Man Utd run riot at the Cottage

Fulham 0 Manchester United 5

A week on from their shocking Europa League exit at Craven Cottage, Fulham were subjected to a humiliating home defeat by the champions.

While the continued omission of striker Bobby Zamora – again a substitute – continues to make headlines, it was their problems at the other end of the pitch that were ruthlessly exposed by a Manchester United side that led 3-0 at half-time.

Danny Welbeck slotted home the opener after being set up by Nani, who headed in the second from Ryan Giggs’ cross.

Giggs got on the scoresheet himself with a deflected 15-yard shot shortly before the interval, and Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov completed the rout.

Riise went close with a free-kick

Rooney smashed one in off the post from 30 yards, and Berbatov rounded of a stunning win for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men with a cheeky finish following good link-up play between Nani and Antonio Valencia.

United, who took only 53 seconds to go ahead at QPR at the weekend, were in front after six minutes this time.

And just as they did during Sunday’s visit to west London, they ruthlessly punished some slopping defending from the home team.

Nani was allowed to run fully 50 yards down the left flank and pick out an unmarked Welbeck, who netted from six yards out.

Fulham switched off again for the second goal, which arrived when Giggs combined with Valencia at a short corner and crossed for Nani to nod into the far corner.

The defensive lapse for the third goal was as bad.

Nani was again allowed time and space, this time to coast into the box and square the ball to Giggs, whose shot looped over keeper David Stockdale after hitting Whites defender Philippe Senderos.

Fulham improved after the break and Clint Dempsey had a header saved by stand-in United keeper Anders Lindegaard, before Moussa Dembele shot wide and John Arne Riise went close with a free-kick.

But they continued to struggle at the back and after Rooney’s long-range strike made it four, United rubbed salt into their wounds with a well worked fifth.

Valencia exchanged passes with Nani and in trying to tee up Berbatov played the ball slightly behind the Bulgarian, who reacted by back-heeling past Stockdale and into the corner.