/ Soccer

Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson gets the winning feeling after late win at Fulham

Updated: Sunday, 03 Feb 2013 09:47 | Comments

Ferguson gets the winning feeling

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson got the same championship feel from Wayne Rooney's winner at Fulham tonight that he experienced when Cristiano Ronaldo scored on the same ground six years ago.

On that occasion, United went on to claim the first of three successive Premier League titles.

And with the Red Devils now 10 points ahead of Manchester City, who entertain Liverpool tomorrow, and a massive 16 clear of third-placed Chelsea, it is hard to see the outcome being any different this season.

"It was similar to when we played here a few years ago when Cristiano scored near the end and we went on to have an undefeated run after that," Ferguson said.

"It was around the same time too.

"It was well taken and Rooney was unlucky before that, hitting the post and having a couple of shots saved by the goalkeeper."

United struck the woodwork three times before they were forced off the field just before half-time due to a floodlight failure.

The delay lasted less than 10 minutes but the visitors were never the same afterwards and Fulham could easily have claimed a shock win.

Their hopes were dashed 11 minutes from time when they got in a muddle trying to deal with a long punt downfield, which Rooney seized upon to curl home his 13th goal of the season, and 10th in as many games.

Fulham manager Martin Jol believes United will go on and lift the title after claiming all three points at Craven Cottage despite a good performance from the home side.

"We did well in midfield and at the back," Jol said. "It was one of our better performances this season.

"But they are capable of creating something out of nothing, as Rooney did. Now, I think they will win it."

Fulham suffered an injury blow with the loss of key defender Brede Hangeland to an Achilles injury.

"Hopefully it is not a long one," added Jol, who did not feel the floodlight failure had much effect on the outcome.

"We did well to get the lights on again. Normally it takes a long time. I feared when we came back our concentration was down and we would end up conceding a goal but it wasn't a problem."

A record 20th championship is not looking like much of a problem to United either.

There was even a rare positive display from David de Gea, who responded well to his recent troubles with a succession of saves when Fulham threatened to seize the initiative.

"It's not fazed him, for sure," Ferguson said of the recent criticism. "He enjoyed this game tonight.

"We've said that to him - (goalkeeping coach) Eric Steele in particular - to enjoy playing here.

"It's a challenge and it's not easy for a young goalkeeper, but he's enjoyed tonight."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip