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 on Saturday.
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 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.Fulham had stunned United when Irish winger Duff, who retired from international this week, fired home from just inside the penalty area in the third minute. But that brought a scintilating 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.
Wayne Rooney faces four weeks on the sidelines after the England striker needed hospital treatment on a nasty leg injury suffered during the match. Rooney was stretchered off in the closing minutes with blood pouring from a deep thigh gash sustained when the United star collided with Hugo Rodallega's boot. “He has gone to hospital. It looks like he will be out for four weeks,” coach Alex Ferguson said.