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Fulham 1-2 Manchester United: 5 talking points as Red Devils complete comeback victory | Premier League 2020-21

Manchester United defeated Fulham 2-1 on Wednesday
Manchester United defeated Fulham 2-1 on Wednesday
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 21 Jan 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

Goals from Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba helped Manchester United complete a comeback victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday.

The hosts had started the game on the front foot and got a well-deserved opener. Ademola Lookman beat the Manchester United offside trap to place an exquisite finish past David de Gea in the 5th minute.

There were appeals from the Manchester United players for offside but VAR upheld the goal, with replays showing that Aaron Wan Bissaka's backfoot had played Lookman on.

This goal seemed to jot the Red Devils into life. After a quiet opening 20 minutes, Bruno Fernandes had his first chance when he struck the post with a left-footed shot from distance.

In the next sequence of play, the Portugal international picked up the ball on the left flank and put in a cross into the Fulham box. Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola failed to hold on to the cross, allowing Cavani to tap in from close range. The former PSG goalkeeper would not look back on that error too fondly.

Despite some good chances, neither side could find another breakthrough to ensure both teams went in level at the break.

The second half saw Manchester United up the ante, but they faced a resolute Fulham defence that was determined not to give out an inch.

Ultimately, it took a spectacular long-range left-footed effort from Paul Pogba to breach the Fulham defence. Despite some late pressure from the hosts, Manchester United held on for the victory.

Here, we shall have a rundown of five talking points from the fixture.

#5 Despite improved performance, Fulham still stare at the barrels of relegation

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Fulham sit in the relegation places
Fulham sit in the relegation places

Fulham secured promotion to the Premier League by virtue of their playoff victory over Brentford in August 2020.

The Cottagers had been relegated from the top flight just a season earlier, but they have found the going tough on their return to the Premier League.

They started the campaign with five defeats and one draw from their first six games. Consecutive defeats to Chelsea and Manchester United have since followed, leaving Scott Parker's side in 18th spot and five points from safety.

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The west London outfit have put out some fine performances in recent weeks, but they have not been able to convert their displays to points.

With 18 matches gone, the signs are perilous for Fulham. Unless they turn things around, they run the risk of suffering an immediate relegation back to the Championship.

#4 Edinson Cavani proves his mettle for Manchester United

Edinson Cavani scored the leveler
Edinson Cavani scored the leveler

Edinson Cavani was a late arrival at Manchester United last summer, but his signing did not exactly send shockwaves among the club's fanbase.

Despite his pedigree, the Uruguay international had not played competitive football for almost seven months prior to his arrival, and the general consensus was that he was a panic buy.

However, despite the naysayers, Cavani has gone about his business with minimum fuss and has done what he knows how to do best: score goals.

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Throughout his career, the former Napoli man has shown a penchant for being in the right place at the right time. It can be argued that he is the best positioner in world football at the moment.

Having been given the nod to lead the line against Fulham, the 33-year-old showed his awareness to draw Manchester United level.

His positioning to anticipate the spill by Areola was top-notch and bore the hallmarks of a world-class striker.

It was his fourth Premier League goal for Manchester United but his first as a starter. While the jury might still be out on him, Edinson Cavani has shown that he still has what it takes to perform at the highest level.

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Published 21 Jan 2021, 06:25 IST
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