For the first time since August 2018, Manchester United have now moved into top 4. With a comfortable three-goal victory over Fulham, United now sit at the position which guarantees a Champions League spot next season. Pogba scored a brace, continuing his excellent transformation under Solskjaer which takes his tally to 11 goals in the league this season.
Fulham sits in the relegation zone, but they also have improved drastically under Ranieri. They even came back from behind to win 4-2 at home recently against Brighton. But with just 2 clean
With PSG due coming Tuesday, followed by Chelsea and Liverpool, Solskjaer opted to rest some of his main players. Rashford and Lingard made way for Lukaku and Mata. The back line was also changed with only Shaw retaining his place. However, the trusted midfield trio was still there and it seems they are going to have few hectic days.
Ranieri’s teams always look on for counter-attacks and Fulham have adopted the same as well. The home side started well and looked dangerous in the first 10 minutes. Manchester United took time but slowly got into the groove and started controlling the game. Martial made some great runs dribbling pass from the left side which eventually led to an assist followed by a beautifully completely solo goal.
Martial found Pogba for the first goal who scored it decisively from a difficult angle. Everyone expected him to pass it over to Lukaku but he capitalized on the gap left by the goalkeeper on the near post to score his 10th of the season. Jones then found Martial who did what he does best, running through the defenders and placing it in the right bottom corner.
With three very important games coming up it was expected from Manchester United to slow it down and look to finish the game. Fulham never looked to have recovered from the goals and was looking miles behind the visitors. At certain moments Mitrovic tried using his strength but nothing ever materialized for the home team.
Lukaku then made a great run to find Mata, who was fouled inside the box resulting in a penalty for United. Pogba who has been taking up penalties this season stepped up and scored again. Pogba was then substituted along with Herrera in order to save them for the next game.
The game ended with the three away goals and three important points for Manchester United. Who now sit 4th in the league and if Chelsea loses to City tomorrow, will continue to do so. A spot which looked miles away when the last manager was in charge.
David DeGea: Had busy first few minutes but nothing later on. Was not tested at all. Got into an argument in the end to get an unnecessary yellow. =>6
Dalot: Probably the long term solution at the right back position. Still needs to work on his crosses but was effective both defensively and when going forward. =>6
Smalling: Looked composed even though was playing after nearly two months. Could have easily given away the penalty but was good overall. =>6
Jones: Looked much better in every aspect of the game. Fresh after signing a new long term contract, got an assist as well. =>7
Shaw: Looked good again. Could be more useful up forward and needs to get on the assist and goals sheet. =>6
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Herrera: Midfield machine. Brilliant both with and without the ball. Made some great interceptions and needs to quickly sign that contract. =>8
Matic: Could miss the next game with that yellow today. Did his job as expected defensively. =>6
Pogba: Enjoying his best goal scoring season with 11 already. Was simply brilliant throughout. =>8
Martial: Back at his threatning best. Tore the defense apart on multiple occasion and deserves a place in the starting lineup against PSG. =>8
Lukaku: Made the third goal but still doesnt look like displacing Rashford from the strikers role. Needs to work on his first touch, looses the ball way to often. =>5
Mata: Impressed with his passes and movements. Still would be replaced by Lingard in the upcoming games. =>6
Alexis, McTominay and Bailly were the substitues used by Solskjaer. Alexis missed a one on one which could have really boosted his confidence. Scotty and Bailly did well to see off the game.
It was good from Manchester United to turn up professionally in the game considering the fixtures ahead. Squad rotation also worked well and it seems the glory road to the stars continues for them and Solskjaer. Onto the next one with still no defeat and sky high confidence.