Pogba fires Man Utd back to top with stunning winner against Fulham

Edinson Cavani scores for Manchester United against Fulham
Cavani’s fourth league goal for Manchester United set them on course for victory at Fulham

Paul Pogba scored a superb winner as Manchester United reclaimed top spot in the Premier League by coming from behind for a club-record equalling away win at Fulham.

In what is becoming a familiar pattern for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side outside Manchester this season, they fell behind early in the game, with Ademola Lookman beating the offside trap before firing in an angled drive.

But for the seventh time away from Old Trafford in 2020-21, United found a winning response to make it 17 games unbeaten away, courtesy of a gift from their opponents and a bit of magic from their French midfielder.

Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola has been a good addition for the Cottagers but in dropping Bruno Fernandes’ cross at the feet of Edinson Cavani, he gifted his former Paris St-Germain team-mate the simplest of equalisers.

And on the hour mark, Pogba stepped up to decide the contest, firing a superb angled drive across the diving Areola and into the far corner from 20 yards.

The win takes them to 40 points, two more than both Leicester and Manchester City, who had briefly taken top spot from the Foxes with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Fulham remain in the bottom three, four points behind 17th-placed Burnley.

Hard-fought but deserved win for United

Solskjaer felt his side missed a big opportunity to fully assert their title credentials in failing to make the most of their chances in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at champions Liverpool.

United were clearly in no mood to repeat such a mistake at a wet and windy Craven Cottage on Wednesday against a less daunting and defining opposition, but one that is far more robust now than they were in the season’s first month.

The visitors fell behind, but this is par for the course for this side, who once again did not panic, wrestled control of the game away from their opponents and took the win.

It is a handy trick for a title-challenging side to have in their locker, although one they would rather not have to repeatedly pull.

In truth, they should have won more handsomely.

They had the far greater share of possession and territory and were well ahead of their opponents on shots taken until a frantic finale in which the Cottagers threw in all they had in pursuit of a point.

Fred felt he should have had a penalty in the first half courtesy of being caught in the box by a loose challenge from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, but both on-field and VAR officials disagreed.

Harry Maguire twice headed wide from corners, the first from a far less forgivable, unmarked position than the second.

Equally, though, it is a game that could have seen them drop points, especially in light of Fulham’s late barrage, which saw David de Gea save superbly with his legs to deny Loftus-Cheek, and the ball pinballing around the United box on more than one occasion.

The Cottagers demonstrated that they are no pushover, but they are making of habit of being on the rough end of fine margins.

Five straight draws followed by two defeats by a single goal suggests their battle against the drop will go right down to the wire.

United lead the way in early concessions

  • No side has conceded more goals in the opening five minutes of Premier League games this season than Manchester United (4). Manchester United have won seven Premier League games having gone behind this season – only Newcastle in 2001-02 (10) and Man Utd themselves in 2012-13 (9) have done so more in a single campaign.
  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 17 Premier League away games (W13 D4), equalling their longest ever unbeaten run on the road in top-flight history (17 between December 1998 and September 1999).
  • This was the 41st different game in which Fulham had led in all competitions under Scott Parker, but the first time they had lost such a game (W34 D6).
  • Edinson Cavani became the first Man Utd player whose first four Premier League goals for the club were all scored away from home.
  • Since his return to the club in 2016, no Man Utd player has scored more league goals from outside the box than Paul Pogba (6).
  • Ademola Lookman has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other Fulham player this season (6 – 3 goals, 3 assists).
  • Bruno Fernandes has gone three Premier League games without a goal or assist for the first time since his Manchester United debut in February 2020.

Player of the match

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CavaniEdinson Cavani


  1. Squad number19Player nameLookman

  2. Squad number15Player nameLoftus-Cheek

  3. Squad number1Player nameAreola

  4. Squad number2Player nameTete

  5. Squad number5Player nameAndersen

  6. Squad number16Player nameAdarabioyo

  7. Squad number29Player nameZambo Anguissa

  8. Squad number21Player nameReed

  9. Squad number34Player nameAina

  10. Squad number23Player nameBryan

  11. Squad number9Player nameMitrovic

  12. Squad number17Player nameCavaleiro

  13. Squad number47Player nameKamara

  14. Squad number18Player nameLemina



Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Areola
  • 34AinaBooked at 69minsSubstituted forMitrovicat 83′minutes
  • 5Andersen
  • 16Adarabioyo
  • 2Tete
  • 29Zambo AnguissaBooked at 12minsSubstituted forLeminaat 79′minutes
  • 21Reed
  • 23BryanBooked at 62mins
  • 15Loftus-Cheek
  • 17CavaleiroSubstituted forKamaraat 71′minutes
  • 19Lookman


  • 3Hector
  • 4Odoi
  • 7Kebano
  • 9Mitrovic
  • 12Rodák
  • 13Ream
  • 18Lemina
  • 25Onomah
  • 47Kamara

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 3Bailly
  • 5Maguire
  • 23Shaw
  • 6PogbaBooked at 10mins
  • 17Fred
  • 11GreenwoodSubstituted forRashfordat 85′minutes
  • 18Bruno FernandesSubstituted forMaticat 90+5′minutes
  • 9MartialSubstituted forMcTominayat 85′minutes
  • 7Cavani


  • 8Mata
  • 10Rashford
  • 21James
  • 26Henderson
  • 27Telles
  • 31Matic
  • 34van de Beek
  • 38Tuanzebe
  • 39McTominay

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