Belfast Telegraph

Man Utd hammer sorry Fulham

Manchester United kept up the pressure on Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City by flattening Fulham 5-0 at Craven Cottage.

Danny Welbeck, Nani and Ryan Giggs were on target in a first half which was dominated by United with Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov completing the rout after the interval.

The only disappointment from the evening was Phil Jones' exit in the 20th minute after the England defender was caught by Clint Dempsey's arm while duelling for the ball.

It took just five minutes for the visitors to break the deadlock. Nani burst down the left flank, galloping the length of the Fulham half before producing a superb low cross that unmarked Welbeck tucked away with ease.

United continued to dominate thereafter and deservedly grabbed a second in the 28th minute. Giggs played a short corner to Antonio Valencia and, after receiving a return pass, floated in a superbly weighted cross, which Nani directed past David Stockdale.

United continued to press forward in numbers as the Cottagers struggled to cope, with Phillipe Senderos looking particularly out-of-sorts and almost giving away a penalty for a mistimed challenge on Welbeck.

The former Arsenal defender was guilty of leaving Welbeck free for the opener and saw a first half to forget compounded two minutes before the break.

Nani was given acres of space to deliver the ball to Giggs, who became the first player to net in every Premier League season when his low drive deflected off Senderos' legs and looped over the backpedalling Stockdale.

After being booed at half-time, the Cottagers improved, epitomised by Mousa Dembele and John Arne Riise coming close.

However, their misery was compounded when Rooney added a fourth with a 35-yard piledriver before a typically nonchalant Berbatov backheel completed the rout.

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