You felt that a game like this – starting off slowly and massively frustrating us for the entirety of the first 45 minutes – would simply turn out to be ‘one of those days’. However in contrast, Fulham’s brave resilience was just not enough against the current might of in-form and in the mood United. Come full-time, we came away with a handsome and thoroughly deserved scoreline thanks to Rooney’s 24th, 25th and Berbatov’s 10th of the season.
A response was vital, not only after the annihilation at Craven Cottage in December, but also due to last nights results that saw Chelsea resume their lead at the top and Arsenal leap-frog us to claim 2nd spot. A strong, convincing performance however – showing that Wednesday’s result was neither a fluke nor a walkover due to the utter shiteness of the weakened opposition – was just as important.
Rooney and, more so, Berbatov worked perilously all afternoon and when Rooney finally broke the deadlock after 30 seconds of the restart, you had a feeling that there was no way back for hapless Fulham; even if their strength in the first half suggested otherwise.
With Fulham providing minimal to zero threat coming forward, yet performing equally as resolutely at the back (thanks partly to some freakishly good saves from Schwarzer), it looked as though it was going to end 1-0. Yet Rooney, for all his effort and hard-work throughout the match, deservedly got his second on 84 minutes. However to simply claim it as ‘Rooney’s second’ takes away the sheer class out of the build-up.
Berbatov, collecting a perfect 40 yard cross-field pass from Evra, controlled it with the most delicate of touches before skinning 2 defenders and playing in Rooney who, as always, was perfectly positioned to tap it in.
The third to give the game and and result a more honest appearance, was equally the product of some swift movement and beautiful passing. Rooney this time, in his deeper, more familiar comfort zone, swung a peach to Park on the right, who whipped in a cross rather reminiscent of the ones that geezer who turned up at ours the other night used to produce. All Berb’s pretty much had to do was collapse on the ball and it would’ve gone in. THAT’S how perfect Park’s ball was. And that’s how the comfortable second half culminated.
Although I never usually like to revert to numbers when it comes to proving a point (way too uncreative for me, and all), I can’t really help it in this case as the pressure and general superiority of United on the day is highlighted perfectly through the stats. 68% possession and 33 attempts on goal (compared to their 8). On top of that, 3 goals, 3 points, 46 on goal difference (compared to Chelsea’s 42 and Arsenal’s 38) and top on 66 points. Quite simply, nuff said and setting us in the mood for next Sunday…Are you watching Merseyside??