Manchester United 4-1 Fulham
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Fourth Round Proper
5.30pm, Saturday 26 January 2013
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Javier Hernandez netted twice as Manchester United cruised into Round Five with a comfortable win over Fulham.
The rout started after just three minuted when Ryan Giggs scored from the spot.
Then three goals in 16 second-half minutes wrapped up the win before Aaron Hughes’ consolation header. England striker Wayne Rooney grabbed one for the Premier League leaders as the Mexican striker notched a brace.
Fulham have not won at Old Trafford for almost ten years. In fact, before this season, you had to go back to August 2006 for the last time they had even scored here, when Rio Ferdinand hit an own goal in a 5-1 United win.
And the writing was on the wall early on this time around.
There was a less than a minute on the clock when a misplaced Steve Sidwell pass allowed Wayne Rooney a shot on goal, which Fulham managed to block. But it was from the resulting corner that Hughes’ handball gave United a penalty.
Up stepped Giggs, who converted the spot-kick despite a strong hand from Mark Schwarzer low to his right.
United could have had another penalty in the 21st minute when Damien Duff handled Giggs’ pass into Nani. Then, a minute later, the winger crossed for Rooney, whose effort was turned onto the crossbar by Schwarzer.
Fulham made it to break still just a goal down but United were out of sight within seven minutes of the interval as United’s frontline hit two quick-fire goals.
First it was Rooney, played through by Anderson’s sublime pass, who turned inside Hughes and lashed a firm left-foot finish past Schwarzer.
Then Rooney turned provider, crossing for Hernandez to score with an instinctive, swiveling finish.
The Mexican then took his tally to five in as many games in the 66th minute when his low effort struck Hughes, completely deceiving Schwarzer, who could only watch the ball trickle into the corner.
The deflection compounded a miserable evening for Hughes, who had given away the penalty and failed to stop Rooney for his goal.
But the Northern Irishman managed to grab some consolation with a fine front-post header in the 76th minute, after losing his marker – ironically, Rooney – to score.
It did nothing to quell United’s dominance and the home side were denied a fifth in the 83rd minute when Rooney swept home at the far post, but Mark Clattenburg had already blown for an earlier Hernandez infringement.
De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Smalling, Evra; Nani, Carrick (Scholes 61), Anderson (Kagawa 71), Giggs (Valencia 71); Rooney, Hernandez
Subs not used: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Van Persie, Welbeck.
Schwarzer; Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise; Sidwell, Baird (Karagounis 46); Duff (Rodallega 61), Ruiz (Dejagah 71), Kacaniklic; Berbatov
Subs not used: Senderos, Petric, Briggs, Etheridge
Referee Mark Clattenburg