BRUNO FERNANDES rescued another wretched week for Manchester United with a stoppage-time winner.
Until Fernandes’ late strike beat Bernd Leno, Erik ten Hag’s team were set to be going home grateful for Andre Onana’s second-half heroics.
Bruno Fernandes delivered a 91st-minute winner at Fulham.
But for 90 minutes the quality and desire you would expect was lacking in a display every bit as bad as the derby defeat by City and the Carabao Cup humbling by Newcastle.
Fulham were left to rue the poor defending that let Fernandes have a sight of goal and the two brilliant saves that Onana made.
Because apart from the goal United spent much of the game looking as dazed and confused as poor Harry Maguire who took a nasty knock on the head in the first minute and was later forced to leave the field.
Before that, Maguire found himself responsible for Scott McTominay’s early “goal” being disallowed.
McTominay had turned the ball home from Alejandro Garnacho’s cross but after more than three minutes of faffing around, referee John Brooks agreed with VAR Jarred Gillett.
Maguire had gone for the ball (without touching it) having started in an offside position from Christian Eriksen’s free-kick and that’s enough these days to kill some joy.
It was the only real talking point of the half.
United had most of the ball but resorted to pumping it long fairly often. Fulham were happy to sit back and play on the break, with Willian their most dangerous outlet.
But apart from one blocked shot by the Brazilian and his cross that almost found Harry Wilson at the back post, the home side did not really threaten.
After McTominay’s “goal”, United did not have another shot on target for 25 minutes, when Bruno Fernandes’ tame effort was easily saved by Bernd Leno
Alex Iwobi charged more than half the length of the field but could not put his shot on target.
It summed up a very mediocre 45 minutes of football.
United came out after the break with a bit more intent and Antony worked Leno twice.
But after that Fulham did everything but score and would have done but for Onana.
First the United goalkeeper changed direction in mid-air to keep out Wilson’s rasping effort.
Then he stood tall to push away Joao Palhinha’s close-range thump, with Diogo Dalot clearing off the line soon afterwards.
All United could muster in response was a tame shot by substitute Facundo Pellistri.
Ten Hag threw on Antony Martial and Mason Mount for the closing stages.
Fernandes at last tested Leno with a dipping free kick and then came his moment.
Fulham wasted chances to clear and the United captain eventually took a shot that Leno could only help into the net.
Scott McTominay saw his early goal chalked off for offside.
Harry Maguire needed to be checked over in the first minute.