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Man City 3 Fulham 1: Cottagers have away day blues

last updated Saturday 18th November 2006, 7:21 PM

Bernardo Corradi ended his goal drought with a first-half double as Manchester City made up for the loss of their proud home defensive record by sweeping past Fulham.

Fulham striker Collins John
Fulham striker
Collins John

Corradi's first goals for his club set up the simplest of victories for Stuart Pearce's men with midfielder Joey Barton effectively wrapping up the contest in first-half injury time.

And it made up for a second half tinged with the disappointment of Collins John's consolation, which breached City's defence for the first time in over 10 hours of home Premiership football this season.

Boss Stuart Pearce's decision to promote both Corradi and Georgios Samaras from the substitutes' bench in order to boost a miserable home goalscoring record always looked likely to pay off.

Boosted by the incisive threat of Hatem Trabelsi down the right flank, City had their first chance inside the first minute when Samaras' effort clattered Ian Pearce in the box.

Moments later Pearce had to be on hand to cut out another dangerous move from Trabelsi who came close to feeding Samaras with a neat through-ball in the fifth minute.

Zat Knight got in to nip a Trabelsi cross away from the head of Corradi as the visitors, fighting a desperate rearguard action, seldom looked likely to trouble City's own solid defence.

Corradi broke his City duck in the 12th minute after running onto Samaras' lofted pass and deftly flicking the opener past Antti Niemi with his right foot.

The Italian might have had a second five minutes later when Trabelsi's ball deflected his way in the box but Niemi got down bravely to save at the second attempt.

Diop headed Fulham's first chance straight into Nicky Weaver's arms before Samaras came close to extending City's advantage with a low right-foot drive which flashed inches wide.

Just when the game threatened to descend into an attritional midfield battle Corradi struck again in the 32nd minute, shooting past Niemi after Joey Barton's lung-bursting foray into the Fulham box.

Fulham's miserable afternoon scarcely threatened to get any better, with Luis Boa Morte's ambitious drive across the City box in the 36th minute about the best Chris Coleman's men could muster.

Match Stats Man City Fulham
Goals 3 1
Possession 58% 42%
Goal attempts 16 8
On Target 7 2
Corners 5 0
Off-sides 3 3
Fouls 23 12
Yellows 1 1
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet

It got worse as Barton wrapped up a dream half for City deep into injury time, when Trabelsi charged clear on the counter-attack and squared for the midfielder to convert the simplest of chances.

Coleman had no other option but to introduce the lively John at the interval - and it was a decision which immediately injected more ambition into his forward line.

Twice the young striker had the ball in the net only to be caught marginally offside on both occasions - and City almost made him pay when Samaras skied a glorious chance in the 58th minute.

Four minutes later John's luck turned as he got on the end of a header on from fellow substitute Heidar Helguson, and sent a deliciously weighted lob over Weaver and into the City net.

City's proud defensive record might have been broken but Pearce's men showed few signs of surrendering their advantage with new England man Micah Richards troubling the side netting in the 78th minute.

Corradi could have wrapped up a dream afternoon with a hat-trick but sent a powerful effort off his thigh straight into the arms of Niemi in the 85th minute.

Man City Weaver, Richards, Dunne, Distin, Thatcher,Trabelsi (Onuoha 89), Reyna, Barton, Vassell, Corradi,Samaras (Dickov 67).
Subs Not Used: Hart, Ireland, Miller.

Booked: Thatcher.

Goals: Corradi 12, 32, Barton 45.

Fulham Niemi, Rosenior, Knight, Pearce, Queudrue,Volz (Radzinski 74), Bocanegra (John 46), Diop, Boa Morte,Claus Jensen, McBride (Helguson 46).
Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Routledge.

Booked: Volz (45,f).

Goals: John 62.(Ball lobbed right-footed over the keeper into low centre of goal from centre of penalty area.Assist (header) by Heidar Helguson from right channel.)

Att: 35,776

Ref: A Wiley (Staffordshire).








Source Mark Staniforth at PA Sport
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