FA Premier League
Craven Cottage, Sunday 30 December 2001
Legwinski (45), Marlet (89)
MANCHESTER UNITED 3
Giggs (5, 47), van Nistelrooy (44)
Fulham: Van der Sar; Finnan, Melville, Goma, Brevett; Malbranque, Legwinski (Davis 76), Collins, Boa Morte; Saha, Hayles (Marlet 66). Subs not used: Taylor, Ouaddou, Stolcers.
United: Barthez; P. Neville, G.Neville, Blanc, Silvestre; Beckham, Butt, Keane, Scholes, Giggs; van Nistelrooy. Subs not used: Carroll, Yorke, Wallwork, Solskjaer, Irwin.
United were in fifth place prior to the club's final fixture of 2001, while Jean Tigana’s Fulham were comfortably midtable in the Premier League having topped Division One with 101 points the season before.
The Reds had already seen off the Cottagers at home, but not without alarm; Ruud van Nistelrooy’s brace helping to seal victory after Fulham had twice led through Louis Saha - one of two future Reds in their line-up.
Action: Sir Alex’s side got off to a dream start, with Ryan Giggs capitalising on a (rare!) Edwin van der Sar mistake. The Welshman turned provider for the second goal, volleyed home by van Nistelrooy. Sylvain Legwinski’s header hauled the hosts back into the game before Giggs' sublime finish shortly after half-time restored the two-goal lead. Steve Marlet’s late strike was only a consolation as United claimed a fifth win on the bounce.
Reaction: The Reds' winning run extended to eight games before defeat at home to Liverpool - one of two sides who would eventually finish above United. Arsenal won the title, while third place represented United's worst-ever Premier League