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Live text commentary – Manchester United v Fulham [click here]

by Josh Powell | August 25, 2012

BOUNCING BACK: Fergie will be expecting a response after defeat to Everton

Swansea 3-0 West Ham FT
Aston Villa 1-3 Everton FT
Manchester United 3-2 Fulham FT
Norwich 1-1 QPR FT
Southampton 0-2 Wigan FT
Tottenham 1-1 West Brom FT
Sunderland v Reading – Called off

After Monday night’s defeat to Everton you can expect United to respond in a big way at Old Trafford today. RVP is expected to start as Ferguson’s men look to kick-start their season. Fulham, on the other hand got their campaign off to a blistering start with a 5-0 demolition job of Norwich. The Cottagers were impressive in the opening weekend and can pose problems for the home side today.

Elsewhere there’s a whole host of footy to keep you updated on with three other Premier League clashes. Unfortunately Sunderland’s game with Reading was called off due to a waterlogged pitch. Sounds like the weather in the North East has been nothing short of horrendous!

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5.05pm: RVP and Kagawa both played well again and Valencia appeared to thrive being back on the wing. One up top would seem to suit the way Sir Alex wants United to play but where does that leave Rooney? It’ll be very interesting to see how they line up against Southampton next week.

5.02pm: Got your breath back? A cracking pace to the game and it looked like Fulham were going to come away with a point. It was probably the right result in the end but United will be concerned about how weak they were defensively. Fulham were threatening going forward and will take heart out of a great performance.

4.58pm: It’s all over and United have won but Fulham gave it everything. What a game! Duff put them ahead inside the first few minutes before a stunning volley from RVP levelled it up. Kagawa and Rafael scored before the break and United looked comfy 3-1 ahead. A mix up defensively led to a Vidic own goal and then it was all hands on deck as Fulham pressed for the equaliser. An incredible game at Old Trafford.

4.56pm: SAVE! De Gea pushes out a header and United have their backs to the wall here. Fulham are getting closer!

4.55pm: Rooney is in clear discomfort and is being stretchered off. That will need a lot of stitches, it really is a gaping gash. A horrible looking injury.

4.53pm: United are throwing bodies in front of everything as Fulham attack and there’s a nasty injury to Rooney who has a horrible gash down his right leg. It looked an accidental clash with Rodallega but that is a terrible looking injury.

4.52pm: It comes to nothing but they have won a free-kick. United have every single player back in their own box.

4.51pm: Four minutes of added time and Fulham have a corner…

4.50pm: Equaliser at White Hart Lane! West Brom are level and it’s Morrison who has made it 1-1.

4.48pm: Wigan go 2-0 up, Kone has slotted the ball home to put them two goals ahead against Southampton.

4.46pm: Cleverley flashes a shot narrowly wide. Giggs is looking very composed in the middle of the park and United are trying to take the sting out of this game.

4.45pm: Still a great pace to the game and there could easily be another twist before the end. A little over five minutes left on the clock. Doubt Fergie will want too much injury time here.

4.42pm: Fulham looking dangerous! Rodallega has a shot that comes off Carrick and fizzes over the bar.

4.41pm: Subs for both teams. Giggs comes on for Anderson and Diarra makes way for Baird.

4.41pm: Ten minutes to go. Will there be an equaliser? It’s 8/1 to end in a draw.

4.38pm: Rooney ploughs a free-kick into the wall from 25 yards and then Rafael pings a fierce drive from the edge of the box which is tipped over the bar.

4.36pm: Rooney puts a header over at Old Trafford and it feels like the momentum is changing again. United in the ascendancy now.

4.35pm: GOALS! Villa have pulled one back against Everton through El Ahmadi to make it 3-1 and Spurs have taken the lead against West Brom thanks to Assou-Ekotto.

4.33pm: And now Petric makes way for Rodallega.

4.32pm: What an astonishing game this is! 7/1 for the draw now.

4.31pm: 20 minutes to go and United are living dangerously.

4.30pm: It’s all Fulham! De Gea pulls off two good saves from Dembele and United can’t get a grip on this game. Fulham definitely look like the more likely team to score here.

4.29pm: DOUBLE SUB. Kagawa and Young come off for Danny Welbeck and some fella called Wayne Rooney.

4.27pm: The draw is now 8/1 and from being 1/200 United are now 1/18 to hold on.

4.25pm: SCHOOL BOY ERROR. Fulham back in it 3-2. Vidic and De Gea both go for the same ball which is whipped in towards Petric and it looks like the ball has ended up in the back of the net off Vidic. A really messy goal to concede and Fulham can sense a shock here!

4.24pm: United knocking it around the Fulham box with ease looking to create an opening. Van Persie is 7/2 to score next, Kagawa is 11/2 and Young is 8/1.

4.21pm: Half an hour to go and Sidwell comes on for Kacaniklic.

4.19pm: Rafael puts a header just over the bar. He’s playing more like a winger than a right-back. United look comfy.

4.17pm: Things are getting worse if you’re a Villa fan. Clark has been given a straight red card for being the last defender and taking out Jelavic. Not a great day for Paul Lambert’s side.

4.15pm: It’s 13/5 to end 4-1 to United and 9/2 to finish 5-1. Do you fancy Fulham to snatch it? 4-3 to Martin Jol’s side is 375/1.

4.13pm: So close! Carrick with a bullet header. Unfortunately for him it was at his own goal. The ball clips the roof of the net with De Gea stranded and the corner is wasted. Fulham showing they’re still a danger in this game.

4.12pm: Tony Valencia is having a great game on the right-hand side. He flashes a couple of crosses into the Fulham box but the Cottagers survive.

4.10pm: Le Tiss is gutted on Soccer Saturday. Wigan lead away at Southampton and it’s Di Santo who has put the Latics 1-0 ahead.

4.07pm: United have started quickly again and everyone seems hungry for goals. Ferguson will have wanted a response after the Everton game and he’s getting it. Fulham can’t catch a break and Martin Jol must be so frustrated. You could imagine Petric giving Carrick all sorts of problems if they could get themselves into the game.

4.06pm: Second half is off and underway.

4.05pm: Update on the betting for you. United are 1/100 now with Fulham all the way out to 250/1 with the draw at 35/1. Over 5.5 goals looks appealing as well at 8/11. If the first half is anything to go by we could be seeing plenty more names on the score-sheet.

3.55pm: Some cracking games elsewhere today. Everton lead 3-0 at Villa Park and it’s level in the three other clashes.

3.50pm: A blistering first half comes to an end. Fulham took the lead early through Duff but since then it’s been all United. RVP, Kagawa and Rafael with the goals and Wayne Rooney can only look on from the bench. Impressive from Fergie’s side after an early set-back.

3.48pm: Young is back up and hobbling but will continue. Two minutes till the break.

3.46pm: Coming up to half-time and Everton go 3-0 up. Jelavic with the goal this time. Who said Everton are slow starters?!

3.45pm: Ashley Young looks in a lot of pain here. Seems to have injured himself trying to tackle Ruiz.

3.42pm: What a game! Out of nothing Fulham are almost back in it. Petric forces a great save out of De Gea and then the rebound is hit goal-bound by the striker again only for it to hit the bar harder than Andy Carroll on a Friday night.

3.40pm: GOAL! Ashley Young picks out Rafael at the back post and the little Brazilian nods it home. United are all over Fulham here who can’t get out of their own box. This could easily turn into a rout. 3-1 to United.

3.39pm: Kagawa’s goal came after Schwarzer had spilled a long-range shot from Cleverley. The keeper will be disappointed with that one to be honest.

3.37pm: Post. Goal? No! Madness. Kagawa sells two players with the dummy and places a shot against the post, Young follows it up only for Schwarzer to save and then Rafael knocks it in but is correctly deemed to be offside.

3.35pm: GOAL! United take the lead! It’s 2-1 and Kagawa adds his name to the score-sheet.

3.34pm: Hangelaand picks up a yellow card for absolutely flooring Rafael.

3.33pm: 2-0 to Everton. It’s Fellaini with a towering header once again for the blues and Villa are up against it. That 7/5 now looks absolutely huge!

3.31pm: Great tekkers from De Gea. Petric closes down the keeper who does him with some fancy footwork that Messi would have been proud of. Petric was made to look very very silly by the United shot-stopper.

3.30pm: Valencia has just curled a shot wide from 20 yards. Young, Kagawa and Valencia are all happy to drift across the pitch and change positions and Fulham are struggling to pick them up.

3.28pm: A rare Fulham attack has led to a couple of corners but they come to nothing. Martin Jol is cutting a very frustrated figure in the dugout.

3.26pm: Here’s that Van Persie goal for you. Feast your eyes on this beauty! What a way to open your account for a new club.

3.24pm: Good chance wasted by Young there. United break and Kagawa slips in the Englishman who comes in off the left and blazes it over. It is all United here.

3.22pm: Kagawa tests Schwarzer from range but it’s easy for the keeper.

3.20pm: Equaliser for QPR! 1-1 and Bobby Zamora knocks in the rebound after Ruddy had saved a penalty.

3.17pm: Valencia wins a free-kick in a dangerous position but it’s wasted as RVP does a Nani and hits the first man.

3.15pm: United certainly looking like the more likely to take the lead here and are 3/1o to score the next goal.

3.13pm: Great pace to the game at Old Trafford and Fulham are responding well to that equaliser from RVP.

3.12pm: Norwich have gone 1-0 up against QPR through Jackson.

3.11pm: OH WOW! RVP what a hit! It’s 1-1 and that is a stunning goal! Evra with the cross and Van Persie hits it on the volley from the edge of the box and it flashes into the corner!

3.10pm: UNBELIEVABLE! Valencia just used his left foot! The cross came to nothing though.

3.08pm: United are probing but are struggling to break down Fulham who have got plenty of men behind the ball. Kagawa and RVP are linking up well for the home side.

3.05pm: Goal at Villa Park as well. Everton 1-0 up against Aston Villa and it’s Pienaar with the goal. I said that 7/5 looked tasty!

3.04pm: Petric made a fool out of Carrick and won a free-kick and it was straight off the training ground! A clever pass across the box and Duff had spun away from Young to slot home.

3.02pm: GOAL! What a start! Fulham 1-0 up and it’s Duffer with the goal!

3.00pm: And we’re off! The countdown was brilliant by the way. 

2.57pm: The teams are on the pitch and it’s fair to say United’s kit isn’t looking any better. Fulham’s on the other hand is looking good. Early boost for the Cottagers there.

2.55pm: Five minutes to go! I have set up a massive clock in the office so I can create a Euro 2012 style countdown to kick-off.

2.52pm: Over 3.5 goals is 11/8 which is tasty. Both teams have plenty of options going forward. United’s threat is obvious but Fulham knocked in five don’t forget last week and defensively there are question marks over Carrick and Rafael.

2.47pm: I am very excited to see United going forward today. Young, Valencia and Kagawa in behind Van Persie is mouthwatering.

2.43pm: Elsewhere today 7/5 on Everton to pick up three points at Villa Park keeps catching my eye. The Toffees looked very impressive on Monday night whereas Villa were uninspiring in their loss to West Ham.

2.41pm: I’m going to apologise in advance for being bias towards RVP. He’s my fantasy football captain.

2.37pm: Fair play to Swansea – two games, two wins, eight goals scored, none conceded and the football they’re playing is a delight to watch. They are 100/1 to be in the top four if you fancy them to keep it up for the next 30-odd games!

2.35pm: Petric looked sharp last week and got a brace in Fulham’s 5-0 thumping of Norwich. He’s 11/1 to open the scoring this afternoon with Paddy Power.

2.31pm: And a little after time here is the Fulham team.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Briggs, Duff, Diarra, Dembele, Kacaniklic, Ruiz, Petric.
Subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Baird, Sidwell, Kasami, Rodallega, Halliche

2.28pm: With Tony back on the wing I fancy him to get on the score-sheet today. Valencia to find the onion bag at anytime and United to get the three points makes a tasty looking 4/1 wincast.

2.25pm: Here’s some odds for you to get stuck into. United are 3/10 for the win with Fulham at a whopping 10/1 and the draw is 4/1. RVP is 3/1 to open the scoring as he leads the line for the home side. If you fancy United to respond to Fergie’s hairdryer treatment they are 21/10 on the handicap (-2)

2.23pm: Carrick is still at centre-back alongside Vidic but Tony Valencia is back to his usual spot on the wing with Rafael slipping in at full-back.

2.20pm: The United bench looks like this:  Lindegaard, Evans, Rooney, Giggs, Henandez, Welbeck, Scholes.

I presume Martin Jol is fielding a team but he just hasn’t told anyone yet the little rascal. I’ll keep my eye out for it.

2.19pm: So Rooney makes the bench but Nani isn’t even in the squad. Both players were shocking on Monday night to be fair. Is this the end of Nani’s United career?

2.17pm: Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Carrick, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Cleverley, Anderson, Kagawa, Young; van Persie

2.16pm: WAYNE ROONEY DROPPED

2.15pm: Team news is in and there’s drama!

2.14pm: In the early kick-off Swansea lead West Ham 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium. Life after Brendan Rodgers doesn’t seem that bad now does it?

2.10pm: A quick reminder that Sunderland’s clash with Reading has been called off due to the rain. Quite incredible that the pitch is waterlogged in August really and a tough result for any Reading fans that had made the 300 mile trip.

2.08pm: Less than an hour until the 3.00pm games get underway and I’ve just knocked a brew over in excitement! Nothing beats a dose of top quality footy on a Saturday!

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