- Venue:Old Trafford
- Referee:Jones, M
Manchester United 3 Fulham 0: United eased back to the top of the Premier League after a Rooney double and an 89th minute header from Berbatov.
There will be three minutes of added time for Rooney to try to complete his hat-trick.
Manchester United 3 Fulham 0: Berbatov caps a fine performance with his 6th goal in eight games. Rooney sprays a lovely cross-field ball to the right for Park. He produces a fine early cross and Berbatov stoops to head home from six yards.
Manchester United substitution: Neville tosses his armband to Rio Ferdinand as he departs to be replaced by Fabio.
It looks like United are playing a session of keep-ball in the final few minutes running down the clock.
Manchester United 2 Fulham 0: It's that man Rooney again and United finally look to be out of sight, but the credit must go to Berbatov. He shows great skill down the right before putting it on a plate for Rooney to side-foot home from 10 yards.
How United are not clearly out of sight is anyone's guess. Fletcher drives into the Fulham penatly area. It opens up for a shot and his left-foot effort looks bound for the back of the net, but Schwarzer tips it over for a corner.
Great run from Evra. He gets into the Fulham penalty area, cuts in on his right foot and shoots. It's far better than his last effort with his weaker foot, but he drags it just wide of the near post.
Another chance for United. Park gets released down the left. He rathers stabs a cross into the centre and Berbatov heads from 10 yards, but wide of the far post. In fairness to the Bulgarian it was slightly behind him.
Foul on Park by Gera and United have another free-kick 35 yards from goal, this time on the left.
Nani takes right-footed, but it never looks like coming down in time and it drifts harmlessly over Schwarzer's corssbar.
Fletcher is fouled by Greening 35 yards out and central. It's a dangerous position for United and Rooney is hovering over this.
Great chance for Zamora to bring his side level as he finds himself clean through on goal. The Fulham man doesn't get the ball clear of his feet quickly enough, however, and Vidic does well to get back and make the saving tackle.
Dangerous cross from the right by Neville again and Rooney has a half chance with a header from 12 yards. It looks like Hughes does just enough in front of him and Rooney's effort is off target.
Manchester United substitution: Park will come on to replace Valencia in United's first change.
Fulham substitution: Roy Hodgson makes his final change of the afternoon. Former United man Nevland comes on to replace Dempsey.
Sustained spell of pressure for United around the Fulham area. It ends with a high cross by Nani from the right which Schwarzer claims.
United have been so dominant in this match but at 1-0 you just wonder if Fulham might create just one opportunity and turn this game on its head. No sign of it as yet though as they've barely got out of their own half in this second period.
Valencia crosses from the right and picks out Berbatov. He tries an acrobatic volley from the edge of the area, but it goes well wide.
Neville plays the ball down the right looking for Valencia, who earns his side a corner. It's an outswinger this time from Valencia and Ferdinand's hooked effort on the volley just goes over.
Fulham substitution: Hangeland comes off suffering from sore ribs after a first half clash with Valencia and on comes Greening.
Great run by Evra takes him to the edge of the Fulham area, but he's not known for his shooting and his right-foot effort spins away off his shin for a throw-in.
It looks like Greening is getting stripped ready to come on for the visitors.
Nani gets space to shoot from the edge of the area, but he gets right underneath his right-foot effort and it goes well off target.
United break end-to-end with some free-flowing football, but they can't quite pick out a decisive pass and the chance goes.
Fletcher plays a long diagonal ball forward for Rooney, who brings it down well, but just can't get away from his man.
Murphy nips at Carrick inside the centre circle. It's his third foul of the afternoon and the referee has little choice but to show him the yellow card.
Almost 2-0 and United really should score. Neville curls a high ball into the box from the right. It finds Nani at the far post but rather than shoot he gets caught in two minds, loops the ball in the air and Fulham clear after a goalmouth scramble.
Nani so nearly catches out Schwarzer. He cuts inside and curls a right-foot shot at goal from the left corner of the area. It should be a routine stop for the Fulham keeper, but he can only parry and gather under pressure at the second attempt.
Fletcher crosses from the left looking for an unmarked Rooney in the centre, but it's just beinhd the United man.
It's been a reasonable response from Fulham, who were second best for much of the first half and went behind so quickly after the restart.
Long throw into the United penalty area from the right. It's half cleared as far as Duff, who shoots right-footed, but his effort is weak and it bounces through harmlessly to Van Der Sar.
Manchester United 1 Fulham 0: Just 30 seconds into the half and United gain the lead. Rooney feeds Nani on the left. He squares it low with his left foot and there is Rooney to side-foot into the far bottom corner from 12 yards with his right boot.
United get this second half underway.
Fulham substitution: Simon Davies will not re-appear for the second half and will be replaced by Damien Duff.
Manchester United 0 Fulham 0: The champions have been knocking on the door for most of the half, but it's proving a frustrating half so far for Sir Alex Ferguson's men who have yet to find the breakthrough.
There will be just one added minute at the end of the first half.
Murphy brings down Evra on the corner of the area. It looks slightly generous as Evra had over-run the ball and it was going out for a goal-kick.
Wonderful effort from Rooney but it curls just wide of Schwarzer's right hand post. He's fed the ball 35 yards out and shows great feet to control and turn away from his man before unleashing a shot, but it's just off target.
First yellow card of the afternoon and it's shown to Valencia as he clips the heels of Dempsey just inside the Fulham half.
Another half chance for United. Fletcher's cross finds Roonet who chests it off to Berbatov. The Bulgarian fires at goal first time, but it's well charged down and Nani's follow up shot from the edge of the area is deflected away for a corner.
Great cross from the right by Neville. He nearly picks out Nani who comes rushing in to volley unmarked at the far post, but Kelly just gets the faintest of headers to take the ball away from the United man,
Good chance for Zamora. Murphy chips it forward fantastically into the path of Zamora. He takes it first time on the volley, trying to lift over the advancing Van Der Sar, but his contact is too firm and it goes over.
Rooney plays a clever ball beyond the Fulham defence for Berbatov. He turns inside a tees up Rooney rather than shoot himself and Rooney's effort is charged down by Kelly to cries off handball. It's just a corner for United though.
Murphy gives away possession to Nani on the left. He crosses left footed to Berbatov, who lays it off for Fletcher, but his shot from the edge of the area is charged down.
Good play between Nani and Berbatov on the left. Nani fizzes in a cross which Rooney meets with his head, but he can do nothing to direct it and the ball goes straight at Schwarzer.
Great ball by Berbatov releases Nani on the left. He opts to cut inside to shoot instead of crossing, with players waiting in the centre. He gets the ball caught under his feet and the chance goes.
Half chance for Rooney and it's a first effort on target for the home side. Rooney works half a yard of space on the edge of the area and fires low and right-footed to Schwarzer's right, but the Fulham keeper gets a strong hand to it to save.
Fulham are just having to hang on here a little. United are enjoying a large percentage of the possession and most of it is coming inside the Fulham half. As soon as Fulham clear it is coming right back again.
United are just starting to move through the gears here. They win possession with some great pressure in midfield. Rooney plays it to Fletcher, who tries to play it across to an unmarked Nani on the left, but his pass is too firm.
Nani plays a lovely ball behind the Fulham defence for Rooney. He should find himself in on goal but he misreads the flight of the ball as it bounces and can't bring it under control.
Wonderful chance for United and Berbatov should score. Rooney picks out Nani wide on the left. He produces a fine cross into the area but Berbatov heads over unmarked from six yards.
Great cross from the right from Neville. It heads towards Rooney in a similar position to where he scored his first goal from in midweek but Kelly smothers him and heads away for a corner. Rooney is furious with the referee and demands a penalty.
Nani curls the free-kick in dangerously, but Hangeland gets up well to head away for a corner. The corner finds Berbatov with an acrobatic effort on the edge of the area. His shot is off target and Rooney just can't fling himself at it.
Foul on Evra by Gera 30 yards out on the left. It looked as though Evra got caught up trying to do too much, but the referee has given United the free-kick.
Dempsey does well to win a header on the edge of the United area. The ball heads behind the United defence for Zamora but the flag goes up against the Fulham man. It looks like Neville may just have been playing him onside as he stepped up late.
Exchange of passes between Carrick and Rooney. Carrick tries to then feed it forward for Berbatov, but the pass is too firm and the flag goes up against the Bulgarian in any case.
Murphy chips it forward beyond the United defence. For a second it looks like Zamora might get on the end of it, but Van Der Sar is out fast to gather the ball.
It's becoming a decent spell for Fulham. Murphy finds Shorey on the left with a lovely diagonal ball. The visitors work it inside to Gera, who shoots from the edge of the area and earns his side a corner with a heavy deflection on the shot.
Bad mistake from Neville and he almost costs his side a goal. He dwells on the ball and is dispossessed midway inside his half on the right. Davies feeds it inside to Dempsey who shoots early from 35 yards and it's just over the bar.
Poor passage of play in the past minute or two, with both sides giving away possession far too easily.
So nearly the opening goal for United. Great interchange of passes from Fletcher and Berbatov. Fletcher gets sent free inside the area. He opts to square it for Rooney instead of shooting and Kelly does well to just prevent Rooney from tapping home.
Neville tries to thread a pass through for the diagonal run of Fletcher, but the pass is too tight and Fulham intercept.
Nani cuts onto his right foot and crosses from the left. It's a decent ball into the six-yard box from the winger and Berbatov gets to it first but can only head wide of the target under pressure from Hangeland.
It's been a pretty uneventful opening here in the first seven minutes. Neither side have been able to create a meaningful opening.
Fulham work it into space for Zamora on the right, but he slips as he crosses and it's well over-hit and behind at the far post for a goal-kick.
Good cross from the left by Nani finds Berbatov. He can't direct his header goalwards, only back across goal and Baird needlessly heads behind for a United corner.
Fulham are enjoying a spell of possession around the United area. They've not found a clear pass forward but it's a positive start from Roy Hodgson's men.
Dempsey has the first shot of the game, but it's a speculative effort from distance and it bobbles safely through to Van Der Sar.
The visitors get this match underway looking for their first ever league double over United.
Fulham's last victory at Old Trafford came in a 3-1 win back in 2003 and they have won just once in this fixture in the last 14 attempts, spanning 47 years.
The champions have also not conceded at home since the 12th December when Gabriel Agbonlahor's goal sent them to a 1-0 defeat.
United, however, come into the game in fine form themselves, having banged in 23 goals in their last six league home games.
Fulham come into today's game in great form. They have lost just once in the past six league games. Roy Hodgson was named as the February manager of the month and goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was also named as the player of the month.
Clint Dempsey makes his first league appearance for two months after making a return in the game against Juventus.
Fluham make four changes themselves after their 3-1 defeat against Juventus in Turin on thursday night.
The introduction of Berbatov makes for a more attacking 4-4-2 line up for the hosts, who will be looking to extract revenge for their 3-0 defeat at Craven Cottage earlier in the season and return to the top of the table.
The champions make two changes to the starting line-up from their midweek thrashing of AC Milan. Scholes and Park drop to the bench. In comes Berbatov and Carrick returns after serving his European suspension in midweek.
Fulham team line-up: Schwarzer, Kelly, Hangeland, Hughes, Shorey, Davies, Murphy, Baird, Dempsey, Gera, Zamora
Manchester United team line-up: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani, Berbatov, Rooney
Man Utd face Fulham at 1:30pm on Sunday, March 14th.
Manchester United continue their Premier League assault on Sunday when they go head-to-head with Fulham at Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men will be sky-high following their Champions League success over AC Milan in midweek but will now turn their attention to the quest of retaining their league crown.
However, Fulham, under their shrewd boss Roy Hodgson, are made of stern stuff these days and have enjoyed a positive run in Europe as well this term.
They are in the middle of a two-legged Europa League last-16 clash with Juventus and sit comfortably in tenth place in the league table.
With Bobby Zamora in fine goalscoring touch for the Cottagers lately, he will be keen to continue his exploits in the north-west.
United have lost just one of their previous 11 fixtures on the domestic front - a 3-1 reversal at Everton and, as ever, all eyes will be on dynamic forward Wayne Rooney.
The England star has netted 23 league goals so far this term and will be looking to extend his lead in the scoring charts over Chelsea's Didier Drogba.
A win for United would pile further pressure on fellow title-contenders Chelsea and Arsenal.
Fulham's form is admirable and they have gone five games unbeaten in the league but the Red Devils will be a wounded beast after their meeting at Craven Cottage in December.
A disjointed United side limped to a 3-0 defeat and they will be wanting to set the record straight this time around.
They must do it without Anderson (knee) and Michael Owen (hamstring) though, who will be missing for the rest of the season. John O'Shea (thigh) is also a long-term absentee.
Andrew Johnson (knee) will be missing for the visitors and he is unlikely to return before the season draws to a close.
Another virtuoso performance from Wayne Rooney helped Manchester United back to the top of the Premier League as the Red Devils strolled to a 3-0 victory over Fulham at Old Trafford.
Rooney's double blast took his goal tally for the season to 32, although this was far from a one-man show. Dimitar Berbatov was also on song, scoring United's third goal with all the action coming in the second half.
Rooney broke the deadlock 20 seconds after the restart. The England man found Nani on the left side of the Cottagers' penalty area.
Nani rolled the ball back into the centre of the box where Rooney scored with a well-placed right-foot shot into the bottom right corner of the net from 12 yards.
United had to wait another 38 minutes before doubling their lead.
Berbatov was the provider from a tremendous run when he cut in from the right in between Fulham defenders Nicky Shorey and Chris Baird, before crossing for Rooney to score with a right-foot near-post shot from ten yards.
Rooney began the move which led to the third goal a minute before the end of normal time.
His raking cross field pass found substitute Ji-Sung Park on the right and the South Korean's cross was headed in by Berbatov at the near post from six yards.
United could have had more goals, but found visiting goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer in fine form.
On the half hour, Berbatov set up Rooney on the edge of the Fulham box and he hit a tremendous shot which Schwarzer brilliantly turned away at full stretch.
The Australia international made an equally impressive stop in the 82nd minute.
A surging run by Darren Fletcher into the Fulham penalty area ended with him hitting a ferocious shot from 12 yards which Schwarzer superbly turned over at full stretch.
United's former Fulham goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar did not have a serious shot to save, although Bobby Zamora had two clear cut chances to score.
In the 38th minute, he collected a Danny Murphy pass and raced beyond United defender Rio Ferdinand, but then chipped his shot over van der Sar and the bar from 15 yards.
Zamora also fluffed another good chance in the 74th minute when he capitalised on a slip by Nemanja Vidic to go clear, but the Serb recovered brilliantly to rob the striker in the United box.
Shots off target