FULHAM stretched their winless run to three games as they slipped to defeat against table-topping Manchester United this evening.

The Whites have the worst goalscoring record away from home in the Premier League this season and their barren run continued at Old Trafford as the Red Devils climbed to the summit of the Premier League.

Martin Jol made three changes to the side that were beaten by Swansea at the weekend, installing Aaron Hughes, Damien Duff and Kerim Frei to the starting line-up.

The first chance of the match fell to the experienced head of Ryan Giggs but the veteran United midfielder nodded Rafael’s cross straight into the hands of a grateful Mark Schwarzer.

Fulham grew into the game and when space opened up in the middle of the park Moussa Dembele accepted the invitation to bomb forward and unleashed a fierce left-footed drive that whistled wide.

Clint Dempsey (pictured) was next to go close, dropping deep and collecting the ball in midfield, driving forward and attacking the United backline before testing United keeper David De Gea.

Antonio Valencia has been in top form for the Red Devils in recent weeks and came close to opening the scoring on the half-hour, playing a one-two around Brede Hangeland before seeing his shot blocked superbly by John Arne Riise.

But four minutes before the interval Fulham failed to clear a United cross, allowing Jonny Evans to pull the ball back for Wayne Rooney to slot home and send the hosts in ahead at the break.

United came flying out of the blocks after half-time and nearly doubled their advantage 90 seconds after the restart when the rampaging Valencia linked well with Giggs and forced an excellent save from Schwarzer.

Jol added the creativity of Bryan Ruiz and Danny Murphy to the mix after the hour in an attempt to regain a foothold in the midfield and rescue a point for the Cottagers.

Schwarzer kept Fulham in the game with a superb double save on 74 minutes and Hangeland threw himself in front of a Giggs strike after the 38-year-old had followed in.

As long as the lead remained at a single goal the Whites were in with a chance of snatching something from the game and they had a late shout for a penalty turned down when Michael Carrick sent Murphy tumbling.

Despite having more than 15 shots on target United failed to find a second, however Rooney’s first-half goal proved enough to deny the Whites who tired as they chased the equaliser but will be disappointed to see their penalty appeal waved away at the death.
 
Fulham: Schwarzer, Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Duff, Dembele, Diarra (Murphy, 71), Dempsey, Frei (Ruiz, 66), Pogrebnyak.
 
Subs not used: Stockdale, Briggs, Senderos, Etuhu, Trotta.

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