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Manchester United 2-1 Fulham: Reds come from behind to secure third place

United ended the Premier League season with a win.

Manchester United v Fulham FC - Premier League Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Manchester United came from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 on Sunday as the Premier League season drew to a close. Goals from Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes either side of halftime cancelled out Kenny Tete’s early opener, ensuring Erik ten Hag’s side secured a third place finish in the league table.

With an FA Cup final still to come, ten Hag made six changes to the side that beat Chelsea on Thursday. Harry Maguire, Tyrell Malacia and Diogo Dalot were drafted into defence; Fred partnered Scott McTominay in midfield for the first time since the opening weekend of the season; and Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford both started in attack.

United made a reasonably bright start to the match, with Diogo Dalot stinging Bernd Leno’s palms and Marcus Rashford rattling the crossbar in the opening 10 minutes. But it was Fulham who drew first blood, when Kenny Tete arrived unmarked at the near post to power a Willian corner past David de Gea for 1-0.

Things went from bad to worse when Casemiro tripped Tom Cairney in the United box two minutes later, but David de Gea got down low to his left to deny Aleksandar Mitrovic from the penalty spot.
 It proved an important moment in the game, and the spur United needed to seize the initiative once more. Rashford soon drilled a low shot wide, and Garnacho twice went close, firing wide on the turn before rattling the crossbar with a superb effort from a tight angle.

Fulham could have no complaints when United drew level shortly before halftime. After some intricate attacking play from Bruno Fernandes, Fred bumbled his way into the box, and the ball bounced loose for Jadon Sancho to tap home from close range. There was no small luck amount of luck involved, but it was luck United deserved.

United should’ve taken the lead within moments of the restart, when Rashford fluffed a good chance, but they didn’t have to wait too much longer for another goal. 10 minutes into the second half, Fred played an incisive pass through the heart of the Fulham defence, allowing Bruno Fernandes to slip goalside of Tosin Adarabioyo and slot home for 2-1.

From there, United were on top, but didn’t create too many chances to put the game to bed. The hosts should’ve done better after winning possession deep in the Fulham half with 15 minutes to go, though Fernandes’s pass was well intercepted by Adarabioyo. Substitute Wout Weghorst might scored in stoppage time, when Sancho scooped a beautiful cross towards the far post, though the Dutchman contrived to miss from six yards. He’s unlikely to get another chance at a Premier League goal in a United shirt.