Man United   3

van Persie (10), Kagawa (35), Rafael (41)

Fulham   2

Duff (3), Vidic (OG 64)

Saturday 25 August Old Trafford | Attendance: 75,352

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Man United
1De Gea
2Rafaelgoal
16Carrick
15Vidicgoal
3Evra
7Valencia
23Cleverley
8Andersonsub11
26Kagawagoalsub10
18Youngsub19
20van Persiegoal
Subs:
13Lindegaard
6Evans
10Rooneysub26
11Giggssub8
14Hernandez
19Welbecksub18
22Scholes
Fulham
1Schwarzer
27Riether
18Hughes
5Hangelandyellow card
28Briggs
16Duffgoal
19Diarrasub6
19Dembele
31Kacaniklicsub7
11Ruiz
10Petricsub20
Subs:
12Stockdale
27Kelly
6Bairdsub19
7Sidwellsub31
8Kasami
20Rodallegasub10
32Halliche

Report

25/08/2012 16:00, Report by Steve Bartram
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United 3 Fulham 2

Persie and Kagawa after impressive approach play, before the Reds drew level in sensational fashion in the tenth minute.

Inevitably, it came from the left boot of van Persie. The lively Patrice Evra whipped in a cross from the left which skipped up awkwardly off the rain-sodden turf, yet the summer’s marquee signing made a mockery of such inconveniences, peeling away from Brede Hangeland before sweeping a majestic finish high into Mark Schwarzer’s goal.

Old Trafford, inevitably, erupted in recognition of the new figure on centre stage. The roar was also tinged with relief that the visitors had been so swiftly pegged back. Fulham, to their credit, appeared unaffected by the Dutchman’s strike and continued to push forward with intent whenever the situation arose.

It took quick thinking and fancy footwork from De Gea to niftily manoeuvre away from Petric, moments before Valencia arrowed a shot past Schwarzer’s top corner. Ten minutes before the interval, United moved into the lead for the first time with another goal from a home debutant.

Van Persie’s right wing corner was only cleared as far as Tom Cleverley, whose thunderous low shot was parried out by Schwarzer to the lurking Kagawa, who turned in a simple finish. The visitors irately appealed for an offside decision, yet the Japanese international was played onside by Sascha Riether, who was slow to leave his position guarding the far post.

The flag that Fulham were waiting for arrived two minutes later to spare them another concession. Rafael’s alertness fed Kagawa, whose shot struck the base of Schwarzer’s post. Though Young’s follow-up was spilled and turned in by Rafael, the Brazilian was correctly called offside.

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