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Fulham vs Manchester United. Premier League.

Craven CottageAttendance24,415.

Fulham 0

    Manchester United 1

    • B Fernandes (91st minute)

    Fulham 0-1 Manchester United: Bruno Fernandes scores in stoppage time to relieve pressure on Erik ten Hag

    Report as Bruno Fernandes' stoppage-time strike earns Manchester United a 1-0 win at Fulham; pressure relieved on Erik ten Hag as his side bounce back from successive 3-0 defeats; Scott McTominay saw early goal controversially disallowed; Man Utd go sixth, Fulham 14th

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United's win against Fulham in the Premier League.

    Manchester United claimed a vital win to relieve the pressure on Erik ten Hag as Bruno Fernandes struck in stoppage time to secure a 1-0 win at Fulham.

    After back-to-back 3-0 defeats against Manchester City and Newcastle, questions were increasingly being asked of the manager, and eyebrows were raised before kick-off when Marcus Rashford was left out of the squad.

    Man Utd explained that the forward - who was criticised by Ten Hag on Friday for going out to celebrate his birthday in the wake of the defeat to City - was injured.

    Marcus Rashford watches from the stands after being left out of the Man Utd match-day squad
    Image: Marcus Rashford watches from the stands after being left out of the Man Utd match-day squad

    In Rashford's place, it was McTominay who found the net for what he thought was his fourth goal in as many Premier League games - only for the officials to decide Harry Maguire was marginally offside in the build-up after a lengthy review.

    Man Utd rarely troubled Fulham's goal again - until Joao Palhinha's scuffed clearance found Fernandes on the edge of the area, with the captain squeezing a finish inside the near post and providing a much-needed boost to his embattled manager.

    Player ratings

    Fulham: Leno (6), Castagne (6), Bassey (7), Ream (7), Robinson (6), Palhinha (7), Iwobi (6), Wilson (6), Pereira (6), Willian (7), Muniz (6).

    Subs: Vinicius (6), Lukic (6), Decordova-Reid (n/a), Jimenez (n/a), Cairney (n/a).

    Man Utd: Onana (7), Wan-Bissaka (6), Maguire (7), Evans (7), Dalot (6), McTominay (6), Eriksen (5), Antony (5), Fernandes (8), Garnacho (6), Hojlund (5).

    Subs: Pellistri (6), Martial (6), Mount (6), Varane (n/a).

    Player of the match: Bruno Fernandes.

    How Fernandes stepped up when it mattered for Man Utd

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    Sky Sports' Michael Bridge and Joe Shread give their verdict on Manchester United's dramatic 1-0 win at Fulham, including how Bruno Fernandes stepped up when it counted and why Erik ten Hag still has problems to solve

    After eight defeats in their opening 15 games this season, the heat on Ten Hag had grown to such a level that Man Utd felt the need this week to deny reports they were contemplating a successor for the Dutchman.

    The furore over Rashford’s off-field antics - and his apparent failed fitness test before the game - hardly helped the manager, but McTominay looked to have handed his side a perfect start when he turned in Alejandro Garnacho’s low pass from a free-kick.

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    Clinton Morrison, Paul Merson and Danny Mills disagree over whether Marcus Rashford should have gone out for his birthday after Manchester United lost to Manchester City

    However, his celebrations were halted by what turned out to be a lengthy VAR review. Garnacho and McTominay were both onside but referee John Brooks was eventually called to the monitor to determine whether Maguire - who was marginally offside - was interfering with play when he tried and failed to get to the original free-kick.

    Brooks quickly decided the goal should be disallowed because of a ‘subjective offside’. However, whether that constituted a clear and obvious error - and whether Maguire even impacted Fulham’s defenders - is up for debate.

    What is a subjective offside?

    A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched* by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate or interfering with an opponent by:

    - Preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision

    - Challenging an opponent for the ball

    - Clearly attempting to play a ball which is close when this action impacts on an opponent

    - Making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball

    *The first point of contact of the 'play' or 'touch' of the ball should be used

    That controversial incident was the only one of note from a disappointing first half which saw both sides muster one shot on target between them.

    Fulham appeared to belatedly sense an opportunity against their beleaguered hosts and went close to opening the scoring twice in a matter of moments.

    Team news

    • Man Utd made six changes from the side that lost to Newcastle, bringing in Wan-Bissaka, Evans, McTominay, Eriksen, Fernandes and Hojlund for Reguilon, Lindelof, Casemiro, Mount, Hannibal and Martial.
    • Rashford missed out with what Man Utd said was a heavy knock to his leg - just one day after Ten Hag called his decision to go clubbing after the defeat to Man City “unacceptable”.
    • Fulham made six changes from the team that won at Ipswich, with Leno, Ream, Robinson, Palhinha, Iwobi and Willian coming in for Rodak, De Fougerolles, Ballo-Toure, Lukic, Cairney and Decordova-Reid.

    Andre Onana firstly denied Harry Wilson’s dipping volley with an unorthodox but ultimately effective save, before then parrying away Palhinha’s powerful close-range effort.

    Rasmus Hojlund was removed after another frustrating outing - he received just one pass in the opposition box - and Man Utd looked to be heading for a third game without a win or a goal.

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    'A significant moment for Erik ten Hag' | Fernandes scores late winner for Man Utd

    But Fernandes - who faced calls from Roy Keane last week to have the captaincy removed - stepped up in the final moments, pouncing on an error from his Portugal team-mate Palhinha and removing some of the storm clouds that had gathered over he and his manager.

    Ten Hag: I know the players back me

    Fulham's Timothy Castagne (left) and Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho in action
    Image: Fulham's Timothy Castagne (left) and Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho in action

    Ten Hag admitted his side must be more creative in the final third but was happy with the "spirit" demonstrated by his side.

    "It was a solid performance," said the Man Utd manager. "I am pleased, especially with the spirit in the team.

    "I was pleased with the way we pressed. Fulham play very decent football from the back but we never allowed them to play from the back.

    "It's clear we have to create more in the box but the composure on the ball was a step up."

    Asked whether Fernandes' late winner - and the jubilant celebrations that followed - show the players still support him, Ten Hag said: "I knew that and we've seen it again.

    "It's a good dressing room and they fight for each other. They know what the standards are. At Manchester United, they have to win every game. That is the attitude you need when you play for this club."

    Silva: We lost emotional control

    Fulham's Andreas Pereira (right) attempts a shot on goal under pressure from Scott McTominay
    Image: Fulham's Andreas Pereira (right) attempts a shot on goal under pressure from Scott McTominay

    Marco Silva blamed Man Utd's winner on a loss of "emotional control" by his players, adding he felt Fulham deserved the three points.

    "It’s a really difficult one for us to take," he said. "We cannot be punished the way we were.

    "The way we conceded the goal was a matter of emotional control. In 10 seconds, we made three or four different mistakes. It’s difficult to understand.

    "The second half showed we were in control and we gave almost nothing to Man Utd. We tried to win and we deserved it."

    Opta stats: Another Man Utd late show

    • Manchester United have scored two 90th-minute winning goals in the Premier League this season (also Scott McTominay vs Brentford), as many as they scored across the previous two seasons combined.
    • Fulham are currently winless in 18 games against Manchester United in all competitions (D3 L15) since defeating them 3-0 in December 2009 in a Premier League encounter.
    • Manchester United have won three consecutive away games in the Premier League for the first time since a 10-game run between June and December in 2020.
    • Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in 122 goals in 200 appearances for Manchester United in all competitions (67 goals, 55 assists), which is 33 more than any other player for the club since his debut in February 2020 (Marcus Rashford, 89).

    'A bit of respite - but I do not think it is celebration times'

    Analysis by Sky Sports' Gary Neville:

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    Gary Neville gives his reaction to Manchester United's win away at Fulham in the Premier League.

    "They were never going to go from being as bad as they have been to being amazing in performance terms, but obviously a victory was so necessary - I've not seen a coaching staff as relieved at the end of a football match for a long time.

    "Erik ten Hag and all his coaches were going over to all the players, they knew how big that was, the pressure has been building. And righty so as the performances have been awful, and that was a huge moment for them.

    "But look, a bit of respite, but I do not think it is celebration times, but certainly something that will give them a few days off!

    "It certainly will [turn the noise and negativity down], but I do not think anyone will be conned into thinking everything is fixed because the performance today was so poor, the team to be fair, he has so many injuries, but you can't believe there has been £1bn spent on it. It is incredible when you see the players that are out on the pitch.

    "But they have won the game, Fulham are obviously struggling to score goals and that was a game of two teams who did not look very comfortable going forward, but Man Utd get a goal late on.

    "I did say earlier in the week that Bruno Fernandes, as much as can be said about him, he does have world-class ability and that little bit of magic at the end and that is what Man Utd have, a few players who can produce in moments, there is no repeated patterns of play or style we see that stands out.

    "We do see these moments sometimes that mean they can win football matches and every game they have won this season has been like that, one goal.

    "They have been very lucky in games but they do have a habit of getting over the line against these teams that are weaker.

    "It is the teams who have anything about them where they struggle..."

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    Gary Neville believes it was a 'mistake' for Marcus Rashford to go out and celebrate his birthday after their 3-0 defeat in the Manchester derby

    What's next?

    Fulham next face a trip to high-flying Aston Villa on November 12 - kick-off 2pm. They are then live on Sky Sports on Monday Night Football at home to Wolves on November 27 - kick-off 8pm.

    Man Utd face a crucial trip to Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday night - kick-off 8pm. They then host relegation-troubled Luton on Saturday - kick-off 3pm.

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