Manchester United recorded a hugely important 1-0 win over Fulham deep into extra time to ease some of the mounting pressure on Old Trafford.
The Red Devils came into the match on the back of successive 3-0 defeats at home and were in desperate need of a result and to match a performance in West London.
Although they got the result – thanks to captain Bruno Fernandes’ late winner – they didn’t quite get the performance together and were largely unimpressive against a Fulham side who caused few problems for the visitors themselves.
Yet that will be of little concern to the under-fire Dutch manager as he looks to build momentum ahead of a brutal run of fixtures, starting with a Champions League trip to Copenhagen on Wednesday.
Here, Mail Sport’s Sami Mokbel takes you through some of the stories from Craven Cottage that you may have missed on Saturday.
A Manchester United victory over Fulham temporarily kept the wolves at Erik ten Hag’s door
Bruno Fernandes struck in extra time to end United’s run of consecutive 3-0 defeats in all competitions
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Ten Hag keeps the wolves at bay for a while
If Erik ten Hag is on borrowed time, there has been little indication of an impending departure behind the scenes in recent weeks.
Of course the results will determine the future of the under-fire Dutchman, this victory will at least keep the Wolves out until they face Copenhagen on Wednesday.
But Ten Hag is still a key figure in the club’s long-term planning for its player selection.
The United boss continues to have significant input on transfer targets ahead of what is set to be a crucial January window for United.
Similarly, Ten Hag has also made recommendations in recent days regarding contract extensions for members of the existing squad.
For the time being, Ten Hag remains at the helm and the powers that be at Old Trafford would prefer to remain that way until at least the 25 percent buyout of Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been approved.
Varane’s intriguing role as a warm-up continues
Raphael Varane was once again absent from Manchester United’s starting XI here at Craven Cottage.
His recent bench role is quite intriguing. The World Cup winner’s omission in the 3-0 derby defeat to Manchester last weekend was explained as ‘tactical’.
Varane is said to be suffering from illness against Newcastle on Wednesday. Here at Fulham, Mail Sport were led to believe his substitute role was down to keeping an eye on Wednesday’s crucial Champions League match in Copenhagen.
Sources indicate that Varane has been struggling with a minor injury in recent weeks, although Ten Hag has not released any information about this.
If Varane is not selected in Denmark, tongues will really start wagging.
Rafael Varane was once again left on the bench by Ten Hag, with some reports suggesting he has had a minor hiccup in recent weeks
Fulham fans show their displeasure
Fulham supporters took advantage of United’s high-profile visit to protest against rising ticket costs at the club.
In the 18th minute, fans held up yellow cards reading “Please don’t price us out” – a symbolic gesture in response to the overall 18 percent price increase for adult season tickets over the past year.
Individual match tickets for this Premier League match cost a whopping £160 for seats in the Riverside Stand. Season tickets now cost a whopping £3,000.
Before kick-off, supporters also marched outside Craven Cottage with a banner reading: ‘W£ CAN’T AFFORD TO PRAISE FANS’.
Pain for the emotional Muniz
Rodrigo Muniz was inconsolable as he limped off with an injury in the final 15 minutes.
The Fulham striker was in tears after slipping on the grass, before immediately grabbing his knee.
Hopefully the injury is not too serious for the Brazilian, but his reaction suggests otherwise.
Battling Maguire is one of United’s heroes
Say what you will about Harry Maguire’s value as a defender, but you cannot question the man’s heart.
Harry Maguire was one of the better performers for United despite struggling with a potential injury
The England defender suffered an early blow to the head and was extensively examined for signs of concussion by United’s recently appointed doctor Gary O’Driscoll, who ultimately saw five minutes of stoppage time played in the first half.
He was again thoroughly checked in the second half, with Maguire looking particularly dazed.
But in true Maguire style he fought on and was one of United’s heroes.
United fans unfurled a banner reading ‘Play like you mean it’ at Craven Cottage on Saturday. That doesn’t apply to Maguire.
United fans unfurled a banner reading ‘Play like you mean it’ at Craven Cottage on Saturday