Giggs: "I was starting to worry I wouldn’t score this season!"
Ryan Giggs admitted he was beginning to fear for his proudest scoring record until he discovered his sixth sense.
Giggs has been running nearly as long as the River Thames, and on a night littered with landmarks for Manchester United by the towpath at Craven Cottage, he became the sixth oldest goalscorer in Premier League history.
Wayne Rooney decorated his 300th Premier League appearance with a brilliant long-range strike, Dimitar Berbatov became the 50th player in United’s history to score 50 goals and Sir Alex Ferguson’s men kept their ninth clean sheet in 17 games.
But it was Giggs, scoring at the age of 38 years and 22 days, who stole top billing by maintaining his remarkable record of scoring in the League for the 20th consecutive season in the champions’ 5-0 romp against Fulham.
His goalbound effort took a sizeable deflection off Philippe Senderos before looping over Fulham keeper David Stockdale, but woe betide the dubious goals committee if they try to take it off Giggs.
At the end of a year when his scoring exploits had been confined to salacious revelations and sniggering at the back of class, the old boy was relieved to be back among the goals.
Giggs, whose previous entry on a Premier League scoresheet had been in January, said: “I was starting to get worried I wouldn’t score this season. Last year I scored in one of our early games, so I didn’t have to worry about it after that.
“I’ll definitely be claiming this one. A centre forward would definitely claim it, so I’m going to.
“It’s been a good few weeks. We showed what we’re capable of at Fulham and that’s the standard we set ourselves. To go to a place like Craven Cottage and produce that sort of movement and interplay was first-class.
“Now we have to carry on the form we’re in at the moment. If we do that, we’re very hard to beat, especially at home. At Old Trafford we always expect to win, but we still need to go out with the same hunger and appetite on the road.”
Giggs, who signed a 12-month contract extension until June 2012, would have to play until he is nearly 41 to break Teddy Sheringham’s record as the granddad of Premier League goalscorers at 40 years and 266 days for West Ham.
But his enduring powers of motivation have cheered manager Sir Alex Ferguson as United enter the festive period with NINE members of their first team squad crocked.
Phil Jones will be out until February after suffering a broken jaw in an aerial challenge involving Fulham’s Clint Dempsey on Wednesday night, while Ashley Young faces up to three weeks on the sidelines with a knee problem after a shuddering challenge from Dickson Etuhu.
Fergie was already without skipper Nemanja Vidic, midfielders Anderson, Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley, plus Fabio Da Silva and Michael Owen, while Rio Ferdinand (bruised foot) will miss the Boxing Day clash with Wigan.
The oldest Premier League scorers
- Teddy Sheringham (40 years 266 days) for West Ham v Portsmouth, December 2006
- Graham Alexander (38 years 182 days) for Burnley v Hull, April 2010
- Mark Hughes (38 years 160 days) for Blackburn v Leicester, April 2002
- Kerimoglu Tugay (38 years 98 days) for Blackburn v Portsmouth, November 2008
- Mick Harford (38 years 34 days) for Wimbledon v West Ham, March 1997
- Ryan Giggs (38 years 22 days) for Manchester United v Fulham, December 2011