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MATCH REPORT ~ Fulham draw at Man Utd ~ Prem MD37 20/21

last updated Tuesday 18th May 2021, 10:36 PM

Match Report

Manchester United (1) 1-1 (0) Fulham

Premier League Match Day 37 at Old Trafford

Tuesday 18th May 2021    KO: 18:00

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

Live on Sky Sports

Fulham defender Joe Bryan
Fulham defender
Joe Bryan
Joe Bryan
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Fulham defender Joe Bryan's bullet header cancelled out a controversial Edinson Cavani goal to give Fulham an impressive point at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening.

In an action-packed first half in front of returning fans, Cavani bagged a fantastic lob despite possibly being offside as he ran through.

But Fulham fought back and got their reward as Bryan connected with Bobby De Cordova-Reid's cross to square the contest.

Scott Parker made four changes from his St. Mary’s men, as Tim Ream came back into the fold to captain the side. Also reinstated into the starters were Bryan, Mario Lemina and Ademola Lookman in a new-look line-up.

The 10,000-strong United fans sent a wave of energy crashing onto the pitch as the players emerged on a calm but almost surreal night at Old Trafford.

As the game got underway it became clear how the Fulham boys in yellow were shaped up defensively. Lemina was right of a back three with Tosin central and Ream on the left, whilst Bryan and De Cordova-Reid slotted in as wing backs.

Both teams took five minutes to find their feet on the iconic turf, but it was United who had the first half-chance on goal. Aaron Wan-Bissaka found space down the right and floated one in towards the imposing Paul Pogba, but the Frenchman’s header looped well over his fellow countryman’s bar.

Match Stats Man Utd Fulham
Goals (1) 1 1 (0)
Scorers Cavani 15 Bryan 76
Goal attempts 13 8
On target 6 5
Shooting Accuracy 0% 0%
Possession 57% 43%
Passes Success 87% 82%
Corners 6 1
Tackles Success 54% 52%
Saves 4 5
Fouls 10 15
Offsides 4 1
Yellows 2 3
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
The Red Devils then had the next opportunity to conjure some danger after 11 minutes. Mason Greenwood buckled under Harrison Reed’s challenge on the corner of the box, but the delivery wasn’t on the money and Tosin was unchallenged to clear.

A few minutes later and United were in front in some style. David De Gea’s low driven ball down the middle appeared to be flicked on by Bruno Fernandes ahead of Tosin and Cavani was through on goal. Taking a look up, the Uruguayan spotted Alphonse Areola off his line and went for the lob from distance, executing it to perfection to give his side the lead.

On later inspection, Fernandes may not have got a touch, sparking questions from the Fulham camp of an offside. Even in slow motion, that one looked hard to call.

Fulham stayed on task and almost had a break of their own moments later as Frank Anguissa sent Ivan Cavaleiro on his way high up field slotting him through, only for Fernandes to trip his Portuguese compatriot and halt the charge.

After some sloppy play under intense pressure gifted the ball back to the hosts, Fernandes got involved again this time getting a shot of his own off from 25 yards. Areola was equal to it though and saved comfortably with a dive to his right.

Just shy of the hour mark Fulham had another whiff of goal, this time from a corner well won from Fabio Carvalho after a speedy burst upfield. Cavaleiro held one up to the back post where Anguissa was lurking, but his header was gathered by De Gea in the end.

An injury meant an enforced change soon after, as Joachim Andersen had to replace Reed who couldn’t carry on, as Lemina was pushed back into his favourable defensive midfield position.

Several minutes before the interval came the clearest cut chance of the game so far, and it fell to our youngster Carvalho. Fresh from scoring on his full debut against Southampton last trip out, our fresh-faced forward proved too hot to handle for Victor Lindelof and found himself one-on-one with De Gea. In the end though his shot was rushed, and it was comfortable enough for the Spanish shot stopper.

Fulham came out of the blocks flying in the second half and had a sight on goal 90 seconds after the restart. Cavaleiro’s free kick was cleared only as far as Lemina who flashed an effort goalward first time, but the connection was lacking and it petered wide.

Fernandes was looking lively in this game and was next to go close, hitting a free kick from a promising position on the edge of the D narrowly wide.

With another free kick from the Portuguese man came further danger soon after. Greenwood looked to profit from a looping delivery from the right, but Areola got down smartly to parry the close-range shot which turned out to be offside anyway.

Up the other end and Parker’s men were creating chances of their own. Bryan’s ball through for Ademola Lookman caused panic in the United backline and required a sprawling De Gea to parry, only as far as Carvalho though who couldn’t quite generate enough power on his header to bag a goal.

On the 73rd minute it took another Areola stop to prevent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side getting a second. Greenwood raced through on goal after being fed through into the space, but his shot was blocked brilliantly by our number one at his near post.

The Whites had certainly put in a solid shift in the Old Trafford theatre, and were rewarded with an equaliser with a quarter of an hour to play.

Anguissa drove dynamically up field before handing off to De Cordova-Reid wide on the right. His cross was on a postage stamp to his good mate Bryan, who couldn’t believe his luck to be unmarked at the back post and planted his header home accordingly.

The game was balanced on a knife edge now as United looked to put on a show for their fans, but Fulham were far from letting them pull off a fairytale return for the red army and showed a subtle confidence in possession to close out the contest.

Overall a spirited display against the Europa League finalists merited the Whites a solid point as we look to end the season with pride. Next up comes our final fixture with Newcastle United at a fan-residing Craven Cottage on Sunday.

Manchester United: de Gea, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Fred, Fernandes, Pogba, Greenwood (Amad 83), McTominay (Rashford 62), Cavani (van de Beek 87)

Unused substitutes: Williams, Matic, Bailly, Alex Telles, Mata, Henderson,

Cavani 15 (Edinson Cavani instantly a fans favourite at this club. De Gea punts a ball forward into midfield, and Fernandes looks to flick the ball for on-running Cavani behind a high Fulham line. Cavani spots Areola off his line from 40 yards, and he lifts a brilliant effort over the Fulham goalkeeper! A truly magnificent goal.)

Booked: Fernandes (18,f), Shaw (89,f)

Fulham: Areola, Bryan, Adarabioyo, Lemina, Ream, Zambo Anguissa, Reed (Andersen 32), De Cordova-Reid, Lookman (Tete 89), Carvalho (Loftus-Cheek 63), Ivan Cavaleiro

Unused substitutes: Maja, Odoi, Onomah, Hector, Rodak, Aina,

Bryan 76 (Reid is found on the right as Shaw went in for a 50-50 with Anguissa... Reid gets free down the right and hangs one to the back post, finding Bryan to head into the floor and past De Gea!)

Booked: Lemina (51,f), Lookman (87,f), Areola (90+3,tw)

Referee: Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

Attendance: 0

Source Jack Pooley at Fulham FC
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