London, May 18 (EFE).- With real live fans in the stands for the first time in over a year, Edinson Cavani’s exquisitely executed tally from a whopping 40 meters was not enough to get Manchester United the win over Fulham, the two squads battling to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
The Red Devils, who had 10,000 cheering fans on hand for the match, scored first on a great play executed by David de Gea, Bruno Fernandes and Cavani. First, the Spanish goaltender sent the ball long down the pitch, where Fernandes touched it with his heel – although the replay cast doubt on whether he actually touched the ball – then sent it to Cavani, who was alone against the Fulham netminder.
The Uruguayan, who had not touched the ball yet so far, sent it right over the reaching and backpedaling Alphonse Areola for a fabulous tally, celebrating the strike with his signature “bow and arrow” gesture in front of the fans gone wild. It was a goal that coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said would have been a contender for “goal of the season” if the club had not already handed out that award to Fernandes prior to the match.
Fernandes received the award for scoring a beautiful long-range shot in February’s draw with Everton.
However, United, despite getting a number of chances to score again, never managed to find the twine a second time, and Fulham was able to even things up with 15 minutes remaining before the final whistle, denying the home team the win it needed to keep its hold on the second place spot in the Premier League secure.
It was Joe Bryan who headed in the Fulham goal past De Gea and after the match coach Scott Parker said he was happy with the way the team fought for the draw despite the fact that they’ve been relegated.
United now has 71 points on the Premier League table, four up on Chelsea and five ahead of Leicester City, which – if the latter manages to win their last two matches – could surpass the Manchester squad and take second place.
The duel with Fulham was Man United’s final home match of the season, and after the final whistle Solskjaer and his men took a lap around the pitch to the applause of the assembled fans, with Paul Pogba and Amad Diallo holding up a Palestine flag.