Manchester City – Fulham was a pretty one-sided encounter, as Pep Guardiola’s City eased to victory and Scott Parker’s Cottagers were keen to avoid disappointment.
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Early goals from Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne did the damage, as Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola had a superb game to keep the score down.
Man City momentarily moved into the top four with the win, with a game in-hand, while Fulham remain on seven points.
3 things we learned
1. Kevin de Bruyne runs the show: The Belgian wizard looked like he was the U14 kid playing against the U12s in the playground. He dominated whenever he wanted to, created chances galore and Fulham couldn’t lock him down as his surging runs from midfield were the big difference.
2. Here come Man City: Pep Guardiola’s side have only lost two of their last 17 games in all competitions and they are starting to crank through the gears. They look better defensively and the only problem for City is that they’ve been wasteful with chances. As soon as Sergio Aguero comes back from injury, that should change.
3. Fulham happy to not be hammered: After their recent win at Leicester, you would think Fulham would have been confident going into this game. Think again. They were solid enough but on the rare occasion they did commit players forward they were undone on the counter. That meant Fulham sat deeper as they didn’t want to be embarrassed. No shame in that, but they will have to take more chances in their tough stretch of games coming up against plenty of the big boys.
Man of the Match: Kevin de Bruyne – Created the first goal, scored the second, hit the bar and forced Areola into saves. He was everywhere.
Man City had a glorious chance early on but Alphonse Areola denied Sterling who was clean through.
Moments later he made it 1-0, as Kevin de Bruyne charged towards goal and played in Sterling who slotted home. De Bruyne went close himself soon after but Areola denied him at the near post.
Fulham had to deal with wave after wave of Man City attack and eventually that pressure told. Joachim Anderson clipped Sterling’s feet and De Bruyne slammed home the penalty kick.
Ederson almost had a moment to forget as the ball squirmed past him but went wide, while at the other end Areola denied Sterling’s volley.
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In the second half it was a more even encounter as Fulham were more adventurous, but that left the more open on the counter.
After a counter attack Gabriel Jesus set up De Bruyne who spanked the crossbar, then another counter saw De Bruyne denied by Areola.
Late on, Fulham did their best to stay solid and prevent any more counters from Man City as Scott Parker’s side threatened at times with Ademola Lookman looking lively.
In the end, this was a routine win for City as they continue to surge up the table.