Discussing Manchester United’s first goal against Fulham 0

I criticise Fulham so often now, that it’s almost feels quite mean-spirited: even so, their first-half performance against Manchester United was abject, and it warrants some harsh words.

Above is the beginning of the sequence which leads to the goal, and at this stage there’s no danger - Fulham are man-for-man and defensively secure.

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…but then begins the sequence of errors. Fernando Amorebieta gets turned far too easily by Robin van Persie, and Philippe Senderos gets caught between two decisions: cutting out the through-ball and tracking Wayne Rooney - in the end doing neither.

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Once Rooney breaks the line, every attending Fulham defender is sucked-in towards the middle of the goal leaving Antonio Valencia all the time in the world to score at the back-post. It sounds harsh, because it’s a natural reaction for defenders to attempt to cut-out a square ball, but Fulham need to play with more intelligence than that - and, you can’t help but notice that Amorebieta isn’t even in the shot at this point: even though he’s been beaten by van Persie, he’s still responsible for him. Jogging back towards your penalty-box when the opposition is breaking just isn’t good enough at this level.

Not great.

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