Manchester United recorded their biggest Premier League win of the season as they swept aside Fulham in a match Cottagers boss Claudio Ranieri described as “11 lambs against 11 wolves”.
The victory – United’s first in five league matches – moved them up to sixth, while bottom-of-the-table Fulham have now conceded 40 goals in 16 matches.
“In the first half we were shy, we were waiting,” said Ranieri after his fourth match in charge. “Why? Why were we waiting? The first half was a warm-up.
“I want my team to play and fight for every single ball. We have to be stronger, more confident in our qualities.
“In the first half it was 11 lambs against 11 wolves. The wolves ate the lambs.”
BBC reports that the hosts took the lead after 13 minutes when Ashley Young bustled his way into the penalty area and curled the ball into the far corner.
Marcus Rashford set up Juan Mata for United’s second, before Romelu Lukaku finished from close range from Mata’s low cross.
Substitute Aboubakar Kamara pulled one back with a penalty after he had been fouled by Ander Herrera, but Ranieri’s side were soon reduced to 10 men, when Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa was dismissed for two bookable offences.
England striker Rashford sealed United’s victory with a powerful strike from a tight angle that beat Sergio Rico at his near post.
This was the first time this season the Red Devils had won by a three-goal margin in the league, though they did beat Young Boys 3-0 in the Champions League in September.
The last time they won by three goals in the league was on 15 January, with a 3-0 home defeat of Stoke.