Manchester United’s u21s defeated Fulham 4-1 at Craven Cottage. United stormed to a 3-0 lead in the first half with goals coming from Robin van Persie and a brace from Joe Rothwell. Van Persie then ensured that all three points were secure completing his brace but Stephen Humphrys pulled a consolation goal back for the Cottagers.
Van Persie continued his quest to regain fitness starting his second match in a row for the u21s. He formed the central point of three pronged attacking unit which also contained Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira. The Dutchman opened the scoring in the 13th minute after good work and a neat pass from Pereira.
Shortly afterwards van Persie saw a claim for a penalty waved away after he was brought down just inside the area. However minutes later United were able to double the lead. Januzaj picked out Rothwell with a lovely through ball and the midfielder passed the ball into the back of the net.
Just 10 minutes before the break, van Persie almost had a chance to get his second goal. Januzaj played a gorgeously weighted pass to van Persie and although he managed to beat Magnus Norman in the Fulham goal, the woodwork was there to thwart his attempt. However, it was not to be the last time that Magnus Norman was to be beaten in the first half and Rothwell claimed his brace just two minutes before half time. Again the assist came from Januzaj, although credit should also go to Pereira who came to a complete stop to leave the ball for Rothwell. The finish was similar to his first goal although this time it came from just outside the box.
Van Persie was denied by the woodwork again in the second half, after being picked out well by Andy Kellett. He finally grabbed his second in the 80th minute as Rothwell turned provider. He chipped the Norman and it was his final action before being substituted along with fellow goalscorer Rothwell.
Stephen Humphrys scored a late consolation goal for Fulham but it wasn’t enough to prevent United claiming all three points. That away win sees United stay on top of the Barclay’s u21 Premier League with 34 points which will be crucial as other sides play their matches in hand.
Manchester United: Lindegaard, Love, Thorpe, Blackett, Kellett, Januzaj, Grimshaw, Rothwell (Willock 81′), Goss (Goss 89′), A. Pereira, van Persie (Weir 81′).
Unused substitutes: O’Hara, El Fitouri.
Goals: van Persie (13′, 80′), Rothwell (20′, 43′).
Man of the Match: Andreas Pereira.