Man Utd have their own De Jong and four other lessons from Fulham’s win
Manchester United beat Fulham 2-1 in Sunday’s Premier League clash at Craven Cottage. Christian Eriksen scored for the visitors in the first half, and Daniel James then equalized for the hosts after the break. But Alejandro Garnacho came through with a dramatic winner in death and Express Sport will now take a look at five things we learned from the showdown in the capital.
Eriksen is United’s own De Jong
In the summer, Erik ten Hag wanted United to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona.
However, they ultimately missed out on the 25-year-old with the Dutch international reluctant to leave Camp Nou, having grown up supporting La Liga giants as a child.
But although United missed out on de Jong, they were able to recruit Eriksen on a free transfer from Brentford.
He operates in a similar role to De Jong and was at his skilful and brilliant best against Fulham, helping to dictate play and manage play in midfield.
Eriksen’s goal crowned a good performance by the midfielder who, with each passing game, gets better and better.
United are short on the right
United were without Diogo Dalot or Antony for today’s Premier League clash with Fulham.
Dalot was suspended after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season against Aston Villa last week, while Antony was sidelined with injury.
And it became clear during the competition, particularly with James’ levelling, that United fall short when it comes to that side of their team, even if Garnacho’s late goal gave them all three points.
Tyrell Malacia looked vulnerable in Dalot’s absence, with Willian regularly exploiting the former Feyenoord star.
And, a second-half shot aside, Anthony Elanga offered very little to highlight during his time on the field.
Fernandes a heartbeat of this team
While Eriksen stole the show with his composed performance in midfield, Bruno Fernandes remains the heartbeat of this team.
It was his assist that allowed the Dane to score, and the Portuguese international put the ball on a layup after a cross from the left.
Fernandes does not score with the frequency of yesteryear.
But United are much better with him than without him, with the former Sporting Lisbon playmaker always making things happen.
He was sorely missed against Aston Villa last week and Fernandes is an unbeatable figure in this side, while it’s no surprise to see him wearing the captain’s armband these days at a time when Harry Maguire is fighting for action.
Criticism of De Gea is unfair
Yes, David De Gea’s distribution is not as good as that of Alisson and Ederson in Liverpool and Manchester City respectively.
But the Spain international is one of the best in the world when it comes to stopping shots, as his performance against Fulham showed.
De Gea was outstanding in the first half, stopping everything that came his way.
And he was also at his acrobatic best in the second, with the 31-year-old able to deftly deflect a Tim Ream header over the crossbar.
Although he couldn’t do anything about James’ leveler, based on this evidence, he is certainly a player worth keeping. There has been talk of a departure, but De Gea remains one of the best in the business.
fulham will be fine
Fulham dug deep against United and deserved a point until Garnacho produced the late drama.
It was certainly another encouraging performance from Marco Silva, who has been exceeding expectations since his promotion.
In previous years, Fulham have found themselves in a relegation fight with the Cottagers constantly yo-yoing between the Premier League and the Championship.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case this time.
Fulham appear to be here to stay and they hope to continue their push through Europe when the top flight resumes after the World Cup.
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