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The Red Devils Suffer Shock Home Defeat to the Cottagers | Three Takeaways From The Manchester United v Fulham Match

Manchester United vs Fulham

We learnt a few things as Manchester United suffered a surprising 1-2 defeat at Old Trafford at the hands of Fulham in the Premier League game last Saturday. It was the Red Devils’ first defeat in 2024 and came after five consecutive wins across all competitions.

Harry Maguire, Manchester United, Fulham
Image Obtained Via beIN SPORTS

Erik ten Hag’s side are now currently stand in sixth position in the Premier League table with 44 points from 26 matches. Let us take a look at three takeaways from the Manchester United vs Fulham game:

1. Fulham’s Neat Passing and Counter-attacks Helped Them Dominate:

Not for the first time this season, United’s opponents looked a better-coached team than them. The neat short passes by Fulham and their ability to launch incisive counter-attacks helped them put a lot of pressure on the United defense.

The Cottagers were the dominant team for the first 30 minutes or so, and started relying on counter-attacks more as the Red Devils began committing more numbers upfront. Had Alex Iwobi, who scored the match-winner from a counter-attack, been less profligate in the first half, Fulham could have scored in the first half itself.

Andreas Pereira, a former United player, and Rodrigo Muniz also had a good game. The decision to take the Brazilian attacking midfielder off in the second half was a questionable one and allowed Ten Hag’s side to come back into the match.

2. Manchester United Were a Bit Too Predictable in Their Approach:

Manchester United were predictable in the sense that their predominant tactic seemed to be playing a long ball forward to their attacking players. There was hardly any attempt to construct moves through short passes. Even during the last 20 minutes or so, when United dominated the proceedings, they decided to take shots at the Fulham defense from some distance.

The Red Devils’ goal also came from one such shot taken by Bruno Fernandes. As Bernd Keno failed to parry the ball properly, Harry Maguire scored from the rebound to put the home side level. United started looking a better side once they switched to a 4-1-4-1 with Amad Diallo replacing Kobbie Mainoo and Christian Eriksen playing as the lone holding midfielder.

Erik ten Hag’s men were also more reliant on their attacks through the left flank, with Alejandro Garnacho being their most impressive attacking player yet again. Marcus Rashford, who started as the No. 9 in the absence of Rasmus Hojlund, had a forgettable outing. So did Omari Forson, who started on the right flank and was substituted in the second half.

3. United Have a Big Match Coming Up

The kind of performance United came up with against Fulham should not be even close to enough to avoid defeat against City. Pep Guardiola’s team is likely to dominate ball-possession and create even more chances than the Cottagers did in the first half.

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Hence, even the staunchest of United supporters might not be willing to bet on them in that match. It remains to be seen how well the Red Devils rise up to the challenge next Sunday. However, prior to that, they will face Nottingham Forest in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Follow AD for the Latest Matchday Updates on Manchester United.

Subhadeep Roy
Subhadeep Roy has been covering football for different websites for the last six years. He supports Manchester United and follows them quite closely.

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