Robin Van Persie starting for the first time for Utd was on target with a characteristic left footed half volley against Fulham. His goal drew Utd level after Damien Duff showed some fine improvisation off a set piece to lean his left leg onto the ball and guide it through a thicket of defenders past De Gea.
Shinji Kagawa also opened his Utd account smartly putting in a rebound after Mark Schwarzer was unable to hold onto Tom Cleverley’s shot. It did come from an offside position but the Fulham appeal was in vain. Kagawa has the Borussia Dortmund class about him. He is proving to be an excellent signing. Rafael made it three as he headed the ball down from a perfectly weighted cross by Ashley Young.
De Gea has improved as a goalie and there is no one better when it comes to reaction saves but he still shows some weakness when it comes to crosses and set pieces. Fulham were let back into the match as De Gea’s indecision in dealing with Mladen Petric’s cross saw him flail at the ball only for it to bounce off an unsighted Nemanja Vidic for an own goal.
Fulham came back strongly in the last 20 minutes and really pushed Utd hard benefiting from a soft midfield. Utd lost a step after Kagawa was taken off and Rooney replaced him. The Utd striker made more of an impression with a terrible gash sustained on his knee when he collided with Hugo Rodallega’s studs. This Utd team can score goals but it has a makeshift central defense and a right back who shows imperfect judgment. They also lack a midfielder who can consistently protect the back four. And De Gea is error prone. Lots of squeaky bum time this season. As an Arsenal fan, RVP’s roll out today was a painful one to watch.