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Man City 1-3 Fulham: City bossed by Fulham

last updated Sunday 12th April 2009, 11:19 PM

Fulham striker Clint Dempsey
Fulham striker
Clint Dempsey
Fulham came from behind to beat Manchester City 3-1 at Eastlands thanks to Dickson Etuhu and a brace from Clint Dempsey.

City never really got out of the traps and started the game with five changes from Thursday's 3-1 Uefa Cup reverse in Germany against Hamburg.

Out went the injured Craig Bellamy, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Wayne Bridge while Robinho and Daniel Sturridge had to make do with a place on the bench.

The visitors began the game brightly and could have taken the lead through Andrew Johnson and Dempsey, but it was City who opened the scoring with their first shot of the game.

Stephen Ireland came forward unchallenged and bent the ball into the top right hand corner with the aid of a deflection off City old boy Dickson Etuhu on 28 minutes.

Fulham quickly asserted themselves on the game in the early exchanges of the second period when Dempsey pounced to slot home from the edge of the area, five minutes after the restart.

Match Stats Man City Fulham
Goals 1 3
Possession 53% 47%
Goal attempts 16 16
On Target 5 6
Corners 8 3
Off-sides 2 4
Saves 3 4
Fouls 10 8
Yellows 0 1
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet
The Cottagers made it 2-1 when Etuhu earned himself a yard and fired past Given from distance to the keeper's right. And the game was over when Zamora fed Dempsey in the 80th minute for the wideman to coolly place the ball past Given.

Ireland gave City a start their performance failed to warrant when he received a pass from Valeri Bojinov on halfway.

The visitors fatally decided to stand off, not even making a tackle as the City midfield man reached the penalty area.

Having got so far, Ireland decided to try his luck. And, profiting from a deflection off Etuhu, he beat Mark Schwarzer with a dipping effort.

In truth it was just about the only noteworthy effort of the opening 45 minutes of a match that pitched Nigeria-born brothers Dickson and Kelvin Etuhu against each other.

Martin Petrov sporadically sprang into life on his first Premier League start since August but there was very little purpose on either side, which was a surprise considering West Ham's defeat yesterday had once again opened the door to a European slot.

Shay Given was called upon just once, when Bobby Zamora wriggled free of Richard Dunne and let fly with a shot on the turn that he was equal to.

But, just as they did 12 months ago, Roy Hodgson's men overcame a dismal interval position to get their noses in front.

First, after being gifted possession by Pablo Zabaleta, Dempsey latched onto the loose ball when Micah Richards had jumped in to tackle Zamora and expertly curled home.

Then, when City's wobbling defence failed to cut out the danger presented by Dempsey and the overlapping Paul Konchesky from the left, Etuhu rifled into the corner against his former club from 20 yards.

Robinho's introduction, along with that of Daniel Sturridge, followed shortly afterwards, to rapturous applause.

Not that it made much difference as Fulham continued to look more threatening.

Brede Hangeland wasted a glorious chance to wrap up the points after Given had punched Dempsey's curling free-kick into Zamora.

But another goal arrived seven minutes from time when City were caught on the counter-attack and Dempsey bagged his second from Zamora's touch pass.

Man of the match: Danny Murphy did not score, but he was at the heart of everything positive for Fulham.

Moment of the match: Stephen Ireland's opening goal. The strike was the first effort the home side mustered on goal and came in the 28th minute after Fulham had missed several good chances to take the lead.

Attempt of the match: Although Stephen Ireland's goal was deflected, it highlighted the player's confidence to take the shot on in the first place.

Save of the game: Immediately after Clint Dempsey had made the score 3-1 City went up the other end and Mark Schwarzer had to be alert to make a diving save from a Ched Evans header, before pushing the loose ball behind the post.

Talking point: Fulham are now one point behind West Ham in seventh. Can they qualify for Europe?

Goal of the game: Dickson Etuhu, playing against his brother Kelvin, opened his account for the season in style when he fired past Shay Given from the edge of the area.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson praised his side's self-belief as they turned a half-time deficit into a 3-1 win away to Manchester City this afternoon.

Fulham struck three times in the second half as they came from behind to record only their second away win of the season.

Stephen Ireland put City ahead against the run of play, but two Clint Dempsey goals either side of a Dickson Etuhu effort turned the Barclays Premier League match around.

Hodgson said: "Coming to a very difficult place, the way we went about our business today was very good. We were a bit unlucky to go in a goal down but the boys shook that off.

"Belief is key. It's too easy to start thinking things are not going your way. You have to fight those things, keep doing what you're doing.''

Fulham are up to eighth place in the Barclays Premier League, but Hodgson is not looking at Europa League qualification.

He added: "The important thing for us is to keep up the good work and see where the points get us.''

Man City boss Mark Hughes felt his side were tired after their UEFA Cup defeat in Hamburg last Thursday.

"Fulham had the advantage of a clear week,'' Hughes said.

"We were feeling the effects of the game in midweek. Tired minds sometimes make mistakes on the field.''

Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Garrido, Etuhu (Sturridge 64), Zabaleta, Ireland, De Jong, Petrov (Robinho 63), Bojinov (Evans 55). Subs Not Used: Hart, Elano, Fernandes, McGivern.

Goals: Ireland 28.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies, Etuhu, Murphy (Dacourt 89), Dempsey (Gera 86), Johnson, Zamora (Kamara 86). Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Stoor, Baird.

Booked: Konchesky (24,f).

Goals: Dempsey 50, Etuhu 59, Dempsey 83.

Att: 39,841

Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).


Source Richard Bailey at SkySport
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