Man Utd 3-1 Fulham: Player ratings as Red Devils capitalise on Cottagers meltdown
Manchester United capitalised on an extraordinary Fulham meltdown to come from behind to win 3-1 on Sunday afternoon and book an FA Cup semi final date with Brighton.
Aleksandar Mitrovic bagged just after half time but Willian was sent off for blocking a goal-bound Jadon Sancho shot with his arm. Manager Marco Silva was dismissed and Mitrovic also saw red for pushing referee Chris Kavanagh, leaving the Cottagers with just nine players.
Bruno Fernandes converted from the penalty spot before Marcel Sabitzer flicked in the winner with a smart finish, his first for United. Fernandes lashed in a third late on to seal the Red Devils’ spot in the last four.
David de Gea had to be alert to tip an early Issa Diop header over the bar before United’s first solid sight of goal saw Wout Weghorst strike tamely at Bernd Leno.
Marcel Sabitzer and Marcus Rashford had shots on target during the first half, while England international Rashford also overran a Jadon Sancho which just needed the slightest of touches to put the hosts ahead.
Fulham enjoyed possession towards the end of the first half and saw Kenny Tete whip a long-range effort well wide of the first half before a good block from Tim Ream denied Sancho moments before half time.
Man Utd, without the suspended Casemiro in midfield and the injured Raphael Varane in defence, struggled for fluency throughout the opening 45 minutes, with the Cottagers pressing well to create small moments of opportunity.
USMNT international Antonee Robinson forced De Gea into another stop from close range at the start of the second half before Willian again tested the Spaniard with a curler.
United failed to heed the warnings and went behind in the 50th minute. Andreas Pereira’s corner was flicked on by Diop to Mitrovic, who escaped Luke Shaw’s attention to knock in the opener.
A more direct response from the hosts saw Rashford find Bruno Fernandes on the edge of the box, but the Portugal international’s strike from the edge of the box drifted wide.
United have played an incredible amount of games already this season, with Sunday’s clash being their 46th in all competitions. The Red Devils were certainly short of vibrancy and vigour against Fulham, huffing and puffing in the final third while struggling to create solid end product.
A wonderful clawing save from De Gea kept Fulham at bay and prevented Mitrovic nodding in his second which would have likely sealed the contest in the 66th minute.
Instead, the game turned towards United in ridiculous fashion barely moments later. Antony sprinted away on the counter to feed Jadon Sancho, who sold the last defender and shot towards an open goal.
Willian batted the ball away with his hand and after VAR consultation referee Kavanagh sent off the Brazilian and awarded a penalty. Aleksandar Mitrovic then barged the official to also be dismissed alongside manager Marco Silva, who lost his cool on the touchline.
Fernandes equalised from the spot and the second came just two minutes later. Sancho fed Shaw who picked out Sabitzer, who flicked in at the near post to put United ahead.
The indescretions of Willian and Mitrovic saw Fulham tire dramatically towards the end of the game, allowing Fernandes to grab a second with a fierce finish.
It means a semi final clash with Brighton at Wembley for Man Utd in April as they continue their hunt for trophies both domestically and in Europe.
GK: David de Gea – 6/10 – Couple of sharp saves before Mitrovic converted. Looked a little shaky with the ball at his feet.
RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 6/10 – Known deficiencies were exposed here as Fulham pressed high up the pitch.
CB: Harry Maguire – 6/10 – Booked for dragging back Mitrovic.
CB: Lisandro Martinez – 6/10 – Beaten by Diop for the first goal.
LB: Luke Shaw – 6/10 – Was marking Mitrovic for the opening goal but lost the Serbian. Good ball across goal picked out Sabitzer for the winner.
CM: Scott McTominay – 4/10 – Couldn’t match Palhinha’s industry before being hooked on the hour.
CM: Marcel Sabitzer – 7/10 – Stung Leno’s fingertips with a strike from distance. Great ingenuity to score his first United goal for the win.
RW: Jadon Sancho – 7/10 – Smart runs got in behind Fulham’s defence. Helped get Willian sent off and rolled in Shaw before Sabitzer struck.
AM: Bruno Fernandes – 7/10 – Rolled in the equaliser from the penalty spot and grabbed a second late on with a powerful finish.
LW: Marcus Rashford – 5/10 – Couldn’t get his quick dribbling feet going and didn’t have too many shooting chances.
ST: Wout Weghorst – 5/10 – Spent a lot of time appealing for fouls and not enough time kicking footballs properly.
Antony (58′ for McTominay) – 7/10 – Direct running made an instant impact, getting in behind and squaring for Sancho before the penalty was awarded.
Fred (83′ for Rashford) – N/A
Erik ten Hag – 5/10 – United looked tired and without creativity for much of the contest. The result means it doesn’t matter too much, but Ten Hag’s side did suffer a fair amount on Sunday.
GK: Bernd Leno – 6/10 – Made some important stops and looked firm before United turned the game around.
RB: Kenny Tete – 6/10 – Didn’t shy away from attacks and showed some good creativity at points.
CB: Issa Diop – 7/10 – Went close with an early header and got the flick to Mitrovic to help Fulham take the lead.
CB: Tim Ream – 6/10 – Showed some creative passing from the back.
LB: Antonee Robinson – 6/10 – Like Tete, not afraid to show some attacking intent out wide. Booked for bringing down Antony.
CM: Harrison Reed – 7/10 – Snapped into challenges alongside Palhinha.
CM: Joao Palhinha – 8/10 – Patrolled midfield well as Fulham frustrated United. Would have led them to a famous victory on another day.
RW: Bobby Decordova-Reid – 5/10 – Was dispossessed three times, a joint game high alongside Mitrovic.
AM: Andreas Pereira – 6/10 – Booked for bringing down Sancho on the counter. Good delivery from out wide led to Fulham’s opener.
LW: Willian – 3/10 – Solid work rate down the left. Linked attacks nicely and tested De Gea with an effort from distance. Ruined it all by batting away Sancho’s strike and getting sent off.
ST: Aleksandar Mitrovic – 3/10 – Evaded the attention of United’s defenders to put Fulham ahead. Lost his head by barging the referee, ruining an otherwise threatening performance.
Tom Cairney (89′ for Pereira) – N/A
Dan James (89′ for Reed) – N/A
Manor Solomon (89′ for Decordova-Reid) – N/A
Cedric Soares (89′ for Tete) – N/A
Marco Silva – N/A – When everyone around him were losing their heads, Silva also lost his. The game plan had been executed to perfection but his side’s meltdown was self-inflicted and totally avoidable.
Player of the match – Joao Palhinha (Fulham)
Tottenham weighing up decision on Antonio Conte future
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is weighing up whether to sack manager Antonio Conte this week, 90min understands.
While Spurs remain fourth in the Premier League, limp exits in the FA Cup and Champions League threw the Italian’s future into doubt and his meltdown at Southampton plunged the club further into crisis.
90min revealed earlier on Monday Tottenham could be forced to pay Conte a whipping £15m if they dismiss him before the end of the season.
Now, sources have confirmed Conte is back in Italy for a routine trip to his homeland having held talks with Spurs boss Levy. A final decision has not yet been reached but a number of officials at the club believe Conte’s position is untenable.
Tottenham Hotspur: Who is to blame?
Here at 90min towers, we’ve realised that there is always at least one Premier League club in relative crisis at any given time. In tribute, they are christened as the ‘crisis club of the week’.
But Tottenham Hotspur have crossed a line. You can’t keep continuously wrestling back the championship belt (you know, proverbially – we all know about the trophy drought). There must be a price to pay.
As such, we’ve had to dust off the old ‘who is to blame?’ gimmick instead. So, who really is to blame for Spurs’ current distress?
Blame rating: 0.1/10
Look at him. That big smile. Those big shoes. Those big wings.
He is everything wrong with Tottenham Hotspur.
Blame rating: 0.2/10
What’s worse than one big giant cockerel?
TWO big giant cockerels.
Blame rating: 0.5/10
It’s time to hop in the time machine. It’s time for some domino-effect interrogating.
Midway through the 2011/12 season, Tottenham had separated themselves from the top-four chasing pack and were within touching distance of Premier League title contenders Manchester City.
In a crunch game at the Etihad Stadium, Spurs fought back from two goals down to level it at 2-2. Mario Balotelli somehow escaped a red card for stamping on Scott Parker’s head, and would score a stoppage time penalty to seal a win for Man City and send Tottenham’s campaign into a tailspin.
That’s why they’re still stuck fighting for top-four finishes now.
Blame rating: 0.75/10
With Tottenham in the midst of that title fight, they recruited Ryan Nelsen and Louis Saha on free transfers on deadline day.
How do you think it went?
Blame rating: 1/10
But the person most at fault for such a collapse is Harry Redknapp. Or more specifically, his dog Rosie.
During a trial of two counts of cheating the public revenue, Redknapp explained to a court that he set up a Monaco bank account with Rosie’s name because he loved her so much.
All the while, Spurs’ season was going down the pan and he was flirting with the England job.
How could you do this, Rosie?
Blame rating: 1.5/10
At the end of Redknapp’s tenure, star midfielder Luka Modric was sold to Real Madrid, with Spurs announcing they had entered a special ‘partnership agreement’ with the Spanish giants.
Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid a year later.
Blame rating: 2/10
Though Juande Ramos is also Real Madrid alumni, his connection to Tottenham is for a very different reason.
He was the last manager to win a trophy with Spurs. Much better managers have followed in his wake and failed. What a lottery.
Blame rating: 2.1/10
Ramos won the cup, but that team spiritually belonged to Martin Jol. He’s just as culpable.
Blame rating: 2.5/10
Because you can’t blame who Spurs are and what they’re about without referencing Lasagna-gate 2006. I don’t want to go into it, though. Too painful.
Blame rating: 3/10
One of Tottenham’s most famous fans just happens to be someone who can also sell out Wembley – how are Spurs supposed to live with that pressure?
But speaking of Wembley…
Blame rating: 3.5/10
Tottenham had outgrown their old White Hart Lane stadium and had to move on. During construction of a new ground, they had to play at Wembley – a soulless stadium which was a nightmare to get to and from.
Spurs were unbeaten in their final season at White Hart Lane and lost their first game at Wembley. Go figure.
Blame rating: 4/10
Tottenham haven’t quite felt the benefits of their new home just yet. Why not? Why can’t a stadium play at wing-back?
Blame rating: 4.1/10
Among proposals for Tottenham Hotspur Stadium were a cheese room as part of the club’s luxury offerings.
It did not make the final blueprints.
Blame rating: 4.5/10
Beavertown have a microbrewery inside the new stadium. They now run a pub where the old ticket office stood. I am the proud owner of Beavertown x Spurs merchandise.
They truly run the world.
Blame rating: 5/10
The NFL have a 10-year agreement to play matches at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. There is a specific-use American football pitch underneath the soccer one.
It’s just not football anymore.
Blame rating: 5.1/10
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium featured on an episode of Richard Hammond’s Big.
Did the club further need their ego stroked? No.
Is the episode any good? Oh yeah, really great. Rivalries aside, definitely go watch it.
Blame rating: 5.2/10
Do podcasters even say anything interesting? Anything noteworthy? Are they worth the hassle? Everyone’s got a bloody podcast these days.
Anyway, please subscribe to Oh What A Night, part of the 90min podcast network. Hosted by me.
Blame rating: 5.5/10
The referee who gave a handball against Moussa Sissoko 22 seconds into the only Champions League final Tottenham might ever play.
I hope you’re proud of yourself. You ruined it for everyone.
Blame rating: 5.6/10
Off the back of reaching that Champions League final, Spurs made an audacious move to sign Paulo Dybala from Juventus.
He didn’t seem overly keen on the deal anyway, but a move fell apart on deadline day as Tottenham could not legally work their way around an issue with the forward’s image rights.
Blame rating: 6/10
Jose Mourinho was hired to get Tottenham over the line in their pursuit of a trophy.
He took the club backwards instead.
Blame rating: 6.1/10
Tottenham were handed a boost in their 2020/21 UEFA Europa League last 16 tie with Dinamo Zagreb when it was confirmed that manager Zoran Mamic had been sentenced to four years in prison.
Spurs managed to blow a two-goal lead and lost the second leg 3-0. Maybe if Mamic was let off the hook things would have been different.
Blame rating: 6.2/10
Off the back of that surprise elimination, the social media manager of Joe Hart – who spent just one season at Spurs – praised the result on the goalkeeper’s Instagram page, assuming that Tottenham wouldn’t have ballsed it up.
Hart issued a public apology for the incident, but the damage was done.
Blame rating: 6.5/10
This really was a time where bashing Tottenham was the lowest of hanging fruits. Even Dulux – who had become the club’s official paint supplier days earlier – posted tweets mocking their empty trophy cabinet.
Blame rating: 6.6/10
“Lads, it’s Tottenham.”
This utterance from Fergie set up a generation of Spurs jokes.
Blame rating: 6.7/10
Ah, the man behind the modern person’s Spurs proverb.
“It is in the history of the Tottenham.”
That’s another generation sorted.
Blame rating: 7/10
The best fried chicken in north London, why must you always tempt us back to N17?
Sources (Matt Le Tissier and David Cotterill) suggest the secret ingredient is Chirpy.
Blame rating: 7.5/10
Ok, I’m only being half-satirical with this list. 75% at a push. 100% if you think I’m a moron.
But there are genuinely Tottenham fans who think that Beyonce playing concerts at the stadium this summer is an awful thing which somehow ties to the club’s ambitions.
Blame rating: 8/10
Is it a good thing when your managing director of football could be banned from football for two-and-a-half years for financial irregularities?
Blame rating: 8.6/10
Antonio Conte was meant to be different. He was hired to get Tottenham over the line in their pursuit of a trophy. He took the club backwards inst- hey, didn’t I say this already?
Blame rating: 8.7/10
The unlikeliest of heroes, all things considered. 271 goals for Tottenham Hotspur, and by dumb modern-day logic, none of them mean anything.
What a sad little life, Harry.
Blame rating: 8.8/10
Well, Tactics Tim, you always wanted to take credit for Kane becoming one of the best players in the world.
Time to have your cake and eat it.
Blame rating: 9/10
Whooooo remembers ‘4th – Arsenal’ jokes?
No but seriously the Gunners have made the leap Spurs were supposed to and it’s causing misery down the other end of the Seven Sisters Road and I hate it.
Blame rating: 9.1/10
Lord Sugar was the owner of Tottenham during one of the worst stretches of their entire history. Nowadays, he just tweets discriminatory things and hosts The Apprentice.
Quite a brush for the club to be tarred with.
Blame rating: 9.5/10
Objectively and subjectively, Tottenham have made huge strides under Daniel Levy’s chairmanship.
They’ve also stagnated in recent years because of some really poor decisions and refusal to learn from mistakes.
Levy giveth, Levy taketh away.
Blame rating: 10/10
Here he is. The man who raised the bar, who made modern Tottenham Hotspur the club they are today.
It’s only right that he should be forced to return and sort out this mess. Who’s with me?
Nottingham Forest midfielder Lewis O’Brien joins D.C. United on loan
Nottingham Forest midfielder Lewis O’Brien is officially headed to Major League Soccer.
The player will join D.C. United on loan through July 16, though the contract contains a purchase option.
As reported previously by 90min, the two parties agreed to terms for the temporary stint after head coach Wayne Rooney convinced O’Brien of the project at D.C. United.
“Lewis has been one of the best players in the Championship over the last few seasons,” Rooney said in a release. “He reads the game well and creates goal-scoring opportunities. Bringing him in on loan from Nottingham Forest was a great bit of business for us and he will be a brilliant addition to our midfield.”
The player’s future was initially at risk when failing to secure a transfer to Championship high-fliers Blackburn Rovers on deadline day. Director of football Gregg Broughton revealed Rovers experienced “internal and external” reasons that led to late submission, and the club appealed the decision in the hope of the move being ratified.
But the EFL rejected the bid as Rovers had not submitted all of the required paperwork in time.
The unfortunate outcome left O’Brien unable to feature for the remainder of the season, after Forest did not name him in their 25-man Premier League squad for the second half of the campaign.
But Rooney stepped in with the chance at a new chapter with the Black and Red in Major League Soccer. O’Brien will now join D.C United with one goal in 17 appearances under his belt. He stands as D.C.’s third Premier League addition in the last six months after striker Christian Benteke arrived last summer from Crystal Palace and Mateusz Klich joined this winter from Leeds United.
Under Rooney, D.C. United has seen a decent start to the 2023 campaign with four points in four games and a 1W-1L-1D record. After concluding the 2022 season in last place of the Eastern Conference, the head coach hopes the new additions will propel the team out of the bottom and into the playoffs.
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