Nigerian duo dent Manchester United’s top four hopes on a day a Ghana prospect made his debut for the Red Devils

Alex Iwobi the match winner wheels away to celebrate at OT. (Photo Credit: PL/X)

FOOTBALL Nigerian duo dent Manchester United’s top four hopes on a day a Ghana prospect made his debut for the Red Devils

Joel Omotto 20:40 - 24.02.2024

Nigerian stars Calvin Bassey and Alex Iwobi silenced Old Trafford to leave Manchester United’s Champions League qualification hopes in tatters on Saturday.

Nigerian stars Calvin Bassey and Alex Iwobi ended Manchester United’s four-game winning streak in the Premier League after guiding Fulham to a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.

In what was their first win against United in 18 games and a first victory at at Old Trafford since 2003, Fulham started the strongest in the first half with Iwobi wasting two early chances to give his side the lead, flashing both efforts wide after some good link-up play from Rodrigo Muniz.

Munzi had scored four goals in his previous three games and almost added another as United goalkeeper Andre Onana was forced into a good save, before Sasa Lukic chested wide from close range.

The home side struggled in the early exchanges with Alejandro Garnacho’s curling effort the only bright spot in the opening 25 minutes. Antonee Robinson cleared Garnacho’s effort off the line before Diogo Dalot struck the outside of the post.

However, Fulham still looked dangerous with Muniz hitting the post moments later following a swift counter attacking move.

Fulham would break the deadlock just past the hour mark when Bassey struck home his first goal for the club in the 65th minute after the ball fell kindly in the box from an Andreas Pereira corner.

The United defence failed to deal well with the ball which fell in the patch of Bassey and the Nigerian hammered it in the roof of the net on his left foot.

Bruno Fernandes then tested Fulham goalkeeper Bern Leno before Marcus Rashford was also denied by the German stopper but Harry Maguire did some good work in the final minutes to bring United level.

The defender showed great strength to hold off his markers before his attempt was cleared but the ball fell to Fernandes who whipped it in the box and Maguire was there to tap it home.

However, with United looking for a winner deep in injury time, they threw more bodies forward which left them susceptible to a counter attack and that is just what happened.

Substitute Adama Traore received the ball and put on the afterburners with United outnumbered before squaring the ball to Iwobi.

The Nigerian took one touch before slotting the ball past Onala who was rooted to the spot as Marco Silva’s men snatched all three points at the death.

It was Fulham’s first league win away from home since August, while defeat is a huge blow to United’s hopes of finishing in the UEFA Champions League places for next season, as they are now eight points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa with 12 games remaining.