Fulham 0-1 Manchester United
Bruno Fernandes earned Manchester United a last-gasp winner over Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday, after which the Portuguese admitted the victory must spark a change in performances.
United were far from their best once again in London, but Fernandes popped up in the 91st minute to slot past Bernd Leno and give the travelling supporters a much-needed boost ahead of their crucial midweek Champions League trip to Copenhagen.
In a scrappy game, Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha caught the eye with a typically tenacious display, while for United defender Diogo Dalot was responsible for a key piece of defending when he made a late interception to deny Fulham a clear sight on goal. By the end of normal time, United had established themselves as the more likely to snatch all three points.
The goal arrived almost exactly upon the progression into additional time. Fernandes, who had struggled to find his passing range, took advantage of Fulham’s failure to clear their lines and – from the edge of the box – beat German goalkeeper Leno with a side-footed finish into the bottom corner for his 3rd goal of the season.
“Obviously we wanted to win in a different way,” Fernandes told reporters after the final whistle. “We could have created more chances. The last pass, the last moment of when we reach the box, we didn’t always decide well.
“But we got our win and we got our goal so that is the most important [thing]. We have to build momentum, we’ve been talking about building momentum and we haven’t done it yet. Now we know how important it is to get the three points in the Champions League and it will be a tough game because we have already played them at home.
“They are well organised, difficult team to overcome, but we hope to get the three points there and we will do everything we can to get three points.”
United travel to Denmark aware that their Champions League campaign is in a delicate state, with the Red Devils in third place in Group A having won once and lost twice in their opening three matches.