Five observations from Manchester United's draw over Fulham

Wayne Rooney

Despite Van Persie and Carrick putting them ahead with 10 minutes left, Fulham scored a last gasp leveller, and United have now won just 6 home games in 13

Below are five observations on United from their bizarre 2-2 home draw with Fulham:

It was possibly the most one-sided first half you could see

First of all let's put it in perspective, United absolutely battered Fulham in the first half and in fact for pretty much the entire game. On another day they could have put five or six past the visitors, who defended deep and as if their lives depended on it. Who know's what Jose Mourinho would make of such a tactic, which was less parking the bus and more anchoring a cruise ship in front of their goal. But, it was a tactic, and employing it alongside the desire to counter at pace frustrated and outdid United for much of the game. It's not the end of the world to draw this match, as you can guarantee that the next ten teams that come and do the same thing will leave empty handed.

United should have changed tactics after seeing Fulham defend crosses so well

Now that's out of the way, we can get stuck in to what went wrong for Man United. The fact they put a crazy 81 crosses into the Fulham box, and didn't score from any of them, might just indicate that a change of approach was what was needed by the Champions. They did in fact find a red shirt on just 18 occasions, and it wasn't until Januzaj came on and was a little more willing to beat his man to get in the box that United made a breakthrough. Coincidence? Maybe, but it would have at least kept Dan Burn guessing if they started mixing it up earlier on - he cleared 22 crosses himself.

They also showed naivety as they went all out for goals, looking very open on the counter

The fact that Fulham essentially sat back and invited United to continue to knock their heads against their front door was too difficult for Rooney, Van Persie and co to resist. But as the whole team, including the defence, pushed up it meant they were very susceptible for the Fulham counters. Of course, the Cottagers scored from their first break, causing them to sit back even more while United then were driven to push up even further. That Moyes didn't address this during the first half or during the break was surprising.

This wasn't a game for both Fletcher and Carrick to start

It was also some surprise that both Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick started the game, with this looking like a fixture crying out for Adnan Januzaj to start alongside Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney. Employing two defensive midfielders against a side bottom of the table and turning up happy to put their entire team in their box isn't the kind of selection that will endear Moyes to fans, and again reminded us all that what United really needed in January was a world class box-to-box central midfielder. Oh what they'd give for Paul Pogba now.

So once again we ask, how long should United persevere with Moyes? 

After another disappointing result, albeit a freak one, questions about Moyes have once again begun in earnest. They have their lowest points total after 25 games for nearly 24 years, and at some stage the board will have to start thinking whether another man could do better. Would the Glazers put up with a year or two out of the Champions League? Would they put up with three years of not challenging for the Premier League? As the mid-table form continues, their next four games, Arsenal, Crystal Palace and West Brom all away, followed by a huge home game against Liverpool, will likely decide his fate. Anything less than nine points will be a huge disappointment, and may mean the Old Trafford club are once again on the lookout for a new manager. 

image: © nasmac

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