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Sunday, 19 August, 2001, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Clockwatch: Man Utd 3-2 Fulham
Manchester United open the defence of their Premiership title with a hard-fought win against Fulham.

Full-time: Manchester United 3-2 Fulham

90: Fulham are battling for an equaliser but see Steve Finnan's cross is cleared by Brown.

88: Davis gets his head onto a Fulham cross but fails to find the target under pressure from the United defence.

Ryan Giggs (l) and David Beckham
Beckham celebrates Man Utd's first goal

87: Substitution - Steed Malbranque feels the force of a Wes Brown challenge and makes way for Abdeslam Ouaddou.

83: Substitution - Kevin Betsy replaces Hayles.

79: Substitution - Andrejs Stolcers replaces Bjarne Goldbaek for Fulham and Man Utd's Veron makes way for Wes Brown.

78: Man Utd have a penalty appeal turned down when Chadwick appears to be brought down by Goma.

76: Substitution - Van Nistelrooy is replaced by Luke Chadwick.

75: A major deflection to a Veron long-range shot goes narrowly wide of the Fulham goal.

70: Beckham tries a 25-yard shot which Van der Sar comfortably gathers.

67: A controlled Man Utd move ends with Beckham crossing for Cole. He heads wide from an off-side position.

58: Sean Davis gathers at the Man Utd far post but he shoots wide under pressure from Beckham.

53: Another goal for Van Nistelrooy. The Dutchman shows his predatory instincts to tap into the Fulham goal after Hayles failed to clear a Beckham cross. Man Utd 3-2 Fulham

Juan Sebastian Veron
Veron made his Premiership debut

50: Cole's overhead kick creates an opening for Ruud van Nistelrooy who tries to touch the ball past Van der Sar.

The Fulham keeper makes contact with the ball but cannot stop it going in. Man Utd 2-2 Fulham

47: Saha restores Fulham's lead in a similar start to the first-half. French striker Saha breaks free before confidently finishing with a shot across goal. Man Utd 2-1 Fulham

Half-time: Man Utd 1-1 Fulham

43: Cole shields the ball on the edge of the Fulham box and tees up Scholes, whose powerful shot is saved by the legs of Van der Sar.

41: Hayles is released onto the Man Utd goal but his shot across goal is saved by Barthez.

34: Man Utd equalise. David Beckham scores from a disputed free-kick with a trademark effort, which goes in off the underside of the Fulham crossbar. Man Utd 1-1 Fulham

34: Substitution - Andy Cole replaces Phil Neville.

32: Fulham's quick one-touch football is proving effective and striker Barry Hayles almost benefits, but his instant shot from a cross is saved.

30: Denis Irwin's cross is just too high for an in-rushing Giggs at the Fulham far post.

39: Alain Goma (Fulham)

25: Barthez has to react quickly to keep out a well-struck Saha header from 10 yards.

21: The crossbar denies Man Utd and Paul Scholes an equaliser. After Ryan Giggs opens up the Fulham defence with a marauding run from inside his own half, Van der Sar gets a touch to his cross.

That is enough to put Scholes off as his effort in front of an open goal strikes the woodwork.

14: Man Utd respond with David Beckham whose long range shot is expertly tipped over by Fulham keeper Edwin Van der Sar.

11: Saha almost extends Fulham's lead. The French striker takes on and beats Jaap Stam before putting a ball across the Man Utd goal.

John Collins then gathers at the far post, jinks his way to the by-line and powers another ball across Man Utd's goalmouth. The ball falls to Saha whose shot is blocked.

3 mins: Louis Saha gives Fulham a sensational start to their Premiership campaign with a beautifully-taken goal.

He controls a searching Sean Davis through ball on his left foot and chips the advancing Fabien Barthez.
Man Utd 0-1 Fulham.


Man United's two big summer captures, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Juan Sebastian Veron make their Premiership debuts.

Ryan Giggs captains the champions in the absence of the suspended Roy Keane.

Top-flight newcomers Fulham miss Luis Boa Morte, also suspended, and start with Louis Saha and Barry Hayles in attack.

Man Utd: Barthez, Irwin, Stam, Silvestre, Gary Neville, Giggs, Phil Neville, Veron, Beckham, Scholes, Van Nistelrooy. Subs: Carroll, Brown, Chadwick, Cole, Solskjaer.

Fulham: Van der Sar, Melville, Harley, Goma, Finnan, Davis, Malbranque, Goldbaek, Collins, Saha, Hayles. Subs: Taylor, Ouaddou, Symons, Stolcers, Betsy.

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough)

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