Manchester United brush feeble Fulham aside

20:28 26 January 2013

Manchester United

Manchester United's Ryan Giggs scores their first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the FA Cup Fourth Round match. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

PA Wire

Wayne Rooney was stripped of penalty-taking duties by Manchester United but found the net anyway as they sauntered past Fulham to book an FA Cup fifth round place.

After his latest miss, Rooney was passed over in favour of Ryan Giggs to take United’s third-minute spot-kick.

And, 20 years and three days after his first FA Cup goal, Giggs scored his 12th.

Rooney did not come alive until after the restart but once he had brutally fired home his 10th goal of the season, he quickly set up strike partner Javier Hernandez for the Mexican’s 13th.

Hernandez bagged another before Aaron Hughes’ consolation, ensuring Robin van Persie could remain on the bench throughout.

United’s penalty woes reached a head 10 days ago, when Rooney’s effort in the replay win over West Ham went sailing over the bar.

It was their fifth spot-kick miss of the season, Rooney’s second, and his 10th overall as a Red Devil.

Sir Alex Ferguson was piqued at the time. And evidently the intervening period had not done much to calm his mood judging by his first programme notes since.

“You can certainly criticise Wayne as that was his 10th miss from the spot,” bemoaned Ferguson.

“It’s a particular art. The Germans are good, especially in internationals and big competitions, and I think they practice, unlike in England it seems we either can’t be bothered - perhaps players see it as boring, or as if we regard it as almost cheating.

“We will really have to up our game in this area.”

And evidently, decisive action had been taken. With van Persie on the bench, it was Giggs who strode straight into the area once Mark Clattenburg had spotted Hughes handling Rooney’s corner.

In more than two decades, the only times Giggs had missed in such situations were in shoot-outs, and though Mark Schwarzer got a hand to this one, the Australian was unable to keep it out.

The hosts should have had another when Giggs’ pass for Patrice Evra rolled off Damien Duff’s arm. Inexplicably, Clattenburg ruled this intervention accidental and Fulham’s escape was complete when Schwarzer turned Rooney’s shot onto the bar as the hosts pressed at the corner.

A neat move involving Anderson and Giggs presented Rooney with another chance, which Schwarzer blocked at his near post.

Fulham were almost exclusively bystanders to this one-sided game, with Dimitar Berbatov flickering only briefly, and then the applause he received on his return to the club he served for four years was due to a brilliant piece of control on halfway.

Shortly afterwards Sascha Riether drilled a long-range effort just wide, just the reminder United needed that their place in the last 16 was not assured, and which they rectified within five minutes of the restart.

Anderson deserved immense credit for his brilliant through-ball.

But the goal clearly meant something to Rooney, who turned inside Hughes then sent a ferocious shot flying past Schwarzer.

On United’s next attack, Nani’s trickery put Fulham’s defence on the back foot before Rooney’s cross ended up with Hernandez, who lashed home a close-range volley.

And midway through the half Hernandez had another, charging onto Giggs’ pass before his shot deflected off Hughes and gave Schwarzer no chance.

It was the Mexican’s fifth goal in six games, underlining the fact United are not quite as reliant on Van Persie as some people seem to think.

Not that everything went to plan for the hosts.

Having kept faith with under-fire David de Gea, Ferguson would not have been happy that the keeper’s goal should be breached at a routine corner.

De Gea himself was not culpable but the ease with which Hughes rose at the near-post to steer home Giorgos Karagounis’ corner was alarming for a side with only seven clean sheets all season.

Related articles

Live Blog Transfer Window Live - July 31

 

Latest Stories

Scum surrounding the bath (Picture: Redbridge Council)

A landlord who let nine people – including an 18-month-old – live in an “appalling” mouse-infested house in east London has been ordered to pay out £18k after being convicted of 15 offences.

Read more
Christopher Bridger was accused of sexual offences against three women. He was found guilty of raping a woman whilst he was studying in south London in 2008 [Picture courtesy of Metropolitan Police]

A trainee paramedic at St George’s University Hospital in London has been found guilty of rape at Guildford Crown Court, after lulling women “into a false sense of security by claiming to be gay”.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:44
Lutfur Rahman's tweet

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman has ordered the Palestinian flag to be flown from the Town Hall.

Read more

Promotions

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

TOP STORIES

Quizzes

Guess the managers quiz

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
Brede Hangeland  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

How well do you know the current generation of Fulham’s players? Well now is your chance to compete against your mates and fellow fans and find out!

Read more
Fulham manager Felix Magath at the Hawthorns. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Do you think you know your Fulham? Well now is your chance to put your knowledge to the test.

Read more

Fulham Transfer News