Sunday, March 14, 2010

Analysis of "My 5 Keys to Survival for Fulham against Manchester United"

I knew to win at Manchester United would take a special effort by Fulham. I was hoping that maybe they could get a point and just be competitive. Fulham were very competitive in the first half. It was the second half that Manchester United dominated. Fulham did lose 3 - 0 at Old Trafford today. I am going to now analyze below my "5 Keys to Survival for Fulham against Manchester United" which I wrote about on Friday.

1. I am hoping that Danny Murphy will be able to play. Danny Murphy did play in this game and played well. His passing in the midfield I thought was a big key in the first half. In the second half Murphy started to get frustrated and actually got a yellow card. Dickson Etuhu did not play as Chris Baird played in his place in the midfield.

2. Will Nicky Shorey play or will Paul Konchesky start? Nicky Shorey did play and Paul Konchesky sat ont he bench. Stephen Kelly actually played on defense as well. I don't think Konchesky playing would have made a difference. I wanted Shorey to play.

3. Defending well on set pieces for Fulham is a must. There certainly were a good amount of set pieces. I think for the most part Fulham did a good job on corners and free kicks. With the likes of Berbatov and Rooney to handle on these kicks, Fulham did hold their own.

4. If it is possible Fulham need to contain Wayne Rooney. This was the key to the match where Fulham failed. They could not contain Wayne Rooney. He was involved in all 3 goals and he scored 2 himself. At times I thought the defense did a good job on him. The problem is he is such a great player, and it doesn't take much for him to get an opening. In the second half he took over and to me was the difference in the match.

5. Mark Schwarzer needs to play at his "highest level" in this matchup. Mark Schwarzer I thought played well. He made several key saves especially in the first half. I don't think you can blame him on any of the 3 goals. Wayne Rooney and his teammates just were too much for him to handle in the second half.

In conclusion Fulham were actually successful on most of "my keys for survival". They were very competitive in the first half. The #4 key is what made the difference in the match. They were not able to contain Rooney and they looked tired in the second half. It is just one game. I think they also showed they can play with the best teams in Europe. I guess it is another thing to win against those teams.

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