Alejandro Garnacho scored a stoppage-time winner to help Manchester United defeat Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup break.
Fulham XI: Leno, Reid, Diop, Ream, Robinson, Palhinha, Cairney, Pereira, Wilson, Vinicius, Willian.
Manchester United XI: De Gea, Malacia, Lindelöf, Martínez, Shaw, Casemiro, Eriksen, Elanga, Bruno, Rashford, Martial.
The Red Devils needed to win to keep on the pressure on a top-four finish, with Newcastle already set to gatecrash into the race.
As expected, Man United dominated proceedings in the first 14 minutes of play as they fought hard for an early goal.
Fulham equally proved a formidable opponent with the home support and had nearly pulled an upset in the 4th minute.
They had threatened down the left flank, with Robinson locating Willian. The former Chelsea star then wrongfoots Malacia before he sent the ball to Vinicius, whose low shot was kept off by David De Gea.
Manchester United had their first clear chance in the 9th minute of play. After a good buildup play, Luke Shaw threatened down the left and found Rashford, who squared it to Martial.
The French star went for a goal, and Leno was quick enough to tip it over the crossbar for a corner kick.
Manchester United continued to dominate play and press for an opener, thanks to a 14th-minute strike by Christian Eriksen.
Afterward, Casemiro won possession and set the Red Devils on a dangerous counter.
Eriksen pushed the ball onto Martial, who took it to the edge of the box and passed it to Fernandes, who squared it to Eriksen again to slid it into the net.
After taking the lead, the Red Devils played second fiddle to Fulham for the rest of the first half and were forced to their own half.
Fulham mounted intense pressure to find an early equaliser. They were the better side and successfully opened up Man United but could not find a way through.
Erikson came close to doubling the lead in a rare chance but fired wide. David De Gea made some astonishing saves to keep the scoreline at 1-0 as the visitors went into the break with a narrow 1-0 lead.
As the second half began, Manchester United stepped up their game and pushed to double the lead.
United nearly doubled the lead in the 48th minute. Elanga had fired a low shot from a deflection after Eriksen helped break down the left quickly.
Leno made a great save to deny Elanga. The rebound fell to Rashford, who struck again, but Leno saved the attempt to deny the Red Devils.
Fulham equally threatened with a counter when in possession of the ball, but De Gea denied the home side.
However, the home side finally found an equaliser in the 61st minute, with substitute James on the score sheet.
Alejandro Garnacho’s game by numbers vs. Fulham:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 13, 2022
5/5 passes completed
Match winner. 🌟 pic.twitter.com/ba2OFNfoKa
Fulham broke on the counter again, with Robinson playing it down the left for Willian, who locates Cairney. Cairney sent it right into the six-yard box for James, who slotted it pass De Gea to find a deserved equaliser.
Fulham were still threatening for a winner after finding the equaliser. Thanks to De Gea, who helped the Red Devils out with some good saves.
It was a stoppage-time goal in the 90+3rd minute by Alejandro Garnacho that finally helped Manchester United secure all three points to keep the hope of finishing in the top four alive.