Vidic: United must learn from Fulham lapse

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The Independent Football

There are still 36 games left for Manchester United to join Chelsea in the goal plundering but in the light of their draw with Fulham on Sunday, even Nemanja Vidic had to concede that throwing away the lead in the final minutes was not good enough for a team that has aspirations to reclaim their Premier League title.

Chelsea have 12 goals already this season and are nine better off than United on goal difference alone, which is always worth a point itself in a close title race. Last season, Carlo Ancelotti's side finished with a goal difference that was 13 superior to United's which was nicely boosted by the eight they racked up against Wigan Athletic on the last day of the season.

First of all United will have to turn their attention to shutting their back door after they uncharacteristically conceded a late goal at Craven Cottage to Brede Hangeland's header to draw the game 2-2. Vidic, one of those who failed to put in a challenge on Hangeland, said that United had recovered from slow starts in the past.

"It's happened in previous years, we drew against Newcastle two years ago and had some other bad results at the start of the season and still gone on," he said. "We don't want to be too down after this result but it's definitely hard to take because we had the result in our hands and with the experience we have in our team we shouldn't allow that to happen two minutes from the end.

"Everyone in the dressing room is very disappointed. It's a bad result, especially as we were winning in the last minute of the game. It's hard to take the draw. We have to make sure that the goals we lost today don't happen again. We always find it difficult against Fulham. They have many strong players like [Bobby] Zamora, Hangeland and [Dickson] Etuhu. They are good in the air and we knew what we were going to face.

"It was an up and down game, especially in the second half and it was hard because the weather was hotter than it usually is here. But it was the same for both teams and we were happy with the result at 2-1. But it's a shame whenever we drop points and we need to improve at set-pieces.

"It's hard to take. If it had finished 2-1 we would have been happy with the result but not that much with the performance. But if we'd won we could have forgotten this game. But now there are definitely some lessons we must learn from this."

United lost their second league game of last season to Burnley and drew with Newcastle and Reading on the previous two opening days of the season. Ryan Giggs said: "The Premier League is probably the most important [trophy to win] after losing the title by a point last season. We lost far too many last year [seven]. They were games we were capable of winning too. That was the most disappointing thing. You know you are going to slip up during a season, and every away game is going to be tough, but you have to limit the mistakes."