After Nani had collected possession just inside the Fulham half, he worked his way down the left wing before pulling a low cross back to the unmarked Danny Welbeck to sweep into the far corner in the fifth minute. In truth, it was poor marking from the Cottagers, but a very tidy finish from the England international.
Giggs could have made it two three minutes later, but Jones’ lovely curling cross was just too far ahead of the midfield veteran who had burst into the area.
The Reds looked very much in the mood, while Martin Jol’s side looked distinctively out of sorts and unable to cope with United’s attacking exploits. Rooney, Giggs and Nani all tested David Stockdale soon after, but the Fulham keeper was up to the task to ensure the Cottagers remained in the game, for the time being anyway.
At the other end Bryan Ruiz got in ahead of Jones after a neat one-two in the area, but the defender recovered brilliantly with a last-ditch tackle to clear the danger. It was even more impressive given Jones was clearly still struggling with the earlier head injury; indeed his fine tackle turned out to be his last piece of action after he signalled to the bench he couldn’t carry on.
Ashley Young replaced him and immediately took up a position on the left with Nani switching to the right and Antonio Valencia moving to Jones’ right-back position. And it was the Ecuadorian’s link-up with Giggs, from a short corner, which led to United’s second on 28 minutes. Giggs and Valencia swapped passes before the veteran curled an inviting cross into the area which Nani headed into the far corner.
The Reds should have been given the opportunity to make it three just after the half-hour mark, but referee Mark Halsey somehow managed to