Manchester United registered a point on home soil against relegated Fulham who were playing for pride with two games to go before they return to the Sky Bet Championship under Scott Parker. Goals from Edinson Cavani and Joe Bryan ensured the spoils were shared in a game which was eventful to say the least after Cavani's lob from 40 yards out beat Alphonse Areola to grab the headlines.
United came out the blocks very brightly, hitting the front foot instantly with a spectacular goal from Cavani, a massive cheering point for the privileged fans who returned to Old Trafford to see their club once again after Coronavirus restrictions. Cavani casually deciding to clip the ball over Areola from just inside the Fulham half. The Cottagers did show a great of heart, Fabio Carvalho outmuscling Victor Lindelof to get in on goal, but his shot was fired too close to David De Gea.
The second half started well for the visitors, a good move ending with a double De Gea save as he denied both Ademola Lookman and Carvalho in the process. The Red Devils made sure they showed some resolve to try and double their lead breaking quickly with Mason Greenwood ending up in on goal but Areola made himself big pulling off a strong save. But in the 76th minute the Manchester club were pegged back as Fulham equalised to take a point away from home. Disappointing for United fans on their return to home turf.
The game was dominated in possession by United, the Red Devils dominant on the ball but unable to pounce on their higher statistical shots on target, with Fulham always pushing the Red Devils right till the end during the whole of the 90 minutes. Man United had 13 shots on goal during the game compared to Fulham's eight, with six shots on target to the away sides five. The possession count for the Red Devils was much higher with a 58% to 42% ratio at Old Trafford. The total pass count for the Red Devils was a much higher 544 to Fulham's 410. The Manchester side also had the better passing accuracy of 86% to the visitors 81%.
Solskjaer looked ahead to the Europa League final in a bid to get his hands on silverware this season
The United boss spoke about the injury worries for two of his men, ahead of the final game of the Premier League season and a Europa League final, he said:
"Went under the radar a bit, but [Scott] McTominay and Fred are possible doubts for the Europa League final. Unfortunately Scott had to come off and Fred doesn't look great while he's walking now, but we've got eight days."
United now have Wolverhampton Wanderers on the road at Molineux on Sunday afternoon.
Fernandes was glad to see fans back in the Stadium and spoke about winning Player of the Year for Manchester United
The former Sporting Lisbon midfielder spoke after the game about the significance of achieving silverware and success as a team, rather than individual accolades, he said:
“Individual trophies are really good for players. But it's not more important than a group trophy. If you are doing well, if you are doing your game good, doing the right things, it means you can do a little bit more. Winning Player of the Year means people are liking the way you play, the way you are helping the team. But more important than that is winning a trophy at the end of the season, because football is a team sport."
Bruno Fernandes wasn’t pleased with United’s performance but was glad to see the return of fans to Old Trafford.
“It was really good to have the fans back. We know how important it is to have them behind us. But our performance was not enough. We tried to give our best to give better to them.”