Manchester United held by Fulham despite Edinson Cavani's spectacular strike

Uruguayan scores magnificent lob to open scoring but Bryan earns relegated Cottagers a point at Old Trafford

Edinson Cavani welcomed fans back to Old Trafford in style but Fulham cancelled out the Manchester United striker's spectacular long-range effort on a night when anti-Glazer sentiments were made loud and clear.

It had been 436 days since supporters last stepped inside the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic and the 10,000 in attendance for the Red Devils' final home game of the season produced a remarkable atmosphere.

Returning fans, many donning green and gold scarves and placards, let their anger at the owners known on Tuesday, when Cavani lit up an ultimately-frustrating 1-1 Premier League draw with an incredible goal on his first appearance in front of United fans.

The 34-year-old showed superb skill and awareness after Bruno Fernandes flicked David De Gea's long ball to aim a 35-yard effort over back-pedalling Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, with the goal given the green light by the Video Assistant Referee despite an offside call.

"I don't understand how it's not offside," said Fulham manager Scott Parker. "The fourth official said if Fernandes hasn't touched it he's five yards offside. I've looked at it back.

"I can understand if we didn't have VAR, I get that that goal can be given due to human error, but when you can slow it down and look at the angles you can see he's not touched it."

Fernandes went close for United three times with long-range efforts after Cavani netted while Ademola Lookman and Fabio Carvalho missed gilt-edged chances at the other end before Joe Bryan struck against the run of play.

But United were punished in the 76th minute as Bryan got on the end of Bobby De Cordova-Reid's cross and headed it past goalkeeper David De Gea at the far post.

That equaliser underlined the need for reinforcement this summer and fans underlined their desire for change by making their displeasure at the owners, particularly co-chairman Joel Glazer, clear after 14 months away.

Second placed United, now without a win in three games, suffered another blow before the Europa League final against Villarreal on May 26 when Scotland midfielder Scott McTominay limped off injured.

United captain Harry Maguire is already racing to be fit for the final after suffering an ankle problem.

Published: May 18, 2021 11:21 PM

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