Manchester United 2-1 Fulham: Player ratings as Bruno Fernandes nets Red Devils to third place

Man utd 1

Manchester United cemented third place as Bruno Fernandes’ smart finish capped a 2-1 comeback win against Fulham on the final day of the Premier League season.

After sealing Champions League qualification with a 4-1 win against Chelsea on Thursday, Erik ten Hag’s men overcame the west London opposition again on Sunday.

Kenny Tete opened the scoring and Fulham had a chance to extend their lead, only for long-serving United goalkeeper David De Gea – whose contract has yet to be extended until the summer – to save Aleksandar Mitrovic’s free-kick.

The save inspired United to produce an impressive turnaround as Jadon Sancho equalized for the hosts before Fred slipped past Fernandes to comfortably complete a 2-1 triumph.

The three points saw United pip Newcastle into third place, while Marco Silva’s Fulham headed north-west, guaranteed to finish 10th thanks to a superb season after promotion.

United’s win was a club record 27th at Old Trafford in all competitions and keeps the Red Devils’ momentum going heading into next weekend’s FA Cup final against treble-chasing rivals Manchester City.

A second trophy from the Ten Hag’s first season would be huge, but fundamental problems remain at the club and the United faithful made it clear during Sunday’s game – as they always do – that the Glazer family must sell.

Their team started on the front foot and Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno stopped Diogo Dalot’s early cross which could have been headed in by Fred.

The Fulham shot-stopper headed away Marcus Rashford’s well-struck free-kick from distance as United got off to a flying start, but was then caught cold from a set-piece in the 19th minute.

Willian curled in a corner from the left and Tete got in front of Rashford to head all too easily at the near post in front of a stunned Stretford End.

In the 24th minute it looked like things were going to get even more messy for United.

Harry Maguire’s poor pass from the back led to a move that was finished by Casemiro, who caught Tom Cairney’s leg in the box as the Fulham captain cut inside.

Referee Robert Jones pointed to the spot and Mitrovic entered Old Trafford, where his collapse in the FA Cup quarter-final defeat by Fulham earned him an eight-match ban.

The Fulham frontman will also want to forget this last trip to United as his firm strike saved De Gea, meaning he failed to score his fourth penalty of the Premier League campaign.

Old Trafford erupted at the tackle and brought United’s game back to life.

Rashford whistled a long-range drive just wide and a quick pass after winning the ball was finished by Alejandro Garnach curling just wide.

In the 29th minute, the 18-year-old went even closer. Tyrell Malacia moved the ball to Garnach in the box, the winger opened his body and curled a right-footed shot off the crossbar.

Leno denied Casemiro from an acute angle as Fulham looked to have staved off United’s onslaught, but was pegged back in the 39th minute.

Fernandes sent Fred into the box and Tete’s challenge on the midfielder inadvertently sent the ball to Sancho to equalise.

United came back from the break on top and took the lead in the 55th minute through the ever-reliable Fernandes.

Fred showed great skill and awareness to slip on the Portuguese who was running behind the Fulham back line and after taking a touch he cleverly clipped the ball past Len.

Fernandes was denied a second by Leno from distance and Rashford also saw an effort saved as United looked to put the result to bed.

Cairney had Fulham’s best chances when he held his head in his hands after one mistake and saw De Gea tip over another.

The United keeper stopped substitute Carlos Vinicius’s strike unaware that it had strayed offside and the Spaniard was alert again when he headed home Manor Solomon’s next opener.

Wout Weghorst converted a great chance in his final home appearance before his loan spell expires.

Man Utd player ratings (4-2-3-1)

GK: David de Gea – 7/10 – The winner of the Premier League Golden Glove made a rare penalty save on the day he accepted his award.

RB: Diogo Dalot – 6/10 – Dutifully overlapped all game, taking the sole focus off Sancho, which seemed to unshackle his teammate.

CB: Harry Maguire – 4/10 – Slotted into the sluggish tempo like a hand in a glove.

CB: Victor Lindelof – 5/10 – Kept his passing game simple and safe with an understated display.

LB: Tyrell Malacia – 5/10 – Leapt firmly into every tackle, although he was less consistent with his success in winning the ball.

CM: Casemiro – 3/10 – Uncharacteristically rash when conceding his penalty in league football since January 2019.

CM: Fred – 8/10 – Took the brief of a box-to-box midfielder very literally, covering every blade of grass at Old Trafford while creating two goals.

AM: Bruno Fernandes – 8/10 – Floated between the lines with menace, peeling into any whisper of space vacated by Fulham’s midfield double-pivot.

RW: Jadon Sancho – 7/10 – Played with the schoolyard freedom of his Borussia Dortmund days, happily stuffing the ball between any set of slightly open legs and snaffling a goal.

ST: Marcus Rashford – 4/10 – Feeble in his failed efforts to defend the near post when United were defending a corner for Tete’s opener.

LW: Alejandro Garnacho – 7/10 – The skeletal winger was at the tip of most of United’s forward thrusts.


SUB: Christian Eriksen (66′ for Fred) – 5/10

SUB: Anthony Martial (67′ for Garnacho) – 5/10

SUB: Scott McTominay (67′ for Casemiro) – 5/10

SUB: Wout Weghorst (77′ for Rashford) – N/A

SUB: Facundo Pellistri (84′ for Fernandes) – N/A

Subs not used: Butland (GK), Wan-Bissaka, Shaw, Varane


Erik ten Hag – 7/10 – Released the handbrake of his wide players and Fred, overloading Fulham all over the pitch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *