Robin van Persie marked his first start for Manchester United with a sublime goal, but his side’s 3-2 victory over Fulham was marred by a nasty injury to Wayne Rooney that will sideline the England striker for four weeks.
Van Persie had little chance to contribute during a brief substitute appearance in United's lacklustre defeat at Everton on Monday, but the striker took just 10 minutes to make his mark at Old Trafford with a brilliant volley to cancel out Damien Duff’s opener.
Inspired by the £24 million Dutch forward, United went on to secure their first win of the season, but the result was overshadowed by Rooney’s injury late in the second half which left the England striker, who was stretchered off, with blood streaming from a deep gash in his thigh after he was caught by Hugo Rodallega.
Rooney was rushed to hospital for treatment and United boss Alex Ferguson said: “It was a very bad one. He has gone to hospital. It looks like he will be out for four weeks.”
Fulham had stunned United when Irish winger Duff, who retired from international duty this week, fired home from just inside the penalty area in the third minute. But that brought a scintillating response from van Persie, who levelled with a blistering volley from Patrice Evra’s cross.
Like van Persie, former Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa was making his first appearance at Old Trafford and he marked the occasion with his maiden United goal, tapping in when Mark Schwarzer parried Tom Cleverley’s pass into his path.
United defender Rafael da Silva added a third goal four minutes before half-time with a header from Ashley Young’s cross. Nemanja Vidic’s 64th minute own-goal gave Fulham a glimmer of hope, but it was Rooney’s injury that proved the last noteworthy action.
EPL Results :-
Swansea 3-0 West Ham
Aston Villa 1-3 Everton
Man Utd 3-2 Fulham
Norwich City 1-1 QPR
Southampton 0-2 Wigan
Tottenham 1-1 West Brom
Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle