In the tense final Premier League game before the Qatar World Cup, Manchester United defeated Fulham with a dramatic 93rd-minute goal from substitute Alejandro Garnacho.
Fulham appeared to have grabbed a point in the tense second half at Craven Cottage, but the 18-year-old Argentine sprinted through and beat Bernd Leno with a shot into the bottom corner.
After David de Gea had made a succession of excellent stops, Fulham’s Dan James had previously come off the bench to score an equalizer off Tom Cairney’s low cross, giving the hosts what appeared to be a well-deserved point.
The visitors took the lead in the first half thanks to a goal from Christian Eriksen, who had a heart episode while playing for Denmark against Finland in a Euro 2020 match in June 2021. Eriksen finished at the back post after slipping in to meet a low cross from Bruno Fernandes.
But Garnacho’s winning strike, which came with essentially the final kick of the game, handed United the victory. Due to the Qatar World Cup, which starts on November 20, the Premier League currently takes a six-week hiatus with no domestic top-flight games until December 26.
With a game remaining on Antonio Conte’s side, the victory moves United up to fifth position, 11 points behind leaders Arsenal and three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.
Fulham has spent each of the previous five seasons either being promoted to or relegated from the Premier League, but they are in a good position to halt that up-and-down streak as they currently rank ninth and have already matched their five wins from their previous top-flight campaign in 2020-21.
The outcome was unfair to Fulham because they appeared to be getting another great result at home after winning three games at Craven Cottage and drawing 2-2 with Liverpool in the season’s first game.
But Garnacho, who has played for Argentina and Spain at earlier age levels, added his first Premier League goal to his already-impressive résumé.
Just 10 days after scoring his first goal for the team against Real Sociedad in the Europa League, he made his United debut in April. On Thursday, he had a stunning late cameo against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup, contributing two assists.
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