Manchester City went atop the Premier League table and Erling Haaland’s tied the Premier League season goals record with a 2-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
This is how Pep Guardiola envisioned the signing of the Borussia Dortmund forward would go for his City, now in first place by a point over Arsenal while holding a match in hand.
WATCH FULHAM vs MANCHESTER CITY FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM – LINK
Haaland bagged his 34th goal and is level with Andy Cole and Alan Shearer for most goals in a single Premier League season. Cole and Shearer scored their 34 in 42-game seasons, and Haaland already owns the 38-game record after passing Mohamed Salah’s 2017-18 campaign.
The Norwegian was joined on the scoreboard by Julian Alvarez, with Riyad Mahrez picking up the assist to move within one assist of the league’s all-time Top 25.
Fulham remains in 10th place with 45 points, and lost Tim Ream (arm) and Andreas Pereira (lower leg) to nasty-looking injuries during the match. Fulham keeper Bernd Leno made seven saves in the loss.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
Haaland in front of another ho-hum complete win
It’s a huge win, don’t get us wrong, the one that put Manchester City back into the first on the Premier League table.
But in the wake of their 4-1 win over Arsenal, which reclaimed Premier League title control and concluded a four-match run in which City scored 15 goals, this was all so formulaic.
City hasn’t lost since a 1-0 setback at Tottenham on February 5. Not one loss in any competition.
The two-time defending champions won’t have an easy finish, with three desperate relegation-threatened sides followed by Chelsea, Brighton, and Brentford, but really the only danger is overlooking an opponent.
It sure didn’t look like that Sunday in London, even with the misleading 1-0 score line: Man City boasted a 12-4 shots edge, 63 percent of the ball, and a 2.59-0.17 advantage in xG.
Fulham vs Manchester City player ratings
Fulham vs Manchester City as it happened
PENALTY! It’s the second minute and Erling Haaland is going to get a chance to tie Andy Cole and Alan Shearer for the most goals in a Premier League season of any length. Julian Alvarez goes down under contact from USMNT back Tim Ream. Fulham keeper Bernd Leno reads it right but Haaland’s penalty is too powerful and that’s 34 goals for the Norwegian in his debut Premier League season. GOAL! Man City, 1-0.
GOOOOAAALLL!! The hosts strike back and give some hope to their London derby rivals Arsenal. It’s against the run of play as Fulham scores with its first chance of the night. Former Spurs forward Carlos Vinicius is close range to bear Ederson. 1-1!
INJURY: USMNT man Tim Ream is off with injury, and will slowly come off the pitch as Issa Diop quickly readies to face City. 22′
Back in front! It’s a huge GOAL for Julian Alvarez, who stays calm with chaos around him and unleashes a curling wonder from outside the arc that leaves Bernd Leno pawing the air. Man City, 2-0.
HALFTIME: It’s 2-1 to the live table leaders, Man City, who hold a 2.23-0.10 leads in expected goals, have held 68 percent of the ball, and are out-attempting Fulham 8-2. Big ask for Marco Silva in the Fulham team room over the next 15 minutes.
INJURY: It’s ugly-looking, as Andreas Pereira is stretchered off in an aircast after an apparent ankle injury. Get well soon.
Man City is home to West Ham on Wednesday before welcoming Leeds to town on Saturday.
Fulham’s off to Liverpool on Wednesday before going back to Craven Cottage for a visit from Leicester City on Monday, May 8.
Erling Haaland goal video: 34
Carlos Vinicius goal video: Fulham 1-1, out of nothing!
Julian Alvarez goal video: Sensational goal to retake lead
How to watch Fulham vs Manchester City live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday
TV channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
The victory over Arsenal made it seven straight wins (and 10 unbeaten) for Manchester City, who haven’t conceded multiple goals in a PL game since mid-January (12 games with one or zero goals). Erling Haaland’s next goal will be his 50th of the season (all competitions) after breaking the Premier League’s 38-game goals record with his 33rd against Arsenal. Kevin De Bruyne is also in the midst of a(nother) particularly purple patch, with four assists and two goals in his last four PL appearances.
As for Fulham, avoiding relegation to remain in the Premier League for a second season was objective no. 1, and Marco Silva’s side has long since been safe from relegation. The Cottagers struggled to generate scoring chances in a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Tuesday, with just one shot attempted — in the 1st minute — all game long.
Fulham team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Aleksandar Mitrovic (suspension – MORE), Layvin Kurzawa (knee), QUESTIONABLE: Willian (hamstring)
Come on Fulham Football Club. 👊#FULMCI pic.twitter.com/RnNxMilBpz
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) April 30, 2023
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Nathan Ake (thigh), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE)
Today's team! 💥
XI | Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Akanji, Rodrigo, Gundogan (C), Mahrez, Grealish, Alvarez, Haaland
SUBS | Ortega Moreno, Carson, Phillips, Laporte, Bernardo, Gomez, Perrone, Foden, Lewis#ManCity | @HaysWorldwide pic.twitter.com/RnMX6mz13Q
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 30, 2023