Andre Schurrle. Substitutes: Marcus Bettinelli, Aboubakar Kamara, Cyrus Christie, Ibrahima Cisse, Stefan Johansen, Neeskens Kebano, Luciano Vietto.