'As Bad As It Gets' - Manchester United's draw against a determined Fulham in numbers
Manchester United haven’t had the best of season's so far under new boss and 'chosen one' David Moyes, but even fans of the Old Trafford side would have been forgiven for thinking a match at home to rock bottom Fulham would yield nothing but a victory.
So of course, it came as no surprise that this was not to be the case, as a peculiar game in which United dominated the statistics ended in a 2-2 draw, courtesy of a Darren Bent header ironically in 'Fergie time'. Leaving Moyes' Boys facing the increasingly real prospect of no European football in the red half of Manchester, something which hasn't happened since the ban on English clubs competing in Europe was lifted in 1990.
Moyes' seemed somewhat perplexed during his post-match interview, asking what more do United need to do to win a game of football. But judging from comments on various social media sites, namely Twitter, crossing the ball into a crowded opposition box isn't the answer. Michael Carrick, who scored United's second goal, a goal that many thought would win the match was also understandably disappointed, telling MUTV:
“It's a tough one to take,
"It’s hard to explain how we’ve only come away with a point. It was an incredible game, so one-sided."
As mentioned above, the sheer amount of crosses Manchester United made against Fulham (more than any other team in the top 5 European League's this season) has been a major talking point. The Reds managed to pump in an astonishing 81 crosses, with only 18 reaching a team mate, which is a fairly poor conversion rate in anyone's books. This stat also suggests that Moyes had no Plan B against Fulham, which may raise questions about the Scott's tactical astuteness.
United bossed possession against the London side, though, with 65% overall compared to Fulham's 35%. The Red Devils also managed an impressive 92% pass completion rate whilst totting up 9 shots on target, 13 off target whilst Fulham managed just 5 in both of those categories combined. Astonishingly Meulensteen's men also made 92 (yes, NINETY-TWO) clearances, leaving United frustrated to say the least.
The statistics show United should have beaten Fulham hands down, but the fact that they didn't shows that there is indeed work to be done at the Theatre of Dreams. But with many fans who were willing to give Moyes the benefit of the doubt now running out of patience, the writing may be on the wall for Ferguson's replacement. This season is already a write off, but the thought of enduring another season of poor quality football and even poorer results will not sit well with all involved with a club of United's stature, meaning a decision may be made sooner rather than later to take this giant of the footballing world down a different path, that will lead it back to glory.
Statistics courtesy of Squawka.com
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