Manchester United ran wild against Fulham at Old Trafford in the FA Cup beating them 4-1. Goals from Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and two from Chicharito saw United easily overcome a poor Fulham side to advance into the fifth round of the FA Cup.
United began the game very well, taking advantage of Fulham's poor defending almost immediately. Much to Fulham's horror, Aaron Hughes put a hand up for a cross and a handball was given inside the box after only two minutes played. After a string of poor penalties from a number of United players, it was Giggs' turn to step up to the spot and the 39 year old smashed his penalty kick with enough force that, even though Mark Schwarzer guessed the right way and got a hand to the ball, the ball wound up in the back of the net for Giggs' first goal of the season and United's first on the night.
United then continued to completely dominate the match by not allowing Fulham any possession or chances. Fulham's defense also left a lot to be desired and manager Martin Jol will have been left fuming at how easy it was for United to exploit space that his defenders were leaving so wide open. The truly surprising and amazing thing about the first 45 minutes was how United were not finding themselves way ahead of Fulham and out of sight. United enjoyed the majority of possession in the Fulham final third and had numerous chances on goal but could not find the back of the net. Bewilderingly, United and Fulham went into the tunnel at halftime with the Red Devils only winning 1-0.
United certainly sought to change that in the second half and become more clinical in their finishing and five minutes into the half, Rooney finally slammed the ball home after collecting a nice pass from Anderson and taking a few nice touches. The game was really over as a contest at that point but United continued to plug away always looking for more goals. Only two minutes later, Chicharito took advantage of Fulham's poor attempts at clearing the ball and scored from close range. 3-0 up in a matter of minutes and Fulham looked helpless to stop United from scoring more goals.
Chicharito would add a second and United's fourth in the 66th minute after his shot took a deflection that wrong-footed Schwarzer and ended up in the back of the net. United were certainly looking for more goals with the additions of Shinji Kagawa and Antonio Valencia for Giggs and Anderson but even though they came close, a fifth goal never came. Fulham were able to get an unlikely consolation goal when Hughes popped up with a header from a corner. United saw out the last minutes of the game comfortably and the match will give Jol plenty to think about ahead of Fulham's Premier League match against United next weekend.
Man of the Match: Wayne Rooney. The England striker played a great match constantly at the heart of all of United's forward play. His movement and passing was as good as ever and he took his much-deserved goal with world-class ability.
Manchester United: David de Gea; Rafael, Patrice Evra, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling; Anderson (Shinji Kagawa), Ryan Giggs (Antonio Valencia), Michael Carrick (Paul Scholes), Nani; Wayne Rooney, Chicharito
Fulham: Mark Schwarzer; John Arne Riise, Brede Hangeland, Chris Baird (Giorgos Karagounis), Aaron Hughes, Sascha Riether; Steve Sidwell, Damien Duff (Hugo Rodallega), Alexander Kacaniklic; Dimitar Berbatov, Bryan Ruiz (Ashkan Dejagah)
Tags: Chicharito, FA Cup, Fulham, Manchester, Manchester United, Martin Jol, Premier League, Ryan Giggs, Soccer, Wayne Rooney