Fulham 1-2 Manchester United: Four Things We Learned

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Manchester United are back to their winning ways in the Premier League, as Erik Ten Hag’s side has returned from London with three points. Man United defeated Fulham 2-1 in the final match before the World Cup break, thanks to a Christian Eriksen opener and Alejandro Garnacho’s stoppage time winner. It was former Man United winger Daniel James that inevitably scored after the hour mark to make it 1-1, but the young Argentine proved to be the Red Devils’ saviour.

Eriksen’s First Man United Goal

Man United managed to get in front thanks to a Christian Eriksen strike and it felt odd that his first goal in a Man United shirt came only now. But this goal highlighted the usefulness of Eriksen since he arrived. Ten Hag found a new role fore him in central midfield, his performances have been consistently good and many times the Dane is the player that no one notices how much he does on the pitch. He had his assists, but now he came forward, finishing off of a Bruno Fernandes cross to give United the lead.

Ten Hag Forced To Move McTominay Up Front

Man United started the match with Martial up front, but the Frenchman had to come off after 72 minutes. With about 20 minutes to play and the score at 1-1, Ten Hag was forced to do the unusual thing and bring Scott McTominay in the game to play as the striker. With Cristiano Ronaldo’s illness (and shocking interview he gave that was published after the match), and with Sancho being out as well, Ten Hag had limited options. This further highlighted how short of strikers United really are and that they should strengthen there during January transfer window, McTominay came on. He had one chance from a header, but he shot over the bar.

Garnacho The Saviour

Happily for everyone at Man United, there was someone else who was able to score the winning goal. The match was getting closer to ending as a draw, but the young and exciting talent Alejandro Garnacho proved to be the key man. Against Aston Villa, it was his beautiful assist for McTominay that led to fourth goal being scored in stoppage time. This time, he was the one to put the ball in the net, after Eriksen’s assist, scoring his second goal for Man United. It was this youngster’s goal that helped the team get to hugely needed three points after that Villa loss last weekend.

United In Good Place Before World Cup

Ultimately, this tough win was a really important one for Manchester United. In their last match before the World Cup, they got to their eighth win of the season, standing in fifth place with 26 points. United are four points ahead of Liverpool and five in front of Chelsea, who are both still struggling. On the other hand, United are three and four points behind Tottenham and Newcastle respectively, but with a game in hand to be played during 2023. This puts United in a great position to fight for a top four finish after the World Cup, with Erik Ten Hag getting the time to work with a good chunk of his squad during then next six weeks. Hopefully his United side post-World Cup will look even better after getting coached without all the matches in between.

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