Football

Manchester United hold off Fulham fightback

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Van Persie scored on his home debut (©GettyImages)
Van Persie scored on his home debut (©GettyImages).

Debut goals from Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa helped Manchester United come from behind to beat Fulham.

Sir Alex Ferguson sprung a surprise in the starting lineup, dropping Wayne Rooney to the bench and handing Robin van Persie his first start since the Dutchman joined the Old Trafford side.

But the west Londoners started brightly and went ahead through Damien Duff inside 6 minutes but Robin van Persie equalised just four minutes later.

Two more goals in the first half from summer signing Shinji Kagawa and Rafael Da Silva put Manchester United in the driving seat at half time.

But Sir Alex Ferguson will not be happy with the way his side started, as Fulham looked dangerous every time they advanced into the Manchester United half. Once again, injuries at the heart of the United defence meant Michael Carrick had to deputise alongside Nemanja Vidic, and United looked shaky.

But going forward Ferguson's side looked much more fluent, with former-Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa justifying the hype and the Japanese midfielder was pulling the strings.

United went into the half time break 3-1 ahead, but Fulham hadn’t read the script. The Cottagers were full of industry, and went close on a number of occasions in the second period before a David De Gea mistake handed them a route back into the match.

The Spanish keeper came out to punch away a cross but wasn't strong enough, with the ball bouncing into the United net off Vidic to make it 3-2.

Fulham star Moussa Demebele looked sharp for the visitors, who threatened to spoil the party and nick a point, but United remained firm in the last 10 minutes. Wayne Rooney did come on in the second half, but it was bad news for the England man, who was stretchered off in injury time with a deep gash to his knee.

Still, Manchester United managed to hold on for the victory, the first of their Premier League season.

Topics:
Robin Van Persie
Fulham
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
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