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Fulham beaten at Man City - Match Report Prem Md05

last updated Saturday 15th September 2018, 8:59 PM

Match Report

Manchester City (2) 3-0 (0) Fulham

Premier League Match Day 05 1819 at City of Manchester Stadium

Saturday 15th September 2018    KO: 15:00

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

In his address to supporters to mark the 10th anniversary of the Abu Dhabi takeover, the club’s owner, Sheikh Mansour, suggested Manchester City are merely “halfway up their Everest”.

They are already out of sight to Fulham, who by the same calculation must be observing events from somewhere between base camp and a hole in the ground.

Even though there were half as many goals, this was as much of a mismatch as Huddersfield being hit for six last month.

Match Stats Man City Fulham
Goals (2) 3 0 (0)
Scorers Sane 2 -
Silva 21 -
Sterling 47 -
Goal attempts 28 9
On target 9 3
Shooting Accuracy 32% 33%
Possession 65% 35%
Passes 731 399
Passes Success 91% 80%
Crosses 20 11
Crosses Success 30% 0%
Corners 10 4
Tackles 16 13
Tackles Success 69% 46%
Saves 3 6
Fouls 7 7
Offsides 5 2
Yellows 0 0
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
To say City won with something to spare would be to risk serious understatement.

They had John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden on the bench, with no place for Benjamin Mendy in the squad.

Whatever the reason for the absence of one of the better performers this season – Pep Guardiola mentioned a minor injury in training – the France international was not missed.

“Three-nil is a good result but we created enough chances to score five or six goals,” he said.

“We probably need to be more clinical but I give a lot of credit to Fulham. They will surprise a few people this season and I think they will still be in the Premier League the next.”

Slavisa Jokanovic was equally magnanimous.

“We didn’t make it easy for ourselves but the result was completely fair,” the Fulham manager said.

“City showed they are one of the best teams in the world.”

The visitors were behind after two minutes and the contest would have been as good as over within a quarter of an hour had Raheem Sterling’s erratic finishing not come back to haunt him.

Leroy Sane marked his first start of the league campaign with one of the easiest goals he will ever score after a heavy touch by Jean Michael Seri in his own half was mercilessly punished by Fernandinho.

The Brazilian intervened decisively as soon as the Fulham midfielder failed to control a pass from Marcus Bettinelli, galloping into space behind a non-existent defensive line to find Sane up in support with a cross that required only a tap-in.

With Fulham already obliged to chase the game, Bernardo Silva held the ball up well before releasing Sterling for a run on goal.

The winger looked odds-on to score with only Bettinelli to beat but ended up putting his shot too close to the goalkeeper, who pushed it on to the bar.

At least Sterling made amends five minutes later with a hand in City’s second goal, finding Bernardo Silva in space for a cross from the byline.

Sergio Aguero was on to it first, only to see Seri block his shot – but with City players queuing up on the six-yard line, David Silva calmly tucked away the loose ball.

Fulham did manage a couple of goal attempts in the first half, both from Andre Schurrle and both saved by Ederson, the second requiring a far more acrobatic stop than the first.

Yet with City in control from such an early stage the afternoon inevitably resolved itself into a question of how many more they might score.

They could easily have gone further ahead before the interval but for Bettinelli spreading himself to keep out a shot from the energetic Sane and then ending the half with a one-handed save to deny Sterling.

The visitors’ defensive resolve at the start of the second half lasted about as long as it did in the first, Aguero cutting in from the right to beat Alfie Mawson and leave Sterling with an unmissable chance from a couple of yards out (albeit one made more difficult by a late touch from Seri on the way through).

Aguero departed after that, warmly applauded even though it had not been one of his most productive outings.

His replacement, Gabriel Jesus, then almost scored with his first touch when David Silva crossed to the near post.

With no further goals and little urgency on show from either side, the last half-hour was soporific, if not downright tedious.

Bernardo Silva should have made it four but blasted high over the bar when unselfishly set up by Jesus.

“You’re just a crap Man United,” the Fulham supporters chanted unsympathetically. If only it were true.

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Delph (Gundogan 67), Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Silva, Sterling (Mahrez 74), Aguero (G Jesus 54), Sane

Unused substitutes: Muric, Stones, Zinchenko, Foden

Sane 02 (right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fernandinho.)
Silva 21 (right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner.)
Sterling 47 (right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Sergio Aguero.)

Fulham: Bettinelli, Christie, Odoi, Mawson, R Sessegnon, Seri (Anguissa 56), McDonald, Johansen, Vietto (Ayite 69), Mitrovic, Schurrle

Unused substitutes: Fabri, Chambers, Le Marchand, Fosu-Mensah, Bryan

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Attendance: 53,307

Source Paul Wilson at The Guardian
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