Iwobi´s double sinks Red Devils at Old Trafford
Image Credit: Fulham FC Twitter

The stage was set at Old Trafford for what promised to be an enthralling clash between Manchester United and Fulham in the 26th match of the Premier League. With both teams looking to secure valuable points, the atmosphere was electric as fans eagerly awaited kickoff.

Manchester United, coming off a streak of six games without a loss and two consecutive victories, entered the match with confidence. Positioned 6th in the league standings with 44 points, they were determined to continue their upward trajectory. The starting lineup featured Onana guarding the net, supported by a defensive quartet of Diogo Dalot, Varane, Maguire, and Lindelöf. Mainoo and Casemiro anchored the midfield, while Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes, and Forson provided the attacking threat alongside Rashford.

On the other side, Fulham aimed to bounce back from a recent defeat against Aston Villa. Sitting 12th in the league with 29 points, they were eager to improve their away form, having won only 24% of points on the road thus far. With significant changes to their lineup compared to the previous match, including alterations in defense and midfield, Fulham sought to upset the odds and claim a valuable victory.

The game kicked off with an intense tempo, as Fulham enjoyed early spells of possession, probing the United defense with purpose. Pereira's speculative effort in the 3’ minute hinted at Fulham's attacking intent, albeit without causing much concern for the United goalkeeper.

Fulham continued to press forward, earning their first corner in the 9th minute, as Robinson's menacing runs down the left flank troubled the United rearguard. Iwobi came close to breaking the deadlock, but his wayward shot failed to trouble the United goal.

The opening exchanges saw Fulham dictating the play, with Iwobi posing a constant threat in the final third. In the 17’ minute, Iwobi squandered another gilt-edged opportunity, much to the frustration of the Fulham faithful.

Image Credit: Twitter <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en-us/soccer/2024/02/17/1172892-luton-town-vs-manchester-united-preview-ahead-of-a-big-game-on-premier-league-gameweek-25.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en-us/soccer/2024/02/17/1172892-luton-town-vs-manchester-united-preview-ahead-of-a-big-game-on-premier-league-gameweek-25.html'>Manchester United</a></strong>
Image Credit: Twitter Manchester United

As the half progressed, United gradually found their rhythm, with Dalot coming agonizingly close to opening the scoring in the 30’, only to be denied by the woodwork. Fulham responded swiftly, with Iwobi once again rattling the frame of the goal.

A moment of brilliance from Casemiro nearly gifted Fulham the lead, but Onana's heroics kept the scores level. Leno produced an equally impressive save to deny Garnacho in the 40’ minute, ensuring both teams went into halftime with the scoreline intact.

When the drama unfolds during the second half

The second half began with a clash of heads between Casemiro and Reed, forcing both players to receive medical attention. McTominay and Eriksen were in and the game resumed with renewed vigor.

Fulham looked lively on the counter, with Robinson's incisive pass nearly resulting in the opening goal, only for the chance to go begging. The following 15 minutes saw both teams battle for midfield supremacy, with Fulham eager to capitalize on their momentum while United sought to assert control.

Iwobi strikes first

In the 65’ minute, Iwobi broke the deadlock for Fulham, latching onto a rebound from a corner to rifle home a powerful shot past Onana. The goal injected new life into the match, as United pressed forward in search of an equalizer.

Despite Bruno Fernandes' efforts with a well-struck shots many times, United struggled to find a way past Leno in the Fulham goal. Adama Traoré's introduction provided Fulham with added pace on the break, as they looked to exploit United's commitment to attack.

As the game entered its closing stages, tensions ran high, with both teams pushing for a decisive goal. Maguire's composed finish leveled the scores, setting the stage for a frantic finale.

With nine minutes of added time, United threw everything forward in search of a winner, but it was Fulham who had the last laugh. Iwobi's clinical finish in the 96th minute secured a dramatic 2-1 victory for Fulham, leaving Old Trafford stunned.

Fulham triumph in a thriller game

In a match defined by its twists and turns, Fulham emerged victorious, inflicting a blow to United's Champions League aspirations. Despite a spirited fightback from United, Fulham's resilience and clinical finishing proved decisive, as they still to 12th in Premier League.

As the final whistle blew, it was clear that Fulham had been the better side for much of the game, capitalizing on their chances and executing their game plan to perfection. For United, it was a bitter pill to swallow, as they now find themselves facing an uphill battle to secure European qualification.  

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