Premier League champions Manchester United were unable to beat bottom of the table side Fulham on Sunday, in a game that they were desperate to win in order to close the gap on Liverpool.

Here we take a look at five things we learnt after this weekend's encounter between David Moyes' side and Fulham.

1. Manchester United dominated the game with a whopping 75 per cent possession but lacked that creative incision that Juan Mata was meant to provide.

Despite having 81 crosses, (a record since Opta began), United failed to create a great deal. Mata may have three assists in three games, but this game showed that United need more from the wide areas and quickly.

Ashley Young may have had a slight renaissance of late, and Adnan Januzaj has undoubted talent, but United must seek a world-class winger in the summer.

2. Despite being camped in the Fulham half for the entire game, the United defence still seemed vulnerable.

Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling left a massive gap, in which a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet could have zoomed into, never mind Steve Sidwell for the first goal! In addition these two and the defence in general looked very susceptible on the counter.

If Kieran Richardson had showed a little more conviction, he could have given Fulham a 2-0 lead before half-time. A centre-back must be signed to replace the departing Vidic in the summer.

3. As previously mentioned, United dominated the match and when a team such as Fulham comes to Old Trafford, they are obviously going to defend very deep.

This means on such occasions the full-backs must attack to good effect, yet Rafael was as guilty as Ashley Young on wasting good crossing opportunities as he just punted the ball aimlessly onto the heads of the Fulham defenders.

Patrice Evra faired a little better, with some good combination play with both Young and Mata, but more should be expected. It is no wonder that Moyes is also looking at full-backs for the transfer window after this performance.

4. One of the few positives to take from the game was the midfield partnership of Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher who helped to dictate the tempo of the game and boss the midfield battle.

This must of course be put into some perspective as Fulham were more than happy to let these two have the ball in areas where they couldn’t cause much damage. A rare goal for Carrick however could lead to United fans hoping that he can get somewhere back to the imperious form he showed last season.

5. Finally a little note on Fulham. Although United have been poor at home this season, it is still a fantastic result for them to get a draw at Old Trafford, especially as they were bombarded for 90 minutes.

The defensive resolve they showed in this game combined with the late leveller from Darren Bent could give them that psychological boost that they need for the rest of this relegation battle. With new signing Konstantinos Mitroglou to recover from injury also, there is some hope yet for Fulham fans.


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Topics:
Fulham
Premier League
Manchester United
Football