Fulham – Man City: John Stones, Gabriel Jesus, and Sergio Aguero scored early in the second half as Manchester City broke through to beat Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Man City now leads the Premier League by 17 points with two more matches played than the second place and third place sides in the league (Manchester United and Leicester City).
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City limited to Fulham to three shot, none on target, in the comfortable win. Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, and Kyle Walker were all rested with Champions League action looming on Tuesday.
Wins by Burnley and Crystal Palace earlier Saturday mean the relegation fight is realistically between three teams for one spot. Fulham’s goal differential dips to minus-14, three better than Newcastle and six worse than Brighton.
Fulham has 26 points through 29 matches, while Brighton has the same amount of points in two fewer matches. Newcastle has 28 points in 28 matches, and visits Fulham on the season’s final day.
Three things we learned from Fulham – Man City
1. Aguero back amongst the goals: Sergio Aguero had been limited to 220 minutes in the Premier League this season, so his 60th-minute penalty was more important that its cosmetic nature. Aguero was making just his third PL start this season, which may be his last at the Etihad given his contract expiration this summer. Aguero starting next to Gabriel Jesus also gave opponents something else to think about as City chases the quadruple.
2. First gem of quadruple nearly in the books: City’s 17-point lead over Manchester United and 18-point advantage of Leicester City will shrink given their two further matches played than the nearest chasers, but the title is City’s barring a catastrophic and historic implosion. United maxes out with 84 points and Leicester City 83, and they meet each other May 11. Leicester plays Man City on April 3. As for the other competitions, City has a 2-0 lead on Borussia Monchengladbach heading into the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday, and visits Everton in the FA Cup quarterfinal on March 20. The final jewel is April’s League Cup Final versus Tottenham.
3. Status normal for Fulham: The Cottagers might’ve beaten Liverpool to spice up the relegation race but this one always felt a bridge too far and Scott Parker will have been hopeful of a point but certainly not three. Fulham has Leeds, Aston Villa, and Wolves next before back-to-back away London derbies at Chelsea and Arsenal.
Man of the Match: Joao Cancelo
It’s between Cancelo and Rodri, but the former assisted the first goal of the game with his free kick and was immensely influential down the right side.
Fulham – Man City recap
City needed less than a minute after the break to get its goal, a 47th minute free kick put into the goal by Stones.
Rodri stung a ball at Alphonse Areola minutes later as City tried to put the match away well plenty of time to spare at Craven Cottage.
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Fulham got a bad bounce off a clearing error to gift Jesus his second goal, though the Brazilian had to keep his calm to dance around Areola and fire home.
And a pretty straight-forward penalty sent Aguero to the spot moments later to finish the scoring in London.