Fulham, Dempsey Draw with Manchester United

Mar. 18, 2010 - 05647183 date 18 03 2010 Copyright imago BPI Clint Dempsey of Fulham Celebrates Scoring The Winning Goal with Paul Konchesky PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxFRAxNEDxESPxSWExPOLxCHNxJPN men Football EC 3 Europe League Europe League 2009 2010 London Action shot Vdig xsk 2010 horizontal premiumd Football.

Match Summary: Fulham 2 – Manchester United 2 (English Premier League)

In one of the season’s most entertaining matches, Fulham and Manchester United played to a 2-2 standstill at Fulham’s Craven Cottage. The visitors started quite brightly and were rewarded with a 10th minute Paul Scholes tally: Scholes, on the end of a short corner, swerved in his shot from the top of the box. Fulham appeared to wake up following the goal, and the Londoners then controlled much of the match; their attack was driven by the inward runs of wingers Simon Davies and Damien Duff. In the 57th, Davies scored the equalizer, with Duff’s trickery and pace starting the sequence that Davies finished off.

Manchester’s introduction of second half substitute Nani briefly put United back in control, though it was Fulham defender Brede Hangeland who put Manchester back on top, as the normally stalwart center back deflected a Nani corner into the net. Minutes later, heartbreak almost struck the Craven Cottage faithful when Duff accidentally handled the ball in the box and a penalty was awarded (the unintentional handball should have resulted in an indirect free kick). Fortunately, Nani’s penalty was saved, and in the 90th Hangelaand redeemed his earlier mistake by heading home a Duff corner.

American Performance

After coming off the bench and impressing in Fulham’s opening match of the season, Clint Dempsey earned a start in today’s action. Fulham used a 4-4-1-1 against United’s 4-4-2, and Dempsey admirably played the role of the withdrawn forward. Below is the ‘heat map’ of Dempsey’s passes. As you can observe, he spent most of the match in the middle of United’s half:

by Guardian Chalkboards

The freedom Dempsey found in these areas meant he could provide a link between Fulham’s midfielders and fellow striker Bobby Zamora. Dempsey’s success in this role was a key part of Fulham’s resurgence following the first United goal, and while Clint was not on the field for the second Fulham score (he was subbed out in the 61st), his run into the box allowed Davies room to score the first.

Gringos, were you able to watch this excellent match? With Dempsey’s success as a withdrawn forward, should he play there more often for the US National Team?

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