It’s easy to forget, but Manchester United actually played a game on Sunday and won. This week has been all about the fallout from Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive interview, so much so that the win at Fulham has largely been forgotten about.
Monday morning should have been filled with compliments for academy graduate Alejandro Garnacho after his late strike secured another unlikely win, but instead the agenda was dominated by a man at the other end of his career, one who is ruining a reputation rather than building one.
What is a real shame is that Ronaldo’s antics have overshadowed a performance that showed glimpses of everything Ten Hag has instilled at United so far. There were moments of brilliance, a clearer identity in the way they played, and even the fact they managed to survive Fulham’s pressure and win the match showed just how improved the mentality is when previous sides would have crumbled.
In particular, there was one 10-second spell that summed up United’s work ethic, creativity, and craft under Ten Hag, with new signings and rejuvenated players at the heart of it.
Fulham were looking to play out from the back when captain Tom Cairney received possession inside his own half. He turned his man, dropped his shoulder, and raced forward, only to be stopped on the halfway line by Casemiro’s perfectly-timed tackle.
So often, United have been criticised for lacking any backbone and being so easy to play through. They stood firm this time and launched a lethal counterattack.
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