Fulham 1 Manchester City 3
And the bigger club said - 'Roll over` - In a way I`d like to say that the comment left by Merlin after publication of the 'Match Stats` said it all. However, until City opened the scoring, that was far from the case.
In fact, during those first twenty-two minutes Fulham were the better team. City looked disinterested and looked as if they`d come to the River Thames for a day out rather than to compete for premiership survival. Sadly, as is often the case in football, things can change in a matter of seconds. Therefore, when Joey Barton scored that opening goal, I couldn`t help but think our future was changing for the worse.
Further blows, like daggers through the heart, from De Marcus Beasley and Darius Vassell have left our side balanced on the precipice. At the moment only the fact that three of four teams have had a worse season than us keeps us out of the relegation slots. Unfortunately, whilst those aforementioned sides show signs of pulling the odd result or two out of the bag, our side look as if they`re uncertain if they`ll win again this season.
With the first half starting so well for Fulham with Liam Rosenior getting down the flank and the midfield pulling all the strings, I hoped that those elusive three pints would be ours. Sadly, forty-five minutes later, after goals from Barton and Beasley, I was one of those actively joining in the booing at half time. On reflection, I`m not sure the team, or Chris Coleman, deserved it. Perhaps it was born out of frustration or the overwhelming desire to see us play in the Premiership next season rather than the Championship.
Any hope of a quick comeback was squashed when Vassell scored the third and against a team that were only one place above us at the start of play, you started to fear the worst. It was becoming a matter of just how many we`d lose by. Thankfully, the team dug in and when Carlos Bocanegra rose to head home a consolation goal spirits were raised a little. The team dug in and tried to get that important second that would have made City just a little jittery.
Unfortunately, despite some good passing that elusive final ball just wasn`t there. For all the spirit shown, Fulham lacked that killer instinct that just might have had Stuart Pearce scratching his head rather quizzically instead of lamenting just how important this victory was to his side.
With a daunting trip to Reading next weekend, I can`t be the only supporter looking nervously over their shoulder as the relegation trap-door starts to open.
Come on Fulham; sort it out before it`s too late!