Teenager Alejandro Garnacho was the match-winner after replacing Anthony Martial in the 72nd minute
Manchester United snatched a dramatic 93rd-minute winner through substitute Alejandro Garnacho as they beat Fulham in a thrilling final Premier League match before the Qatar World Cup.
In a pulsating second half at Craven Cottage, Fulham looked to have earned a point before the 18-year-old Argentine raced through and arrowed a shot into the bottom corner past Bernd Leno.
Fulham's Dan James had earlier came off the bench to grab an equaliser from Tom Cairney's low cross to give the hosts what looked to be a well-deserved point after David de Gea had made a number of fine saves.
Christian Eriksen, who suffered a cardiac arrest during a Euro 2020 match for Denmark against Finland in June 2021, had put the visitors ahead in the first half with his first United goal, sliding in to finish at the back post from a low cross from Bruno Fernandes.
But Garnacho's winner with practically the last kick of the match gave United the three points.
The Premier League now takes a six-week break because of the Qatar World Cup, which begins on 20 November, with no domestic top-flight matches until 26 December.
The win leaves United fifth, 11 points behind leaders Arsenal and three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand on Antonio Conte's side.
Christian Eriksen is the first Danish player to score for Manchester United since goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel scored against FC Rotor Volgograd in the Uefa Cup in September 1995
Fulham have either been promoted to or relegated from the Premier League in each of the previous five seasons, but are well placed to end that up-and-down run as they sit ninth, having already matched the five wins they gained in their previous top-flight campaign in 2020-21.
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De Gea saves keep United in it before Garnacho takes the headlines
The result was harsh on Fulham, who had looked to be getting another excellent result at home after they had won three times at Craven Cottage and drawn 2-2 with Liverpool in the opening match of the season.
But Garnacho, who has represented both Spain and Argentina at younger age groups, scored his first Premier League goal to enhance his rapidly blossoming reputation.
He only made his United debut in April, scored his first goal for the club against Real Sociedad in the Europa League 10 days ago and produced an impressive late cameo, providing two assists, in United's 4-2 Carabao Cup win over Aston Villa on Thursday.
But United needed a superb performance from De Gea - overlooked for the Spain World Cup squad - to keep Fulham from taking the lead as the hosts played superbly in the second half after James, who spent two years with United, equalised.
Dan James scored six Premier League goals in 61 appearances for Manchester United between 2019 and 2021
United have 14 players that have been named in squads for Qatar, but Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo was again not involved because of illness, which also kept him out of Thursday's match.
Fulham were without top goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has scored nine goals in 12 Premier League games this season, as his foot injury again ruled him out, with the Serbia striker hoping to be fit for his country's World Cup opener against Brazil on 24 November.
There will now be no top-flight football until 26 December but this match was a dramatic, thrilling way for the first half of a Premier League season like no other to come to a halt.
Player of the match
with an average of 8.21
- FulhamFulhamFulhamMan UtdManchester UnitedManchester United
FulhamAvgSquad number21Player nameJamesAverage rating
Squad number26Player nameJoão PalhinhaAverage rating
Squad number18Player nameAndreas PereiraAverage rating
Squad number20Player nameWillianAverage rating
Squad number8Player nameWilsonAverage rating
Squad number17Player nameLenoAverage rating
Squad number10Player nameCairneyAverage rating
Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-ReidAverage rating
Squad number33Player nameRobinsonAverage rating
Squad number30Player nameCarlos ViníciusAverage rating
Squad number31Player nameDiopAverage rating
Squad number13Player nameReamAverage rating
Squad number25Player nameOnomahAverage rating
Manchester UnitedAvgSquad number49Player nameGarnachoAverage rating
Squad number14Player nameEriksenAverage rating
Squad number1Player namede GeaAverage rating
Squad number6Player nameMartínezAverage rating
Squad number18Player nameCasemiroAverage rating
Squad number23Player nameShawAverage rating
Squad number2Player nameLindelöfAverage rating
Squad number12Player nameMalaciaAverage rating
Squad number10Player nameRashfordAverage rating
Squad number8Player nameBruno FernandesAverage rating
Squad number9Player nameMartialAverage rating
Squad number39Player nameMcTominayAverage rating
Squad number36Player nameElangaAverage rating
- Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text
17Leno14De Cordova-Reid31Diop13Ream33Robinson26João Palhinha10Cairney8Wilson18Pereira20Willian30Alves Morais
- 17Leno14De Cordova-ReidBooked at 33mins31Diop13Ream33Robinson26João Palhinha10CairneySubstituted forOnomahat 90+2'minutes8WilsonSubstituted forJamesat 59'minutes18Pereira20Willian30Alves Morais
1de Gea12Malacia2Lindelöf6Martínez23Shaw18Casemiro14Eriksen36Elanga8Bruno Fernandes10Rashford9Martial
- 1de Gea12Malacia2Lindelöf6Martínez23Shaw18Casemiro14Eriksen36ElangaSubstituted forMcTominayat 55'minutes8Bruno Fernandes10Rashford9MartialSubstituted forGarnachoat 72'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 5Maguire17Fred30Bishop31Dúbravka34van de Beek39McTominay49Garnacho55Iqbal
Referee:Paul TierneyMatch StatsHome TeamFulhamAway TeamMan UtdPossessionHome53%Away47%ShotsHome14Away14Shots on TargetHome7Away9CornersHome10Away3FoulsHome9Away10Live Text Post update
Match ends, Fulham 1, Manchester United 2.
Second Half ends, Fulham 1, Manchester United 2.
Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.
Goal! Fulham 1, Manchester United 2. Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Christian Eriksen with a through ball.
Substitution, Fulham. Josh Onomah replaces Tom Cairney.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Victor Lindelöf.
Attempt saved. Scott McTominay (Manchester United) header from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
João Palhinha (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United).
Carlos Vinícius (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United).
Foul by Tom Cairney (Fulham).
Casemiro (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Scott McTominay (Manchester United) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Luke Shaw with a cross.
Foul by Andreas Pereira (Fulham).
Christian Eriksen (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. João Palhinha (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Andreas Pereira with a cross following a set piece situation.
Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Luke Shaw (Manchester United).
Hand ball by João Palhinha (Fulham).
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