Man United beats Fulham 3-2 in Premier League

New signing Robin van Persie helped Manchester United overcome a

slow start at Old Trafford to beat Fulham 3-2 in the Premier League

on Saturday.

Van Persie, who joined United from Arsenal earlier this month,

scored his first goal for his new club in the 10th minute to

equalize after the visitors opened the scoring through Damien Duff

in the 3rd.

Midfielder Shinji Kagawa, another United summer signing, gave

the home side the lead in the 35th and Rafael Da Silva added a

third in the 41st.

Fulham clawed one back in the second half through Nemanja

Vidic’s own goal in the 64th, but despite several shaky moments

from goalkeeper David De Gea, United held on for its first victory

of the campaign.

United started with Wayne Rooney on the bench after the England

striker struggled for form in the team’s league opener against

Everton, a 1-0 defeat on Monday.

Rooney came on as a substitute in the 68th minute for Kagawa but

his appearance was cut short when he was forced off in stoppage

time after he suffered a deep cut on the right leg in a clash with

Hugo Rodallego. United manager Alex Ferguson said after the game

that the striker will be out for four weeks.

But since the arrival of van Persie and Kagawa, Rooney’s absence

is unlikely to be as keenly felt by United as it would have been

last season.

Both new arrivals stood out in a frenetic first half in which it

was the visitors who struck first. Bryan Ruiz rolled a free-kick

into Duff’s path that the Irishman slotted into the net before

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, a United guest of honor, had even

taken his seat.

With the defeat at Everton still fresh in its mind, the home

team wobbled but did not fold.

Van Persie leveled with the clinical efficiency typical of last

season’s top Premier League goalscorer. Meeting Patrice Evra’s

left-wing cross perfectly, the Dutchman flashed a shot wide of Mark

Schwarzer before turning to receive the acclaim of his

teammates.

Kagawa then started pulling the strings in midfield for Ashley

Young and Antonio Valencia, who both went close.

But when Van Persie’s corner was half-cleared to Tom Cleverley,

Schwarzer could only turn the midfielder’s shot into the path of

Kagawa, who – profiting from Sascha Riether’s failure to get out of

the six-yard box quickly – swept home from close range.

Restored to the starting lineup following his Olympic campaign

with Brazil, Rafael provided additional security at the back.

He also had a goal correctly ruled out for offside before

nodding home Young’s chip to the far post just before the

break.

Yet, for all United’s attacking endeavors, the side remains

vulnerable at the back, where injuries have taken their toll.

Once again pressed into service as an emergency center half,

Michael Carrick came close to turning the ball into his own

net.

And when United did concede a second, it proved a comedy of

errors as de Gea came to punch Matthew Briggs’ cross, got nowhere

near it and the ball eventually bounced off Vidic and rolled

in.

De Gea redeemed himself with two brilliant saves to deny Mousa

Dembele and, in Fulham’s last attack, Ruiz, who had been set up by

Dembele.