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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 11:31:54 AM

Title: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 11:31:54 AM

Man Utd
Man City
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 11:32:38 AM
Manchester Utd 1-1 Fulham

Edinson Cavani is only the third Man Utd player to reach 10+ goals in a single Premier League season

Manchester United's Premier League draw against relegated Fulham will be a "wake-up call" before next week's Europa League final against Villarreal, says manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Edinson Cavani welcomed the return of fans back to the Premier League with a brilliant 40-yard lobbed goal, but United were unable to mark the occasion with a victory as Fulham came back to draw at Old Trafford

Aside from a handful of games at a lucky few clubs in December, supporters have been absent from top-flight league football since 9 March 2020.

No supporters have seen a goal at Old Trafford since Scott McTominay's inspired second in United's Manchester derby win over City the day before.

There were only 10,000 present to see Cavani's inspired effort, but what a noise they made as the Uruguayan strode onto a long ball downfield from David de Gea, which VAR felt touched Bruno Fernandes on the way through, before lifting the ball over Alphonso Areola with a perfectly executed finish that floated into the net.

For a long time it looked like being the winner, until Joe Bryan was allowed to ghost in at the far post unchallenged to convert Bobby Decordova-Reid's deep cross from the right.

Solskjaer said: "I think it might be a wake-up call because we tried to do the fancy stuff - the flicks, the extraordinary things, the things that pleased the fans.

"That's not what we're about. We should be more efficient.

"Have a look at Cavani, have a look at how he plays the game. Every single one of us look at him.

"Back tackles, runs, scores - there's no fluff. And we can't have fluff in a game of football."

De Gea's uncertain future
After Alisson's amazing winner for Liverpool on Sunday, there was genuine debate around whether De Gea made another telling contribution by a goalkeeper to his team's offensive effort.

TV replays indicated Fernandes failed to get a touch as he attempted to flick De Gea's pass through to Cavani, something the forward himself admitted afterwards. But if that was correct, Cavani should have been ruled offside by VAR.

De Gea's selection was interesting in itself.

The Spain keeper has lost his place to Dean Henderson in recent weeks, but Henderson was at fault for at least one of Liverpool's four goals in their win over United six days previously, so it was not completely clear whether De Gea had got his place back or was being granted a farewell appearance after 10 years of largely outstanding service.

Both scenarios have their complications. For Henderson, another season as back up is unlikely to appeal given his England aspirations, whilst De Gea is one of the Premier League's highest-paid players. Finding a club to match that salary, let alone pay a transfer fee, is not going to be easy.

Until Bryan's goal, De Gea did not have much to do against the top-flight's second-worst attack. He did make saves to deny Ademola Lookman and Fabio Carvalho and had little chance of keeping Bryan's equaliser out.

Green and gold
In contrast to protests that caused the first meeting with Liverpool earlier this month to the called off and extreme measures, including beds being transported into the stadium for players to sleep on, being implemented to ensure the second one went ahead, this match was completed in relative peace.

There were still a lot of police and a helicopter circled above the stadium before the game. But those who chose to wear the green and gold anti-Glazer colours almost exclusively restricted themselves to regular chanting against the club's American owners.

A mooted 51st-minute protest to press the case for the '50+1' German ownership model clashed with a dangerous free-kick for the hosts - both fizzled out.

For United staff and Solskjaer, who had appealed for calm in the build-up, it was doubtless a relief.

After the match, Solskjaer spoke on a microphone just prior to a walk round the pitch, in which Paul Pogba and Amad Diallo paraded a Palestine flag, to declare United "were not where he wanted them to be" but hoped to bring the Europa League trophy back to England next week.

The loss of McTominay to what appeared to be an injury midway through the second half will be a worry before the meeting with Villarreal in Gdansk on 26 May, as will the paltry nine league wins on home soil this season.

Tonight, though, was all about the fans - and despite the result, they seemed happy just to be here.

When asked about Pogba and Diallo holding up the Palestine flag, Solskjaer replied: "We have players from different backgrounds, different cultures, different countries and we need to respect their views if they differ from someone else's.

"If my players think about other things than football, that's a positive thing.

"We have seen that with some of my players before, that they do care. You see Marcus Rashford, for example, the difference he has made.

"So, no, we respect their right to have a different view."

'I don't understand how it's not offside'
Fulham boss Scott Parker felt his side were superb but also took exception to United's opener, believing it should have been ruled out for offside against Cavani.

"I thought we were fantastic today," he told Sky Sports. "We played like a big team. We had to be courageous.

"It's a difficult place to come Old Trafford, let alone today with 10,000 fans in. I'm very proud and overall pleased with the performance."

When asked about Cavani's goal, he said: "I don't understand how it's not offside.

"The fourth official said if Fernandes hasn't touched it he's five yards offside. I've looked at it back. I can understand if we didn't have VAR, I get that that goal can be given due to human error, but when you can slow it down and look at the angles you can see he's not touched it."

What's next?
Manchester United complete their Premier League campaign at Wolves on Sunday, 23 May (16:00 BST) before facing Villarreal in the Europa League final in Gdansk on Wednesday, 26 May (20:00 BST).

Fulham's last game as a top-flight club for at least 12 months is against Newcastle at Craven Cottage, also on 23 May (16:00 BST).

Man Utd's leaky defence at home - the stats

    Manchester United have dropped 10 points from winning positions at Old Trafford this season - their highest ever such total at home in a Premier League season.
    Fulham picked up a point from a losing position versus United at Old Trafford for only the second time in Premier League history, also doing so in February 2014 - a game in which current manager Scott Parker played for the visitors.
    United are unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League games against Fulham (W10 D3), since losing 3-0 in December 2009.
    United have conceded 28 home goals in the Premier League this season - they last conceded more at Old Trafford in a single league campaign back in 1962-63 (38).
    Fulham have conceded more Premier League goals against United than they have versus any other side in the competition (68).
    Cavani becomes only the third Man Utd player to reach 10+ goals in a single Premier League season while aged 33 or over at the start of that campaign, after Teddy Sheringham in 2000-01 and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2016-17.
    Cavani is the 25th different player to score 10+ goals in a single Premier League season for Man Utd - more than any other team in the competition's history (Arsenal 24 players).
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 11:32:57 AM
Parker's Post-United press conference

Scott Parker expressed a mixture of regret from previous results and hope ahead of next season after Joe Bryan ensured his side left Old Trafford with a point.

Fulham battled nobly in the second half which had Parker thinking of what could’ve been from games gone.

“A little bit of both [regret and hope],” he admitted. “The performance tonight has been there this season, but we were on the right side of fine margins tonight.

“What was different was Phonse making a few saves, one of their shots goes over the bar. On the flip side, we executed a lovely move to work a goal.

“Nothing really changed as I told the team to come here and play like a top team and be ultra-brave. That was a risk but that’s how we put our stamp on it.”

The Head coach commented on the controversial nature of United’s opener. VAR deemed Edinson Cavani onside despite Bruno Fernandes making seemingly no contact with a flick-on.

"The linesman says he [Cavani] is five-yards offside if Bruno hasn’t touched the ball,” he stated. “VAR is here to get calls correct. I’ve watched it over a couple of angles, and he doesn’t touch the ball, in that case I’m not sure why the goal has been allowed.”

The 40-year-old was questioned with his future beyond the end of the season with Parker reiterating his loyalty to Fulham.

“My main focus is between now and the end of the season. I want to look to Sunday and maintain a good performance and keep looking at how to improve the Club.” conference/
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 11:34:30 AM
Fulham and Sheffield United in transfer battle with Newcastle for 31-year-old MLS player

Relegated duo Fulham and Sheffield United are set to lock horns in an attempt to bring forward Johnny Russell back to the Football League, according to The Sun

But they face competition from the Premier League in the form of Newcastle United, who are reportedly also interested in the 31-year-old.

Russell spent five years in the EFL at Derby County between 2013 and 2018, joining them from Dundee United for £750,000.

With an ability to play all across the forward line, Russell proved himself to be a useful asset to the Rams and in his time with the club he played 162 times, scoring 48 goals but failed to help them get over the line and back into the Premier League.

The 14-cap Scotland international crossed the Atlantic in January 2018 to sign for MLS side Sporting Kansas City, where he has remained for the last three years and in his first season he netted 10 times for the club, and in the following season he scored nine times and notched six assists.

Russell’s contract with the Wizards expires at the end of 2021 though and it looks like clubs in England want to try and tempt him back to these shores.

The Verdict

Both the Cottagers and the Blades will likely lose players this summer to bigger teams and Russell could be a cheap rotational option to bring into the ranks.

Russell hit nine goals in two separate Championship campaigns for Derby and although those seasons were a few years ago now, he’s still proving that he’s got end product in the MLS.

And that league isn’t the same league people joked about as a retirement league years ago – it may still not be on the level of the Championship in certain aspects but the fact that Russell is still doing it suggests that he would be a good pick-up for any second tier side in this country.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 01:31:54 PM
Report: Fulham and West Brom eye rarely-seen Liverpool talent

Fulham and West Bromwich Albion are preparing to snap up Liverpool youngster Taiwo Awoniyi, according to Goal. The youngster has finally been granted a work permit, allowing him to play in England.

The Nigerian starlet joined Liverpool in 2015 but issues with obtaining the relevant paperwork have seen him go out on a series of loans in Germany, Belgium and Holland.

The 23-year-old has been on loan with Union Berlin during 2020/21, scoring five goals and registering four assists. It is claimed they are interested in securing his services on a permanent basis too.

Liverpool could have a look at him in pre-season first. Having failed to obtain a work permit, he is yet to make an appearance and Jurgen Klopp could choose to hand him an opportunity in pre-season.

It does seem most likely that Awoniyi will depart on a permanent basis, however. Fulham and West Brom are both preparing £8 million bids to sign the talented youngster.

Liverpool have already held discussions with the relegated duo, whilst Stoke City are also interested in securing a deal to sign the rarely-seen Reds performer.

Stuttgart, Wolfsburg and his current loan club are three admirers from Germany, with plenty of options thought to be forthcoming.

TBR View: Awoniyi could prove a decent addition

Both Fulham and West Brom will be looking for a goalscorer in the summer to fire them back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Awoniyi is obviously unproven in the English game but at 23 he has lots of potential and lots of time on his side to continue improving.

Liverpool are likely to take a look at him first during pre-season. That will be just a piece of mind thing though and a sale does still look likely.

The Championship would represent an ideal starting point for the Nigerian, however, and West Brom, Fulham and Stoke would all provide attractive starting points.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 02:23:38 PM
Sheffield United and Fulham set to battle it out for former Derby County favourite
Sheffield United and Fulham set to battle it out for former Derby County forward Johnny Russell, claims The Sun.

The two clubs are looking at the 31-year-old as his contract runs out at Sporting Kansas City in the summer.

Sheffield United and Fulham have both recently been relegated to the Sky Bet Championship and with Russell’s wealth of experience after spending five years with Derby County before making the move to the MLS.

Russell made 182 appearances for the Rams and was a fan favourite for much of his time there but moved on in 2018 as he looked for a new challenge.

During his time in the MLS, Russell has appeared 84 times and scored 25 goals and with the option of signing him on a free, this may well be the temptation for all three clubs.

Sheffield United and Fulham could both well lose players this summer after their relegations and bringing somebody in with Russell’s wealth of experience would seem to be a no-brainer, especially for a team trying to bounce straight back to the Premier League.

The 31-year-old is a hard-working player and will no doubt win over the supporters of any team he goes to with his work rate and passion for the game.

With Oli McBurnie and Rhian Brewster only grabbing one goal between them all season, Russell would add some much-needed firepower to the Blades front line while Fulham could lose Josh Maja who looks set to return to Bordeaux after scoring three goals in 14 games during his loan spell at Craven Cottage.

Premier League survivors Newcastle United are also supposedly interested in the Scotland international and this well could be Russell’s preferred choice of move with the chance to play in the Premier League being a big attraction for the winger.

This could be Russell’s last chance at a shot to play in the top flight of English football, which can also only help his position in the Scotland national team.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 02:24:48 PM
Parker expecting ‘bumps and hiccups’ if Fulham take long-term approach

Scott Parker says Fulham need to decide between short-term spending and accepting hiccups with a smaller budget.

The Whites were relegated last week having spent around £10m in a cut-price bid to survive. It was a far cry from the £110m it spent in 2018 that brought the same sorry result.

Parker and the club’s hierarchy have yet to sit down and discuss the future.

But the head coach made it plain Fulham must expect difficult times along the way if they take a longer. more prudent, route to becoming a successful, stable club.

He said: “In order to take short cuts you need to spend a lot of money. If not, that process is a lot longer.

“It’s slower unless you’ve got £500m and you can build a training facility, you can buy players.

“If not, it’s going to be a bit harder. There’s going to be stepping stones.

“There’s going to be some bumps and hiccups. If you have a clear focus, you can get there”.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 03:04:32 PM
Sources: Fulham and Watford race to sign Chelsea striker Ugbo after contract reveal

Fulham, Watford, Schalke, Sassuolo and Genk are in the hunt to sign Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo, Football Insider can reveal.

The 22-year-old has impressed on loan at Cercle Brugge this season.

A source has told Football Insider Ugbo has just a year left on his contract at Chelsea.

He has been at the club for 14 years but has spent the last four seasons out on loan.

That includes spells in England with Barnsley, MK Dons and Scunthorpe United before a season in the Netherlands with Roda JC.

Most recently Ugbo enjoyed a successful loan in Belgium with Cercle Brugge.

The former England youth international scored 17 goals in 34 games across all competitions as Cercle Brugge finished just above the relegation zone.

Chelsea are well stocked with strikers and fellow academy graduate Tammy Abraham has struggled to make a mark under Thomas Tuchel.

Both Fulham and Watford are in the market for a striker as they prepare for life in a new division and Ugbo represents an attractive option.

Fulham have been relegated from the Premier League despite signing Josh Maja on loan in January to help keep them up.

The Nigeria international scored three times in 14 Premier League appearances.

Watford won instant promotion back to the top-flight this season as winger Ismaïla Sarr ended the season as top scorer with 13 goals.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 03:47:32 PM
Fulham & Watford to rival European clubs in chase for 16-goal striker

Fulham and Watford are among a host of clubs who are keeping tabs on Ike Ugbo, who is about to enter the final year of his contract at Chelsea.

The 22-year-old has come through the ranks at Stamford Bridge, but he has understandably found game time hard to come by, meaning the striker has had to go out on loan to get minutes.

Ugbo spent this season on loan with Cercle Brugge in the Belgian top-flight, and he impressed, scoring 16 goals in 32 games.

Such form has caught the eye, and Football Insider have claimed that the two English clubs have joined Schalke, Sassuolo and Genk in keeping tabs on the player.

Given his contract situation, there is the chance that Ugbo could leave Chelsea on a permanent basis, with the Hornets and the Cottagers both chasing new strikers ahead of the new season.

Watford could have the advantage as they will be able to offer Premier League football following their promotion, whilst Scott Parker’s side have dropped into the Championship after a disappointing campaign that resulted in relegation.

The verdict

Firstly, both clubs should be encouraged by this link because Ugbo is an exciting young striker who has the potential to be a top player.

His record in Belgium this season has been excellent, and playing regularly seems to have really helped his development.

Wit just over 12 months left on his deal at Chelsea, the Londoners could look to cash in on Ugbo this summer as opposed to letting his deal run down, so a transfer does seem likely. The challenge for Fulham and Watford will be to convince Ugbo to stay in England over the options he will have from abroad.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 04:35:00 PM
The best moments of Roy Hodgson's career

After four exciting years at Crystal Palace, Roy Hodgson has confirmed that he plans to step down from the Eagles in search of a quieter life away from the Premier League.

This is by no means the end for Hodgson, but it does represent another big chapter in one of the wildest managerial stories in recent memory.

Here's a look back at some of Hodgson's best moments.

1. A surprise league title with Halmstads (24/10/76)
When Hodgson took over at Swedish side Halmstads in 1976, his job was to avoid relegation. The team had been embroiled in survival battles over the past few years and only made it out alive thanks to goal difference in 1975.

Expectations could not have been lower for the rookie coach, but he stunned the country by leading Halmstad to an immediate league title - an accomplishment fondly remembered as one of the most surprising successes in Swedish football history.

"My greatest achievement would have to be the water-into-wine job at Halmstads in 1976," Hodgson recalled to The Times in 2009.

2. Neuchâtel Xamax 1-0 Real Madrid (26/11/91)
Remembered by Hodgson as one of the games that built his career, the boss caused a huge shock when he led Swiss side Neuchâtel Xamax to a 1-0 win over Real Madrid in the 1990/91 UEFA Cup last 16.

Real weren't at their strongest but still featured superstars like Fernando Hierro, Gheorghe Hagi and Emilio Butragueño, so they were heavy favourites heading into the game.

It's the match which saw Europe start to take Hodgson seriously, and the Swiss FA soon came knocking to offer him the national team gig.

3. Switzerland 1-0 Italy (01/05/93)
When he arrived in the Swiss dugout, Hodgson was tasked with taking the Schweizer Nati to their first competition since the 1966 World Cup, and he did exactly that.

He qualified for the 1994 tournament with ease, losing just once in a group which also featured Scotland, Portugal and, most notably, Italy.

Arrigo Sacchi's men, who would go on to reach the final, were brushed aside 1-0 in the group stage and had to claw back from 2-0 down to seal a draw in the return fixture.

4. Man City 2-3 Fulham (26/04/08)
Drafted in to save a sinking Fulham side in December 2007, Hodgson did the impossible by steering the Cottagers' to an unlikely survival.

Needing a victory over Manchester City on the final day of the season, Fulham looked dead on their feet as they fell 2-0 down inside 21 minutes, but late goals from Danny Murphy and Diomansy Kamara flipped the script.

In the 90th minute, the score was tied and Fulham were heading down, only for Kamara to thunder home a winner to send the away fans wild.

5. Fulham 4-1 Juventus (18/03/10)
Just being in the last 16 of the Europa League was enough of an accomplishment, so Fulham weren't exactly disappointed when they fell 3-1 to Juventus in the first leg of their tie. The fun was always going to come to an end anyway... just not yet.

They fell 1-0 down in the return leg but then fired home four unanswered goals to win the tie on aggregate, in what is fondly remembered as one of the most surprising results in the history of the Europa League.

He needed another late goal, this time from Clint Dempsey, but Hodgson had earned a bit of luck.

6. Reaching the Europa League final (12/05/10)
Comfortable wins over Wolfsburg and Hamburg saw Fulham advance to their first European final in their 130-year history.

Up against an Atletico Madrid team which featured David de Gea, Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero, Fulham had to dig in at times and took the game to extra-time with a 1-1 draw.

There was heartbreak in the 116th minute as Forlan bagged the winner, but for Hodgson and Fulham, the accomplishment could not be soured.

7. Taking the England job (01/05/12)
After a tricky spell with Liverpool, Hodgson rebuilt his reputation with West Brom and did such a good job that he earned himself a spot in the dugout of England in 2012.

Under Hodgson, England rose to third in FIFA's official rankings for the first time in their history.

They gave a good account of themselves at Euro 2012 and in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, but the less said about what happened after that, the better.

8. Becoming a meme (19/06/14)
Watching Uruguay's Luis Suarez score against England at the 2014 World Cup, but hey, it brought us this incredible meme.

9. Saving Crystal Palace (13/05/18)
Palace lost their first four games of the 2017/18 season and swiftly chose to bring in Hodgson to replace Frank de Boer. Things didn't improve immediately, however, as Palace fell to another three defeats. No team had ever survived after losing their first seven games.

Not only did Palace survive, but they finished 11th.

A big 2-1 win over Chelsea kick-started the revival, and Palace would go on to lose just nine of their remaining 30 games. Not bad for a side who lost seven in seven.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 04:35:46 PM
Report: West Brom and Fulham keen on Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi

Fulham and West Brom are reportedly keen to sign Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi in the summer transfer window.

According to reports from, seven clubs have made an approach to Liverpool over the availability of the Nigerian striker.

Awoniyi joined Liverpool in 2015, but he spent the past six years on loan at a host of clubs in Europe. This season, he has played in the Bundesliga with Union Berlin.

The report claims that several English clubs like Stoke City, Fulham and West Brom are interested in signing the 23-year-old.

After years of plying trade elsewhere, he and his family were finally granted UK work permits, following a lengthy application process.

Awoniyi will now be able to continue his career in England, but it appears that his future seems away from Anfield, without even kicking ball for the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp may have a different plan. Goal claims that Liverpool plan to involve him in the first part of their pre-season schedule.

It will enable him to train with the senior group, and play in some pre-season friendlies. Klopp will have a good look at him when a host of first-team players are away on international duty at the European Championship and Copa America.

Having said that, a move away from Liverpool looks more likely. Fulham, West Brom and Stoke are interested, while there have interests from clubs in Germany. He would cost in the region of £8m.

Fulham and West Brom will be playing in the Championships next season following their relegation. The striker will get more exposure (more games in the Championship) if he joins one of these clubs in the summer.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 18, 2021, 04:36:49 PM
Stoke City set to battle it out with Fulham and West Brom for PL striker

Stoke City have been linked with Liverpool forward, Taiwo Awoniyi, claim Goal.

Michael O’Neill looks to bolster his attacking options next season and Awoniyi could be the man to fill the void.

Awoniyi has spent the last season on loan at Union Berlin where he has featured 16 times, scoring five goals in the process.

With the forward featuring enough times in the Bundesliga, he has now managed to secure a work permit after being with Liverpool for the past six years.

The Nigerian is currently on his sixth loan spell away from the club and the Reds have also previously turned down bids for the striker with Anderlecht reportedly offering £5 million in the past.

Awoniyi has so far managed to help Union Berlin into the Europa Conference League places and they can confirm their place in the competition for next season should they better Borussia Monchengladbach’s result this weekend.

Despite finishing 14th this season, Stoke have struggled for goals from their strikers since a season-ending injury struck Tyrese Campbell mid-way through the season.

Sam Vokes didn’t manage to find the net in any of his 30 appearances but Steven Fletcher did manage to grab himself nine goals although he has only scored one goal in his last 12 games.

The need for an out-and-out goalscorer is great in the Championship with the likes of Norwich City and Brentford showing the worth of having them with Teemu Pukki and Ivan Toney.

Awoniyi could well be the player who helps fire Stoke towards a Championship play-off place next term should he join them but it is reported that other clubs are also interested in the striker.

The likes of Fulham and West Brom are also interested in the strike as well as other clubs in the Bundesliga.

A league where the striker may well look to go back to after a solid season this time around.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2021, 12:14:08 AM
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2021, 12:22:27 AM
Insider view on Slavisa Jokanovic and what Sheffield United can expect from favourite to take over

The former Fulham and Watford manager is tipped to take over at the Blades this summer

Slavisa Jokanovic looks increasingly likely to be the man handed the Bramall Lane keys with the mission to turn the club's fortunes around once again and lead a charge back to the Premier League.

Paul Heckingbottom's interim reign is expected to end this weekend and the hunt for a new manager will be sped up with Jokanovic tipped to be the man to take over full-time from Chris Wilder.

But who is Jokanovic and what will he bring to the Blades? We spoke with former Fulham reporter Ryan O'Donovan who knows the man well, to get the lowdown on what fans can expect.

What sort of manager is Slavisa Jokanovic?

Slavisa Jokanovic is a manager well known for his attacking brand of football that brought success to both Watford and Fulham in the Championship.

He likes his sides to dominate possession and get forward as much as possible which is great for fans to watch, but it does sometimes come at the risk of being exposed at the back. As a manager behind the scenes, Jokanovic is very hands-on and likes to know and trust his players.

There were a couple of occasions at Craven Cottage when people were sold without his say so by the Director of Football Tony Khan, most notably Sone Aluko, which upset Jokanovic so he's most happy when his opinion is taken into account in the buying and selling of players.

How would you assess his time at Fulham and why did he eventually leave?

I think you have to look back on his time at Fulham as a success. They were languishing in mid-table when he came in and he got them to two play-offs, winning the second one after going on a 23-game unbeaten run that took them from 17th to third.

He struggled in the Premier League for a number of reasons, but looking back I think you can narrow it down to two main ones: the attacking style of football that he would continue with no matter who the opposition was and the sheer number of players that came into the club in the latter part of the transfer window when the season was already well underway.

It was going to be a tough ask to keep them in the top flight and those late additions to the club always seemed to be a recipe for disaster.

Fulham never got going in the top flight under him and after defeats against Cardiff and Huddersfield, both clubs struggling down the bottom that Fulham really should have been beaten, Shahid Khan decided a change was needed.

I think it shows, however, that not many managers could have done a better job that season with Claudio Ranieiri coming in to replace him before also being shown the exit door a few months later.

The Blades play with a back three and Jokanovic has tended to play 4-3-3. Do you think there could potentially be a formation switch if he succeeded Wilder?

Like I've mentioned previously, Jokanovic likes to play attacking football and likes having a midfield trio with one defensive midfielder sitting in front of the back four, which Kevin McDonald did so well for him during his spell in west London.

But saying that, he isn't one dimensional and I think promotions with both Watford and Fulham prove he has the ability to adapt to the players he has at his disposal. I'm not sure if he will stick with Sheffield United's back three, but he could surprise me.

Do you think Jokanovic is the man to turn United's fortunes around and get them promoted back up at the first attempt?

I was a big fan of Jokanovic when he was at Fulham and I still feel the club sacked him too early in the season, so I definitely think he could do a job at United.

The Championship is extremely competitive so it might be a big task for him to come in immediately and get them promoted after such a disappointing season and it will also be a big task to step into Chris Wilder's shoes at the club.

That said, he will feel confident that he can make it three promotions if he does choose to return to English football and I do think that Sheffield United would be right up there come next May should Jokanovic be in charge.

Is he someone who could inherit a group of players and make the most of existing resources or do you think he will need the transfer window to buy players in his style?

I think he'll need a mixture of both. When he came to Fulham he used quite a few of the players that had been in the side before he came. Tim Ream is a man that stands out for me - it looked like his career at Craven Cottage was over but he showed Jokanovic what he was able to do and he went on to become one of the best players under the Serbian.

He also knows what kind of players he likes, so should he feel that United don't currently have them he will definitely need a transfer window to find some of them.

Ollie Norwood played under Jokanovic in the Fulham promotion season and he is a player that suits the style Jokanovic likes, so I would expect him to be a massive part of any side Jokanovic might decide on.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2021, 12:25:33 AM
Man Utd fans stage colourful anti-Glazer protest inside Old Trafford before Fulham clash

Ten thousand supporters were allowed to attend the Red Devils' final home game of the season and made their feelings about the American owners clear

 Manchester United supporters held up placards protesting against the Glazers ahead of their match against Fulham at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Ten thousand fans were allowed inside the stadium to watch the Red Devils' final home game of the season, and there was a largely positive atmosphere, which was a far cry from the ugly demonstrations against the American owners a few weeks ago.

Those present did not waste the opportunity to make their feelings clear, however, and as the teams walked out onto the pitch green and yellow signs with the words 'GO - Glazers out' were held up around the ground.

Manchester United fans are desperate for the Glazers to sell the club (Image: PA)

The anti-Glazer sentiments have been ramped up ever since the billionaire family's unsuccessful attempts to take United into the European Super League last month.

United's game against Liverpool scheduled for May 2 had to be postponed after thousands of demonstrators surrounded Old Trafford and broke onto the pitch.

And there were further protests for the re-scheduled game last week, which United lost 4-2 against their bitter rivals.

Tuesday saw a much more peaceful scene, although many fans wore green and yellow scarves, which have been common in the past.

And there were also further home-made banners and signs on show, with one reading 'This game belongs to you and me' and other which bore the words 'You never had our trust'.

Most supporters appear to want the same '50+1' rule which is common in Germany, which allows fans to occupy the majority of voting rights within a club.

And it is believed fans will chant in support of this in the 51st minute of the game.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2021, 12:26:49 AM
Why David de Gea being handed assist for Cavani stunner means Man United opener should have been ruled out

Manchester United star Edinson Cavani continued his scintillating spell of recent form with a stunning goal versus Fulham this evening, but should the Uruguayan’s strike have stood?

Cavani on target

The Red Devils are of course locked in a Premier League meeting with Scott Parker’s Cottagers at present, the respective clubs’ penultimate outing of the domestic season.

The matchup, in truth, is of little importance to either, with United having already made sure of their place in the top-4, and Fulham Championship bound.

Nevertheless, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted for a strong starting XI this evening, featuring the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani.

And, as outlined above, it was the latter of this trio who went on to open the game’s scoring.

After being afforded the freedom of Old Trafford by Fulham’s defenders, in-form hitman Cavani went on to produce a Goal of the Season contender, lobbing a remarkable long-range effort beyond the reach of the back-peddling Alphonse Areola:

Fulham hard done by?
As things stand at the interval, meanwhile, Cavani’s 10th of the Premier League season separates the two sides in Manchester.

Should the Uruguayan’s strike, though, have been ruled out?

The goal, as showcased above, came about after a long ball from David de Gea appeared to be flicked on by Bruno Fernandes, sending Cavani clean through.

Upon replays being broadcast, however, it became increasingly unclear whether or not Fernandes had in fact touched the ball.

Those in the VAR booth at Stockley Park, for their part, came to the decision that sufficient evidence to refute a telling contribution on the Portuguese’s part could not be found, meaning Cavani was deemed as onside upon his initial run being made:

In the minutes following United’s opener being awarded, however, it was subsequently revealed that David de Gea, not Fernandes, had been credited with the assist:

    🅰️ David De Gea is the first Man Utd goalkeeper to be credited with an assist since Edwin Van Der Sar against Aston Villa in Feb 2011

    — Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) May 18, 2021

This would of course insinuate that Cavani was offside, meaning the goal should have been ruled out:

It just wouldn’t be an evening of Premier League football without some form of VAR controversy…
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2021, 12:29:32 AM
Man Utd 1-1 Fulham: A prominent limp to the finish

The first game back for the fans but it did not end in the way the last game they saw at the Theatre of Dreams did. It did start how it ended in a sense though. Cavani would put in from long range in a similar fashion to McTominay’s vs Man City. It was an incredible chip from the Uruguayan that absolutely stirred the crow to near delirium. United had plenty of chances to put the game away, mainly falling to Greenwood, but we managed to be profligate. Although, Fulham played much better in the second half and because United were not able to get their extra goal, the chance always stood. It happened as it so often does as a cross from the right hit Bryan’s head and nestled into the net, despite De Gea’s best efforts. A draw is probably a fair result but it is always concerning when there is a limp to the finish.

Who’s The One

It has become an unwelcome side story about what Solskjaer is going to do if the club captain, Harry Maguire, is not fit for the Europa League final. The two games prior, Bailly played against Leicester and Liverpool, within teams of varying strengths. The Ivorian did so alongside the pair who lined up together, Lindelof and Tuanzebe. The Swede, without the Maguire, has looked a far sight short of the performance he had been able to put together when he was deputising alongside the English CB. He has also lacked the physical aspect, whether it be in the air or just tussling for the ball when it is there to be contested. He showed it again today when he managed to be outmanoeuvred by the scrawny young striker, Fabio Carvalho, before De Gea managed to saved his skin. But it was just further elucidation of the fact Lindelof is just incapable of dealing with a lot of the rigours that Premier League strikers that will invariably offer. The man alongside him has not played as regularly as many would have thought when he started against the Newcastle loss in the autumn of 2019. Since then, he has been crippled by injuries. It was the game against PSG where he played his first game in more than a year and he stole the show with his performance against Mbappe. Since, it has been peaks and troughs. Mainly the latter. You can see that his game, reliant on exuding composure and completing actions with consummate ease, can make it look like he is not taking the game seriously rather than it just being his languid style of play. You saw it today when he tried to control a ball hoofed up in the air with the sole of his foot but he let it run under his foot and it led to Fulham gaining possession and building attack. Luckily, it came to nothing. But, it is something he won’t have been able to play through or out of his game when he plays on the stage of United. In the final, it probably will be Bailly alongside Lindelof but with Ole’s words before saying players are still playing for their final places, Tuanzebe did little to convince Ole of otherwise.


Once United had confirmed their place in the top four and thus confirmed their Champions League qualification next season, the next 4 games seemed academic. No one envisaged that the next three games would be 1 point from 9. So it told however. The Leicester game was bearable given the schedule but the Liverpool game and the manner of it soured the mood quite considerably. The draw today will only make it worse given that this was actually against a side that also had nothing to play and were in fact down. It will do nothing for the confidence. United are a form team and do play in waves so it could be quite concerning that this is building up. It is not like a tap where we can turn it on and off. Normally, it takes a while for us to build that form back up. Hopefully, this is not a sign for a disappointing end of the season
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2021, 12:30:20 AM
Bryan’s goal earns Fulham draw at Man Utd

Joe Bryan’s equaliser earned relegated Fulham a draw at Old Trafford in their penultimate match of the season.

Edinson Cavani opened the scoring with a brilliant goal for Manchester United after a quarter of an hour.

Cavani spotted keeper Alphonse Areola off his line and lofted a superb strike from 45 yards over the Frenchman’s head and into the net.

United were dominant in the first half, although youngster Fabio Carvalho missed a great chance to equalise when he shot tamely at keeper David de Gea after being set up by Ademola Lookman.

Bryan levelled with 14 minutes remaining, heading in a cross from Bobby Decordova-Reid.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2021, 12:32:01 AM
VAR try to justify wrong call for Edinson Cavani’s Man Utd goal with explanation

If Bruno Fernandes failed to get a vital nudge to assist Edinson Cavani, Manchester United's goal vs Fulham should not have stood - and eagle-eyed viewers struggled to spot any touch

Manchester United frontman Edinson Cavani scored a goal-of-the-season contender early on during Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Fulham, but many were convinced the long-range missile shouldn’t have stood.

The Uruguay striker was clearly offside when David De Gea launched the ball from inside his own box but was back in a legal position by the time the ball moved past Bruno Fernandes in midfield.

Cavani proceeded to lob Cottagers goalkeeper Alphonse Areola from 40 yards, and the Premier League’s video assistant referee has offered an explanation of why the goal was allowed.

Sky Sports' Kelly Cates addressed the matter at half-time and detailed: “The VAR says that he didn't conclusively see that he didn't touch the ball and therefore that's not enough to overrule the on-field decision.”

Replays showed Edinson Cavani was clearly stood offside when Davi De Gea kicked the ball

The strike sent the South American into double-digit goals in his maiden Premier League season, all but guaranteeing Europa League finalists United second place behind champions Manchester City.

Joe Bryan equalised in the 76th minute to salvage a share of the spoils for Scott Parker's relegated Fulham.

Cavani has four goals and one assist in his last seven appearances under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, precisely the kind of form that’s earned him a one-year contract extension at Old Trafford.

Tuesday’s matchup against Fulham was United’s first with a limited number of supporters back in attendance at Old Trafford, and Cavani welcomed the club’s followers back in style.

Fans protested against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club prior to kick-off in their continued efforts to see United’s current proprietors sell their stake.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2021, 12:34:09 AM
Bryan header earns Fulham point at Old Trafford

After scoring the goals that took Fulham back to the promised land, Joe Bryan’s Premier League season hasn’t turned out the way he would have wanted. Not only has he largely been sidelined in favour of summer signing Antonee Robinson, but the Whites’ Wembley hero hadn’t started a league game since the 2-1 defeat by Manchester United in February. The likeable left back made up for lost time tonight – heading in an equaliser at Old Trafford that earned the relegated side an unlikely and creditable point.

Bryan’s firm header after a flowing move down the Fulham right – which survived a VAR check for offside against Bobby Decordova-Reid – was fitting reward for the fight Scott Parker’s side had showed after largely being outplayed in the first half of what was almost a glorified exhibition fixture. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, tuning up for their Europa League final against Villareal later this month, were into their stride early with Aaron Wan-Bissaka rampaging down the right and crossing for Paul Pogba, whose tame header went over the bar.

The returning home fans were treated to a moment of absolute magic from Edinson Cavani, who gave Manchester United the lead with a wonderfully inventive finish from 40 yards out. David de Gea’s kick travelled all the way through to the Uruguayan forward, with Bruno Fernandes trying and failing to flick it on, and Cavani spotted that Alphonse Areola had strayed way out of goal and beat him with an audacious lob. Given that Cavani was clearly offside from de Gea’s clearing kick – stationed well inside the Fulham half beyond Tosin Adarabioyo – it should have been chalked off, but nobody could quibble with the mesmerising quality of the finish.

Fulham, sitting deep and not committing too many bodies forward, were clinging on for dear life in the aftermath of the goal and might have gone further behind before half time. Bruno Fernandes was denied a trademark goal from the edge of the box by an athletic Areola save and Cavani looked like troubling Parker’s rejigged defence, which featured the recalled Tim Ream, every time the home side came forward.

The visitors’ chances were few and far between. Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa almost surprised de Gea with a powerful header from a corner, but no Fulham team-mate was following up to profit from the rebound. The away side’s brightest moments came from teenager Fabio Carvalho, who showed some silky touches in and around the United area, but was also guilty of spurning their best chance as half time neared when he sped away from Victor Lindelof to reach Ademola Lookman’s perfect through ball but shot straight at de Gea.

Fulham pressed more aggressively at the start of the second period and Maria Lemina showed signs of their more adventurous approach with a venomous drive from distance just after the restart. The Gabonese midfielder then went into Lee Mason’s book for a cynical foul on Scott McTominay as the Manchester United midfielder galloped into shooting range. Fernandes flashed the ensuing free-kick fractionally wide of the far post with Areola well beaten. The hosts looked in complete control, playing at an easy pace, but the longer the margin remained a single goal, the greater Fulham began to believe.

Evidence of their growing confidence emerged courtesy of Lookman, who had scored their opening goal against United in the reverse fixture. The on-loan Leipzig winger drifted into the penalty area and almost caught out de Gea at his near post. The Spaniard clawed away Lookman’s effort and recovered quickly enough to gather Carvalho’s headed follow up. Lemina then lashed one over from long range and United wasted a great opportunity to put the game to bed but Cavani caressed a pass through to Mason Greenwood, who shot straight at the advancing Areola, before Fernandes skied the rebound high and wide.

United were soon to rue their lack of ruthlessness. Anguissa snapped into a tackle with Luke Shaw, winning possession and sending the ball out to Decordova-Reid wide on the right. The former Bristol City forward sent over an inviting cross and there was Bryan in an advanced position to plant a header past de Gea after Wan-Bissaka had misjudged the flight of the ball in. Suddenly, the visitors looked the more likely to get a winner with Ivan Cavaleiro having a drive from the edge of the box blocked at source.

United went in search of one of their storied late winners but found Areola equal to an excellent shimmy and shot from Fernandes and, on the balance of play in the second period, Parker’s experimental side fully deserved a share of the spoils.

MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Shaw, Tuanzebe, Lindelof; McTominay (Rashford 62), Fred; Greenwood (Diallo 83), Pogba, Fernandes; Cavani (van de Beek 87). Subs (not used): Henderson, Bailly, Williams, Telles, Matic, Mata.

BOOKED: Fernandes, Shaw.

GOAL: Cavani (15).

FULHAM (4-2-2-2): Areola; Lemina, Bryan, Adarabioyo, Ream; Reed (Andersen 32), Anguissa; Decordova-Reid, Lookman (Tete 89); Carvalho (Loftus-Cheek 63), Cavaleiro. Subs (not used): Rodak, Odoi, Hector, Aina, Onomah, Maja.

BOOKED: Lemina, Lookman, Areola.

GOAL: Bryan (76).

REFEREE: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2021, 12:35:39 AM
Fulham ruin Man Utd fans' homecoming after Edinson Cavani hit the bullseye with stunner

DAVID McDONNELL: Edinson Cavani's majestic effort was a fitting way to welcome 10,000 fans back into Old Trafford after a 436-day enforced absence

Edinson Cavani welcomed fans back into Old Trafford with a stunning goal of the season contender.

But it was already relegated Fulham who ruined the homecoming for Manchester United fans, the visitors scoring late on to claim a deserved draw.

Cavani finally got to perform his iconic bow and arrow goal celebration in front of United fans, after hitting the bullseye with his sublime strike.

The majestic effort, a 40-yard effort executed with elan and precision, was a fitting way to welcome 10,000 fans back into Old Trafford after a 436-day enforced absence.

But United ultimately paid the price for their failure to kill the game, Scott Parker's spirited side never giving up, despite already being consigned to the Championship.

United have now failed to win any of their last three games, far from ideal preparation heading into the Europa League final against Villarreal in Gdansk a week today.

Solskajer's call for calm, after the recent violent anti-Glazer protests, was heeded, although many fans held aloft cards calling for the owners to quit as the teams emerged for kick-off.

Anti-Glazer chants were also sung throughout the game, as returning United fans made it clear there will be no let-up in the campaign to drive the owners out of the club.

Solskjaer showed his ruthless side by dropping Dean Henderson, after his unconvincing display in United's 4-2 defeat to Liverpool, with David De Gea replacing him.

It was De Gea's first Premier League appearance since February 28, with Henderson preferred in the league by Solskjaer since then.

The fans did not have to wait long for a goal, with Cavani's stunning strike in the 15 th minute opening the scoring.

De Gea found Fernandes, who went to flick the ball on to the unmarked Cavani, who spotted Alphonse Areola off his line.

Cavani executed the perfect strike, the ball soaring over the Fulham keeper, who got a hand to it, but was powerless to keep it out.

Cavani was finally able to celebrate with supporters for the first time since joining United back in October, when games were played behind closed doors.

With Cavani having signed a one-year contract extension, United fans can look forward to seeing plenty more of the classy 34-year-old leading the line next season.

 Fernandes, voted United's Player of the Year earlier in the day, came close to making it 2-0 in the 26 th minute, Areola denying him with a fine save at full-stretch to his right.

Fernandes sent a free-kick just wide after the restart, while Mason Greenwood squandered a chance in the 73rd minute.

United's failure to take those chances proved costly, Fulham equalising after 75 minutes, Joe Bryan heading in at the far post to make it honours even.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2021, 12:36:24 AM
Newcastle United To Rival Arsenal For This Fulham Defender: What Will He Add To Bruce’s Side?

In a recent report, The Athletic has mentioned that Newcastle United are set to rival Arsenal for Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo this summer. It is believed that both the Magpies and the Gunners are preparing to move in for the English centre-back at the end of this campaign (via The Athletic).

Adarabioyo’s Solid Campaign At Craven Cottage

Adarabioyo has enjoyed a solid season with the Cottagers despite being relegated with them from the Premier League recently. The Manchester-born talent has done well to establish himself as a regular starter in Scott Parker’s first XI.

The 23-year-old has taken part in 32 matches for the London outfit this term, picking up one yellow card across all fronts. Adarabioyo has proven himself to be a dominant presence on the defensive end of the field as he is averaging 1.2 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 5.7 clearances per 90 minutes in Premier League football this season. He has also kept things tidy when distributing the ball out from the back, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 85.9% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Now that Adarabioyo has been demoted to the EFL Championship with Fulham, the Magpies would be in a good position to lure him to St. James’ Park when the transfer window commences later this year.

What Will The Cottagers Defensive Ace Add To Steve Bruce’s Side?

Adarabioyo can use his strong 1.95m frame to dominate the aerial battle with the opposition. He has proven himself to be a commanding presence inside his penalty box and can clear his lines when required. The English defensive ace is also a composed presence on the ball as he excels at playing his way out from the back.

At 23, Adarabioyo has the potential to grow into a top talent in English football, so he could be tempted with the opportunity to join the Magpies during this summer transfer period. He will add some much-needed quality to Steve Bruce’s defensive department and could increase competition for places within his squad.

The ex-Manchester City youngster is good enough to earn a regular starting place at St. James’ Park in the coming seasons. Hence, we can expect him to enhance the overall depth of Newcastle’s squad and could help them push for a top-half finish in the upcoming Premier League campaign.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 19/05/21...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2021, 12:38:56 AM
Bryan’s goal gives relegated Fulham hope for the future after 1-1 draw at Old Trafford
By Alessandro Schiavone at Old Trafford

Joe Bryan was the unlikely hero as Fulham grabbed a 76th minute equaliser against Manchester United at Old Trafford this evening to draw 1-1.

Edinson Cavani sent a 35-yard lobbed finish beyond the reach of his back-peddling former PSG teammate Alphonse Areola from David De Gea’s long ball forward to send the returning Manchester United fans into delirium after 15 minutes.

But a spirited Fulham side battled back to claim an improbable point at Old Trafford when Bryan, who started for the first time since the reverse fixture in late January, met Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s inch-perfect cross with a textbook header at the far post with 14 minutes to go.

Fulham have now racked up seven points on their travels against teams occupying the first five positions.

After five minutes, Paul Pogba sent a diving header over the crossbar. The French midfielder got enough power on Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross but not a good connection as Fulham got away with some poor defending.

Only 10 minutes later the timeless Cavani beat the offside trap from David De Gea’s long ball forward to send a first-time chip over Areola from 35 yards.

At first it appeared as if Bruno Fernandes had flicked on De Gea’s ball forward with his back-heel but the Portuguese did not and the goal should have been disallowed as the Uruguayan superstar found himself in an offside position when De Gea smashed the ball forward.

On a day when Manchester United legends Eric Cantona and Roy Keane were inducted in the Premier League Hall of Fame many may wonder if Cavani would have followed in their illustrious footsteps one day had he joined the Red Devils in his pomp.

On the half-hour mark, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa directed a free header straight at De Gea before Fabio Carvalho spurned a glorious opportunity to pull Fulham level.

The 18-year old Portuguese, who broke his Premier League duck against Southampton in midweek, made a great run in behind Victor Lindelof to beat the Swedish centre-back to Ademola Lookman’s through ball but aimed a weak right-footed shot at De Gea.

Before half-time Lookman’s poor clearance from a set-piece nearly gifted Fernandes the chance to extend the lead but Areola, arguably Fulham’s best player this season, made a comfortable save.

On the stroke of half-time Luke Shaw could have extended United’s lead and put the game beyond the grasp for the Londoners when he galloped forward only to send a thumping effort wide of the post.

Two minutes after the restart Mario Lemina fired a speculative effort across the face of goal from outside the penalty area. On 51 minutes, Fernandes went for power to send his free-kick uncharacteristically wide. And minutes later the former Sporting Lisbon midfielder’s second free-kick from an awkward angle was pushed away by De Gea.

Fulham’s recent results didn’t inspire much hope but on the balance of play the Cottagers thoroughly deserved the point. After an uninspiring first-half, Fulham got into better areas and managed to keep the Red Devils’ at arm’s length from open-play in the second period thanks to their tenacity, positional sense and first and foremost pride. They may be down but they want to do so with their heads held high.

Fulham grew in confidence in the last 20 minutes and started to ask serious questions of Manchester United’s shaky defence. Bit-part left-back Bryan split the hosts’ backline open with a pass into the path of Lookman who aimed for the top corner at the near post. De Gea, who slipped behind Dean Henderson in the pecking order and may be on his way out this summer, pulled off a great save with his right hand in Manuel Neuer-esque fashion before he also thwarted Carvalho’s rebound too.

Then Cavani dropped deep to send Mason Greenwood on route to goal but the young Yorkshireman was denied by Areola before Fernandes, who has known better days at the office, uncharacteristically skied the follow-up.

Very often this season Fulham have not been awarded for putting a shift in and outplaying their opponents before they eventually conceded a goal. But not this time. They stayed in the game and gave United a taste of their own medicine when Bryan stunned the United players and ecstatic faithful with a 76th minute header out of nowhere to restore parity.  De Cordova-Reid broke down the right after Anguissa had squeezed the ball to him before he whipped in a cross for Bryan to head home the leveller at the far post.

It’s a draw that will long live in the memory of the Fulham fans. It’s only the third time in 15 visits that they didn’t lose on this turf and also their first point here since February 2014.

If only the Cottagers could face a top-six side every other week they certainly wouldn’t find themselves in such a predicament and with

Championship football looming in three months’ time.
Manchester United
1 David De Gea- 2 Victor Lindelof- 6 Paul Pogba – 7 Edinson Cavani- 11 Mason Greenwood- 17 Fred- 18 Bruno Fernandes- 23 Luke Shaw- 29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka- 38 Axel Tuanzebe- 39 Scott McTominay

Fulham FC
A spirited second-half performance saw Fulham
1 Alphonse Areola- 13 Tim Ream- 14 Bobby De Cordova Reid- 16 Tosin Adarabioyo- 17 Ivan Cavaleiro- 18 Mario Lemina- 19 Ademola Lookman- 21 Harrison Reed- 23 Joe Bryan- 29 Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa- 48 Fabio Carvalho