The Busby Babe
Shots (on target)
|21 (9)||7 (2)|
MUFC PLAYER STATISTICS
* David de Gea (goalkeeper): 15/17 passing (88%), 4/6 long balls, 0 goals conceded, 2 saves
* Rio Ferdinand (left-center-back | substituted off 74'): 54/55 passing (98%), 12/12 long balls, 1 tackle, 0 interceptions, 5 clearances, 1 shot blocked, 1 foul
* Jonny Evans (right-center-back): 86/88 passing (98%), 6/7 long balls, 1 tackle, 4 interceptions, 12 clearances, 1 shot blocked, 2 fouls, 1 assist
* Rafael (right-back): 75/81 passing (93%), 2 key passes, 3/7 crosses, 3/4 long balls, 3 tackles, 3 interceptions, 0 clearances, 0 shots blocked, 2 fouls
* Patrice Evra (left-back): 58/68 passing (85%), 2 key passes, 1/4 crosses, 0/1 long balls, 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 clearances, 0 shots blocked, 2 fouls
* Michael Carrick (central-midfield): 96/104 passing (92%), 1 key pass, 0/0 crosses, 11/13 long balls, 0/1 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 0 tackles, 4 interceptions, 1 shot (0 on target)
* Ryan Giggs (central-midfield): 64/81 passing (79%), 1 key pass, 0/2 crosses, 4/9 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 2 successful dribbles, 1 tackle, 0 interceptions, 3 shots (2 on target)
* Antonio Valencia (right-winger): 49/63 passing (78%), 4 key passes, 2/8 crosses, 0/3 long balls, 0/0 long balls, 0 successful dribbles, 0 fouls won, 1 tackle, 1 interception, 2 shots (1 on target)
* Ashley Young (left-winger): 42/48 passing (88%), 0 key passes, 0/8 crosses, 4/4 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 2 successful dribbles, 5 fouls won, 5 tackles, 2 interceptions, 5 shots (3 on targets)
* Wayne Rooney (striker | substituted off 79'): 36/47 passing (77%), 3 key passes, 0/1 crosses, 6/8 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 0 fouls won, 5 shots (1 on target), 1 goal
* Danny Welbeck (striker | substituted off 63'): 16/18 passing (89%), 1 key pass, 0/0 crosses, 0/0 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 1 successful dribble, 0 fouls won, 3 shots (1 on target)
* Javier Hernandez (striker | substituted on 63'): 8/10 passing (80%), 0 key passes, 0/0 crosses, 0/0 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 0 fouls won, 1 shot (0 on target)
* Chris Smalling (center-back | substituted on 74'): 12/14 passing (86%), 1/2 long balls, 0 tackles, 1 interceptions, 3 clearances, 0 shots blocked, 0 fouls
* Paul Scholes (central-midfield | substituted on 79'): 13/14 passing (93%), 0 key passes, 0/0 crosses, 2/3 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 0 tackles, 1 interception, 0 shots
Sir Alex Ferguson | MUFC manager (courtesy of Sky Sports)
(On United's unconvincing performance being a wake-up call for the run-in...) "The matches are all challenges. That's a great indication. It was a great game for us tonight because that's exactly what it's going to be like for the rest of the season. Teams are going to be battling and fighting, trying to survive, and not be lambs to the slaughter to Manchester United because they don't want to be seen to be laying down. Fulham put in a massive effort tonight. They're a very experienced team and were very difficult to break down. When you sit back, it doesn't matter if you've got 11 plumbers, joiners or footballers, it's hard to break down. We did enough to finish the game off but didn't do it and nearly paid the penalty."
(On the controversial non-penalty that wasn't called for Danny Murphy...) "I think they had a claim. No doubt. I think we had a claim for clear handball in the first half, maybe it was close to the attacker but it was a claim and Patrice Evra thought it was stonewall as he handled the ball going into the penalty box and denied an opportunity. Maybe the referee was thinking about that, certainly Carrick caught Murphy's heel as he's come back. But we deserved that [fortune] because we completely dominated the game until the last 15 minutes."
(Overall thoughts on his side's performance...) "It's the result for us tonight and the three points is what we're after. I thought, for an hour, we played very well. The passing was quick, decisive and we made some decent opportunities but credit to Fulham. It was a determined defensive performance by them. The problem is when you play teams who sit in their half all game, they've always got something left and they had more than we had in the last 15 minutes. A little bit of tiredness came into our game and we started giving the ball away. They capitalised on that and had a lot of counter-attacks through it."
(On United not being able to finish off Fulham...) "There are no straightforward games. We know that. The experienced players know it but the crowd still don't. They have watched us for 100 years but they still get nervous when we are not finishing teams off. And we should have finished them off.''
(On who he thought United's best players were...) "Antonio Valencia and Jonny Evans were our best players. Rafael did very, very well also. I think a player like Valencia has got exceptional talent. Some people actually under-rate him. We don't. That's why we bought him. When he's back and in that form, he gives us a big chance."
(On Ferdinand being substituted off...) "Rio got a bit of stiffness. He gets that, you know, from time to time, the stiffness in his back. So we brought on Chris Smalling as a safeguard. If Rio had played it out, he would probably have managed it okay but then not be available for a couple of weeks so I think we've done the right thing at the right time."
Jonny Evans | MUFC defender (courtesy of MUTV)
(Overall thoughts...) "It's a great result for us but we're a bit disappointed with the performance. It would have been nice to get more goals but looking back on the game I think we just have to be delighted with the three points, especially as the performance we put in probably wasn't up to our usual standard. Things were a bit nervy towards the end - we gave away a few free-kicks and invited a bit of pressure onto ourselves. The fans were getting a bit restless and you could feel it in the atmosphere. We maybe needed a bit of composure and to take the easy pass rather than the hard one. But we defended well in the situations we found ourselves in and managed to grind out a victory which puts us top of the league again."
(On Murphy not getting the penalty...) "You have a quick look towards the referee, but he's waved it away. I haven't seen it back again but he could have given the penalty"
(On the title race with Manchester City...) "We just have to keep playing our own game and concentrate on picking up points. We've got a good record away from home and when we play at home we always expect to get the three points."
Ryan Giggs | MUFC midfielder (courtesy of MUTV)
(Overall thoughts on the match...) "You'd take 1-0s to the end of the season now. If we'd scored in the last minute, everyone would be euphoric and buzzing but obviously, the way the game ended, with some sloppy play and not keeping the ball, everyone's a bit disappointed. Rightly so because we know what we're capable of but, overall, we're pleased to get the three points."
(On the title race...) "Our form has been really good," he added. "It's probably another reason why it was a bit frustrating tonight as we've been playing really well. It was a massive effort but we knew we had to do it. City were there to be caught. We had some tough games but we've got through them and, now we can see the finishing line, hopefully we can finish the job off. As a footballer, you want to enjoy these times and you want to be involved in title chases and games like tonight. I'm sure there will be more twists and turns to come."
(On whether Murphy have gotten the penalty called for Fulham...) "I mean I was right behind the referee and I didn't think it was a penalty. Looking back at the replays, maybe it could have been but it happens. We had a penalty here against Newcastle that wasn't. They tend to even themselves out over the course of the season and perhaps that's what has happened here."
Martin Jol | Fulham manager (Sky Sports)
(On Murphy being taken down by Michael Carrick in the box...) "No-one in the stadium could say Danny Murphy dived and everyone in the stadium expected a penalty. A few years ago, the ball was a metre over the line and they did not give it. Maybe the linesman was not quick enough that time But tonight the referee was there in line. It needed a brave decision because it was either a dive and he should book someone or he has to give Carrick a red card.' I don't want to see Carrick sent off but it needed a brave decision and I think it was a penalty kick. It seemed to be a clear case of the enormity of the situation influencing the outcome, although Jol opted not to reflect on such matters. The discussion of whether it would have been given at the other end has been going on for years and it will go on for years to come.''