Manchester United vs. Fulham: Final score 2-2, Red Devils come back and fall apart

Michael Regan

David Moyes and company might be fully out of the race for the top four after Sunday's shocker.

Manchester United might finally be out of the race for fourth place, thanks to their stunning stoppage time collapse on Sunday afternoon. They were poor for most of their match with Fulham, who took an early lead, but a flurry of activity just over 10 minutes from time saw United turn their dominance on the ball into goals and a 2-1 lead. They looked set to hang on for a win, but they were stunned late by Darren Bent, who snatched a 2-2 draw for Fulham with a 94th minute equalizer.

Unsurprisingly, United had all of the possession from the start while Fulham set up to defend and counter quickly. They weren't afraid to take some risks, however, and found the game's opening goal through a late run from deep by central midfielder Steve Sidwell. Lewis Holtby picked him out perfectly with a diagonal ball over the top of the defense, which found his completely unmarked teammate, who finished after losing Darren Fletcher.

Manchester United didn't have too many clear chances in the rest of the first half, but should have scored in the 22nd minute. A cross by Rafael fell right to Robin van Persie in the box, but he put his effort well over the crossbar. Fulham also had an excellent chance to double their lead 15 minutes after that, but Kieran Richardson wasted a clear one-on-one chance after youngster Muamer Tankovic set him up expertly.

Knowing that they'd need to defend deep and look for chances on the break for the rest of the game, Fulham introduced Bent in place of Tankovic at halftime. They made another seemingly sensible substitution in the 65th minute, with Scott Parker coming in for Ryan Tunnicliffe, but he had a part in United's second goal.

The first goal by the hosts was a good one, and had felt inevitable for some time. Juan Mata got into a dangerous area and had a shot blocked, then one drift wide of the far post, but van Persie was in a perfect position to turn his follow-up effort in to equalize. Two minutes later, Michael Carrick put United ahead with a deflected shot from just outside the area, hitting his effort off Parker, which gave Maarten Stekelenberg no chance to make a save.

United looked headed to another routine comeback win until the 94th minute, when Old Trafford was silenced by Fulham. Sidwell started Fulham's surprise attack with a pass to Richardson, who unloaded on a shot. David De Gea made a save, but could only parry the ball up into the air. No one could beat Bent to the ball, and he nodded the ball into the back of the net to steal a point and bury United's top four hopes further.

Also worth noting: Manchester United broke the Premier League record for crosses in a game. Fulham's Dan Burn is 6'7".

Manchester United: De Gea, Evra, Vidic, Smalling, Rafael (Valencia 69'), Carrick, Fletcher (Januzaj 62'), Mata, Rooney, Young (Hernandes 69'), van Persie

Goals: van Persie (78'), Carrick (80')

Fulham: Stekelenburg, Riise, Heitinga, Burn, Riether, Holtby, Tunnicliffe (Parker 65'), Kvist (Cole 80'), Sidwell, Richardson, Tankovic (Bent 45')

Goals: Sidwell (19'), Bent (90')

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