Premier League: Fulham v Manchester United full time report

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Premier League: Fulham v Manchester United full time report
Fulham 2 Manchester United 2
Brede Hangeland helped Fulham secure a point against Manchester United in a cracking 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage.
Paul Scholes had given Manchester United the lead, but Simon Davies drew them level in the second half. Just when United thought they might have taken all three points after Hangeland scored an own goal, the big Norwegian defender headed in to equalise and ensure Fulham take a share of the spoils.
The first chance of the match came on 10 minutes, when Dimitar Berbatov forced a fine one-handed save from Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale, who continued to deputise in goal for the absent Mark Schwarzer.
Scholes opened the scoring a minute later in trademark fashion with a great hit from well outside the box. It was his 150th goal for Manchester United and another gem to add to the collection.
Davies had the opportunity to equalise moments after, clipping the ball over the bar after making good work of a difficult chance.
Javier Hernández, in for the injured Wayne Rooney, had a left-footed shot which scrambled wide after 15 minutes following great passing and movement from Manchester United.
Berbatov once again tested Stockdale when he was put in by Hernández, but the keeper was able to parry for a corner kick.
Fulham’s Bobby Zamora had his first sight of goal, just heading wide from Paul Konchesky’s cross on 23 minutes.
Ex-Liverpool and now Fulham captain Danny Murphy fired high over the bar on 25 minutes, much to the delight of the away fans, with Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar untroubled.
Another chance fell to Berbatov, but he couldn’t control his header from close-range.
Fulham should have been level on 30 minutes, as Dickson Etuhu got onto the end of a wonderful move. He failed to score with his first effort, which was palmed back into his path by Van der Sar, but he couldn’t score at the second attempt as Van der Sar tipped the ball over the bar when he was on the ground.
Clint Dempsey had a shot from outside the penalty area a couple of minutes before time, but Fulham will take some encouragement from their performance so far since going a goal down.
Aaron Hughes had a free header for Fulham at the start of the second half that went off target.
Davies put his side level on 56 minutes after great work from Damien Duff on the right-wing, where he beat Patrice Evra, picked out Zamora, whose ball into the box picked out Davies.
Hernández had another shot, but he didn’t force Stockdale into a save.
Murphy forced Van der Sar into a save low down to his left on 70 minutes after a good spell of pressure from the home side.
Sir Alex Ferguson signalled his intentions by bringing on Michael Owen and Ryan Giggs 15 minutes from time as Manchester United searched for the winner.
United skipper Nemanja Vidic misjudged his header on 78 minutes following Giggs’ corner, but the tough-tackling centre-back couldn’t guide his header on target.
Zamora almost put Fulham in front a minute later when he was picked out from a set-piece, but his shot went agonisingly wide of Van der Sar’s goal.
Manchester United continued to pile on the pressure, although Stockdale wasn’t made to do much. They regained the lead when Hangeland unluckily put threw his own net seven minutes from time.
Nani missed the chance to wrap up the win from the penalty spot, as Stockdale saved well diving to his right. It was a soft penalty for Manchester United, as referee Peter Walton penalised Duff for an unintentional handball.
Hangeland redeemed himself when he equalised with a towering header a minute before injury time.
The match was a thriller, and Fulham deserved to take a point, leaving Manchester United disappointed with the way they let the win slip from their grasp.




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