Welcome to Manchester, Robin and Shinji

Posted by Mark Payne

In the end, it took only 10 minutes as Old Trafford's new son announced his arrival with a nonchalant flick of the left boot. Robin van Persie registered his first goal for Manchester United, and a cold shiver made its way down the spines of our rivals.

There also might have been a twinge of fear making itself felt in the vicinity of Wayne Rooney. United's former talisman had one of his worst nights for us Monday and, with the arrival of RVP, now has some genuine competition. The substitutes bench is unlikely to be a comfortable place for him, yet it is where he started Saturday.

His afternoon didn’t end well, either, carried off in injury time with his thigh covered in blood. By then, of course, another of our new forward recruits had also opened his account. RVP we expected, but, trust me, Shinji Kagawa is going to be a superstar.

Not only does the Japanese midfielder have the skill and the speed to succeed but he is determined and unpredictable, too, possessing that wonderful quality of never leaving anything for a lost cause. People are going to hate playing against him.

They make us suffer, though. Fergie decided to shake things up and actually play a defender in a defensive position; Rafael rewarded this outrageous notion by playing reasonably well and even scoring.

Sadly, Nemanja Vidic and David De Gea had the kind of miscommunication that would make me and my girlfriend proud for the Serb to score a beauty of an own goal. The young Spaniard is not out of the woods yet, but it's probably unreasonable to expect perfection from someone so young. The last 20 minutes were pretty uncomfortable, and he had to make a lightning-quick stop on the goal line with five seconds to go for good measure, a reminder that our keeper will be adding to our emotional journey this season for both better and worse. Like Rooney, he will have plenty to think about after this Saturday.

To be honest, though, we wouldn’t have it any other way, would we? Fulham put up a decent fight, but, in the end, United just had too much firepower, which managed to cover up the deficiencies at the back. One suspects this might be the case several times this season. Ah well, at least it's not boring.

Man of the match: Shinji Kagawa.

Did someone say man crush? I think I have a new favourite player.

My favourite chant of the day:

“Dontcha wish your striker was RVP. Dontcha wish your team had Cleverley. Dontcha.”

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