Edinson Cavani’s stunning goal welcomed fans back to Old Trafford in style but the match finished in disappointment for the hosts as they were held to a 1-1 draw by relegated Fulham.
The Uruguayan striker beat Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola with an audacious chip from 40 yards to put his side ahead inside 15 minutes.
Bruno Fernandes went close with two powerful drives that were kept out by Areola before Fulham’s Fabio Carvalho missed a one-on-one chance at the other end.
Fernandes whistled a free-kick wide after the break before David de Gea was forced into a double save to deny Lookman, as Fulham began to increase the pressure.
Joe Bryan equalised with a back-post header in the 76th minute to earn Scott Parker’s side a point, as United slipped to their third Premier League match in a row without a win.
Here are how the players rated.
David de Gea, 7: The goalkeeper was given a warm reception as he returned to the starting line up in place of Dean Henderson. Made a comfortable save to deny Carvalho’s one-on-one chance before he was called into making an athletic stop to deny Lookman’s shot at the near post. Looked good with his feet and had no chance in keeping out Bryan’s header.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 6: Not for the first time this season, he lost his man at the back post as Bryan scored the equaliser. Had controlled the right flank well and looked dangerous from wide areas with his delivery into the box but the lapse of concentration let him down.
Victor Lindelof, 6: Lost his man when Carvalho made a peeling run off the back of him to latch onto Lookman’s pass. Did well to cover for his centre back Tuanzebe and hold up Cavaleiro when the youngster slipped during the second half.
Axel Tuanzebe, 7: A positive display for the young defender. Defended on the front foot and looked confident on the ball. Was caught out on one occasion in the first half but was bailed out by Fred.
Luke Shaw, 6: Similar to Wan-Bissaka, produced a typically busy display as he roamed forward from left back, but was caught out in the goal as he missed his tackle and lost Reid out on the right wing.
Fred, 6: The Brazilian did a little bit of everything in a solid display alongside McTominay. He may not shine in some of United’s biggest games but he proved his worth here.
Scott McTominay, 7: Linked play effectively in the middle of midfield, routinely finding Fernandes with passes through the lines. Defended his box well when required and stretched the pitch with his driving runs from deep. Left the pitch with an injury after the hour and United lost control when he went off.
Mason Greenwood, 6: Following a quiet first half, United’s in-form forward was much more involved after the break. Had one promising dribble into the box and should have dispatched a one-on-one from the angle that was saved by Areola. The miss proved costly and he was removed shortly after Fulham equalised.
Bruno Fernandes, 7: Crowned United’s player of the year earlier today, and you could see why based on this performance. Was constantly a goal threat, whether shooting himself or setting up his team-mates. Was guilty a being wasteful at times, however, which proved the difference in the result.
Paul Pogba, 6: The France international struggled to influence the match when out on the left flank. Was more influential after moving inside midway through the second half, but this was still a disappointing performance overall.
Edinson Cavani, 7: Playing in front of the Old Trafford crowd for the first time, the Uruguayan scored one of the goals of the season in front of the Stretford End. Produced one excellent pass through to Greenwood in the second half but saw little of the ball in attacking areas.
Marcus Rashford, 6: Gave United a better balance after his introduction on the left wing but did not trouble the Fulham defence.
Amad Diallo, N/A: Was introduced late on but struggled to make an impact.
Donny van de Beek, N/A: Entered the match with United searching for a winner but had few touches.
Alphonse Areola, 8: Despite being caught off his line, there was little the goalkeeper could have done to stop Cavani’s goal as it was so unexpected and perfectly executed. Made two good save to deny Fernandes, and produced a key stop to deny Greenwood’s one-on-one.
Mario Lemina, 7: Started at right back before moving into midfield and producing a combative display, despite playing most of the match on a yellow card. Timed his challenges well.
Tim Ream, 7: Did the basics extremely well in the heart of the Fulham defence.
Tosin Adarabioyo, 7: Defended well from set pieces and kept Cavani quiet for the most part.
Joe Bryan, 8: Struggled in possession when playing out from the back in the first half. Played higher up in the second and looked much better. Provided a nice feed into Lookman before he popped up in the box to score the equaliser on what was only his second Premier League start in six months.
Bobby De Cordova-Reid, 7: Produced an excellent cross to set up Bryan’s header. Full of energy out on the right wing.
Harrison Reed, 5: Was tidy with the ball until he was forced off in the 30th minute with an injury.
Frank Anguissa, 7: Was key to Fulham’s win with a solid display in central midfield.
Ademola Lookman, 7: Split United’s defence wide open with the pass of the match to set up Fabio Carvalho.
Fabio Carvalho, 7:The 18-year-old was Fulham’s brightest player, constantly looking to get involved. Had the visitors’ best chance of the game when he was played through on goal but couldn’t beat De Gea.
Ivan Cavaleiro, 6: Led the line and put in an admirable shift up top for the visitors.
Joachim Andersen, 7: Filled in at right back after coming on for Reed and was excellent as Fulham earned a point.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 7: Helped Fulham to an improved display in the second half.
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