Man United   1

Rooney (42)

Fulham   0

26 MARCH 2012, OLD TRAFFORD Attendance: 75,570

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Man United
1De Gea
2Rafael
6Evans
5Ferdinandsub12
3Evra
7Valencia
16Carrick
11Giggsyellow card
18Young
10Rooneygoalsub22
19Welbecksub14
Subs:
40Amos
4Jones
9Berbatov
12Smallingsub5
22Scholessub10
14Hernandezsub19
23Cleverley
Fulham
1Schwarzer
27Kelly
5Hangeland
18Hughes
3Riise
21Freisub11
2Dempsey
19Diarrasub13
16Duff
19Dembele
7Pogrebnyak
Subs:
12Stockdale
11Ruizsub21
13Murphysub19
14Senderos
20Etuhu
28Briggs
42Trotta

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26/03/2012 21:48, Report by Adam Marshall
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United 1 Fulham 0

United took three points to go back to the top of the table but were made to fight all the way by obdurate Fulham, who defended manfully throughout and ensured a nervous night at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney's first-half strike proved just about enough but Sir Alex's side were unable to add to the goal and the atmosphere grew increasingly tense in the closing stages with Danny Murphy, so often the scourge of United in the past, perhaps unlucky not to earn a penalty after going down inside the area towards the end.

Although the Reds dominated the early exchanges, the first genuine effort did not arrive until the 11th minute when Ryan Giggs met a Rafael cross with a goalbound header but Mark Schwarzer caught it impressively. With Giggs being asked to play the Paul Scholes role in his fellow veteran's absence, his probing passes were regularly dealt with by the Cottagers' defence.

Gradually, Fulham came more into the game and Moussa Dembele's menacing dribble led to him dragging a shot wide before Clint Dempsey ran at Jonny Evans but shot too close to David De Gea. The Londoners continued to put their bodies on the line at the other end, making a series of fine blocks, and, with the team growing in confidence, Dempsey forced a spectacular diving catch out of De Gea.

Predictably, the Reds responded to the wake-up call through Antonio Valencia but his shot was blocked by John Arne Riise after a one-two with Danny Welbeck. The breakthrough was almost provided by an unlikely source when Patrice Evra's ambitious overhead kick dropped wide and fellow full-back Rafael also had a decent chance but shot tamely at Schwarzer with his left foot.

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