Five Things We Learned From The Fulham Game
3) Berbatov showed why he should not be forgotten
With Berbatov finding himself on the bench with increasing regularity of late, it certainly would have done his confidence no harm in justifying his starting place with a goal. He will not mind that he was marginally offside for his goal, notching up his 22nd of an impressive season and looked energetic and involved spearheading the United attack.
Besides the good finish for his goal there were plenty of moments where he looked to create openings, showing good link up play with Anderson and showing signs of creativity as well as looking to be the target man for Nani and Valencia. An impressive outing for him, giving a clear indication that he is not to be forgotten at Old Trafford.
4) Anderson made a welcome return
With Anderson’s impressive midweek outing and second half brace for the reserves, Ferguson will have only been too keen to welcome him back to the first team squad and further aid his regaining of match fitness with a starting place on Saturday. Having been out with knee trouble, returns from injuries such as his, as well as the likes of Ferdinand and Valencia earlier, was exactly what United needed at the business end of a season where they are competing on three fronts. It is perhaps a shame that he was unable to add to his 2 goals in 121 appearances, never truly looking like getting on the scoresheet, summed up by a terrible effort later in the game that dribbled hopelessly wide. Despite this, with his encouraging displays prior to his injury, his return to the squad will have made for good news in the United camp.
5) Rooney’s ban did no harm
With everyone having their input on Rooney’s ban, including a “wee” policeman from the Midlands, a small incident made far more headlines than it ever should. The subsequent two match ban left Ferguson feeling aggrieved as well as many questioning the fairness of such a decision. With his absence, some may have wondered if United would slip up, considering his influence in recent games. However, as it the way with Ferguson, the squad clearly did not dwell on such inconveniences, able to do what was required of them efficiently and showcasing the fact that they have the appropriate firepower for victory in his absence.
So with a valuable three points at Old Trafford earned, United found themselves 10 points clear by Saturday evening. Although never truly getting into top gear, it was nevertheless an impressive and efficient display against a Fulham side that never truly troubled United’s defences.
The back four looked a solid united, with Smalling, in place of Ferdinand, providing another assured display that gave yet more reason to believe that he can adequately replace him in the line up and continue his superb debut season. Although there is daylight at the summit of the league, one must not forget Arsenal’s two games in hand, and if any are dropped against Blackpool on Sunday, the signs for United will certainly look bright as they look to regain the Premier League, winning for the 19th time.
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