Aaron Hughes Anderson

Marching On Ahead: United in 1/8th of FA Cup

5:17 PMAleks Vee

Javier Hernandez netted a double and came close to his first hat-trick.
Fergie's Red Army stormed past Fulham in the early minutes of the 1/16th of the FA Cup at Old Trafford. An easy penalty delivered by Ryan Giggs set the tone and became the team's anchor for the rest of the match. United's dominance in both halves wasn't as surprising as Fulham's lack of resistance. Dimitar Berbatov lacked the sort of speed and energy that was necessary to get more chances. The former United striker only reaffirmed that perhaps the best days of his career are long gone, having had only one or two productive moments on the pitch during the game. Manchester United not only showed great skill, but didn't lose their spirit when Mark Clattenburg failed to administer a second penalty after the ball made contact with Damien Duff's arm. The ever-controversial referee went on to explain his decision in a most theatrical way, leading ESPN to make a Billy Bowden reference. Rooney had plenty of opportunities in the first half, as did Nani, but the Reds would have to wait until the second half to add to the scoreboard.
Ryan Giggs should always be United's penalty-taker.
Another fiery 45 awaited Martin Jol's team. They didn't have to wait long for the goals to start pouring in - United scored twice in two minutes. Rooney picked up a ball from Anderson and beat two defenders to net one in. He then took advantage of a poor clearance by Hughes, playing the ball from the right flank to Chicharito. The latter soon got his double after a great pass from Giggs, running up on the left side of the box to net one in past a helpless Mark Schwarzer.

Martin Jol's scowl just about said it all. His team had barely tested the net and were rather dull on the attack. The goal of redemption by Aaron Hughes wasn't nearly enough to give Fulham a shot at the Cup. The game was well over for Fulham, but could have gone on for United had Clattenburg not whistled for Chicharito's rather soft infringement, disallowing what would have been Wayne Rooney's second goal.

Despite refereeing blunders, Sir Alex's United were a powerhouse. It's hard to forget that the last two wins for the Reds against Fulham in the FA Cup ultimately led to winning the competition. For 5-time Cup winner Fergie, this year's tournament may just bring home another trophy.


FA Cup - 4th Round (1/16th)
Saturday, January 26, 2013, 12:30AM (ET)

Manchester United vs Fulham - 4:1 (1:0)
Venue: Old Trafford (Manchester)
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Newcastle upon Tyne)
Weather: rainy
Goals:
1:0 (PK) Ryan Giggs ('3)
2:0 Wayne Rooney (Asst. Anderson) (50')
3:0 Chicharito (Asst. Wayne Rooney) (52')
4:0 Chicharito (Asst. Ryan Giggs) (66')
4:1 Aaron Hughes (Asst. Giorgos Karagounis) (76')

Full Time Stats:
Shots on target: 12:5
Shots off target: 6:4
Fouls: 8:5
Corners: 6:5
Offsides: 3:1
Possession: 57:43

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