Premier League match time returns to Old Trafford with Manchester United set to host Fulham in match week 32 on Saturday, April 9, in the second of a two-legged contest.
The first, hosted by Fulham on August 22, 2010, ended in a 2-2 stalemate. Manchester United began well, and got into an early lead in the 12th minute on the back of a goal by old war horse Scholes off a corner forced by Berbatov. It was Berbatov again who set up the goal by passing the ball, off the corner kick, to an unmarked Scholes, 25 yards away from the goal-line. The sides went into the break, with United leading by the solitary goal.
But Fulham refused to give up and got back to level terms in the 58th minute when Simon Davies fired the equaliser. An own goal by Hangeland set Fulham back again, on 84 minutes. Three minutes later came the defining moment of the game when Duff handled the ball. Nani took the penalty and his shot came at perfect height for Stockdale in the Fulham goal to save. United were left to rue the miss as two minutes later Hangeland compensated for his own goal by scoriing Fulham’s second equaliser of the game.
For United, the result also meant that they trailed Chelsea at the top of the table, though it was fairly early in the season.
Head to head, Manchester United hold a 12-3 lead in the last 20 league games played between the sides, with the remaining 5 matches drawn.
In their last 10 league games, Manchester United have registered 7 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses; Fulham have won 5 of their last 10, while losing 1 and drawing the remaining 4. Of their 15 home games this season, Manchester United have won 14, and drawn the remaining one, while Fulham have won just one of their 15 games on the road, while losing 6 and drawing the remaining 8.
In match week 31, Manchester United won 4-2 away at West Ham; Fulham beat Blackpool 3-0 at home.
At this stage of the tournament, with just seven match weeks to go, United are clear leaders at the top of the table, and will seek to keep second placed Arsenal at bay, as they close in on a record-breaking 19th league title. Fulham will be up against a hungry Old Trafford squad, and will need more than luck to salvage any points from the game.
Manchester United’s starting eleven against West Ham had the following players: Kuszczak, Da Silva, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Gibson, Carrick, Park, Giggs and Rooney. Hernandez, Berbatov and Nani featured as substitutes.
Fulham had the following men in their starting eleven against Blackpool: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido, Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Dempsey, Zamora and Dembele. Johnson, Davies and Sidwell were used as substitutes.
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An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.