Fulham 1 Manchester City 4
Fulham suffered a heavy home defeat against a side that were better than us in every department and a side that could have a major say in where the Premier League title ends up this season.
Mark Hughes was able to welcome back Carlos Salcido for this fixture with the Mexican having recovered from his ankle injury. Andrew Johnson was also making his first home start for fourteen months after his injury woes.
Despite getting the action underway, it wasn`t to be Fulham`s half as they were subjected to a three goal Manchester City salvo.
The first goal came as early as the sixth minute when Tevez spun off of Salcido to coolly net past Schwarzer. City could have doubled their lead in the twenty-second minute when they launched a swift counter-attack after Fulham had made a mess of a free-kick on the edge of the City box, thankfully, Schwarzer was on hand to push a shot from Kolarov around the post.
As City continued to press, De Jong and Silva both dragged shots wide before the inevitable second gal came, Thirty-two minutes were on the clock when City worked the ball across the pitch for Zabaleta to smash home a shot, from twenty-two yards, although it appeared to take a deflection off of Duff.
Three minutes later the lead was 3-0 when another good move saw the ball fed to Yaya Toure who rifled past Schwarzer from eight yards. It hadn`t been a good half but as it approached its conclusion Fulham did have an attempt on target when a long free kick, from deep into Fulham`s half, was helped on by Davies straight into the arms of Hart.
Half time saw Hughes make one change with Duff being replaced by Gera and the slight change in formation, with Dempsey moving out to the left started to make in-roads into the City defence.
An early corner, delivered by Davies, saw Aaron Hughes head over before Dempsey shot wide form outside the area. Gera saw a header saved by Hart but the referee, harshly, awarded a free kick for a push. But just as you thought Fulham might pull a goal back, City scored a fourth.
Schwarzer did well to deny Tevez after the Argentine international skipped through the defence to be one-on-one with the Australian keeper. But when the resulting corner was swung across and Fulham failed to clear their lines sufficiently, Zabaleta drilled a shot towards the goal that Tevez flicked over Schwarzer and into the net.
City, by now home and dry, went for a fifth but Kolarov`s curling shot went just wide. Hughes made a second change bringing on Kamara for Etuhu and once again Fulham started to push City back. A fine move involving Salcido and Kamara saw Johnson foiled at the near post by a solid interception.
With sixty-nine minutes gone, Fulham reduced the arrears, following a second corner as a result o the above incident, the ball fell invitingly to Gera and his shot was deflected past Joe Hart, in the City goal.
Gera tried to reduce the arrears further, one shot form the Hungarian was deflected behind, another, from a free kick, sailed high and wide and in stoppage time, a volley flew over the bar.
Not the best of afternoons as Mark Hughes was left to contemplate his first defeat against a club he`d previously managed.
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