Rooney could beat record – Fergie

The Cottagers kept United at bay during a goalless first half at

Old Trafford on Sundau but Rooney slotted home from Nani’s pass

less than 30 seconds after the break before racking up his 32nd

goal of the season with six minutes remaining. Dimitar Berbatov

made sure of the points by heading in Park Ji-sung’s excellent

cross as the Red Devils went back to the top of the Premier League

with a 3-0 win. Ferguson never thought anyone would come close to

matching Ronaldo’s goalscoring exploits of last season but, after

watching Rooney move on to 32, he is starting to wonder. Ferguson

told Sky Sports News: “I said a while ago it’s impossible for a

player to get 42 but he is on 32 and there is a challenge there for

him. “He is capable of scoring in the next eight league games and

five possible European games, so he has 13 possible games and you

never know, I wouldn’t put it beyond him. I was just glad he got to

the 30 mark, but we are enjoying his goalscoring.” But Ferguson

admitted the visitors had made life difficult for his side. “I

think Fulham with their possession made us work hard and chase

around a bit. It was hard to get the ball off them. They have

experienced players who are comfortable on the ball. “We had to try

and increase the pace of the game and hurry them up a bit, but the

most important thing about that start (Rooney’s first goal) was it

put their team on the back foot and gave us momentum.” Ferguson was

also pleased by the margin of his side’s victory given the tight

nature of the title race. “You have to think about goal difference.

We are only four goals ahead of Chelsea, I wish it was 14 to be

honest, but at least it is in our advantage.” Roy Hodgson,

meanwhile, was pleased with his side’s performance but honest

enough to admit they got what they deserved. “I thought the first

half, from our point of view, was really quite good,” he said. “I

thought we passed the ball well. “But all of our good work was let

down within a minute of the second half when we conceded a goal.

“From that moment the game was always going to be difficult.”

Fulham were forced into a change on the hour mark when Brede

Hangeland was taken off with sore ribs caused by a challenge

earlier in the game. “It was touch and go in the first half when

Hangeland suffered a knock,” said Hodgson. “That forced us into a

change and made what was always going to be a difficult task of

getting a result even more difficult.” He added: “I am a bit

disappointed that we conceded three goals when the boys had played

so well in the first half. “One has to hold their hands up though.

We were beaten by a better team. “I can’t really ask any more from

the team than they gave today.”