I am one of the worst for moaning when City struggle to lacklustre performances, but if today has taught me one thing, it’s to be more patient with a side which will only get better and better with time.
This game was stated as being potentially dangerous due to Mark Hughes coming up against his former employers for the first time since his sacking last season. However, a fluent City side was unleashed by Mancini and swept Fulham aside by producing one of the first half performances of the season.
Tevez scored his 8th league goal of the season inside the first six minutes as he out muscled Meixcan, Carlos Salcido, and sent Mark Schwarzer the wrong way. Fulham struggled to cope with the attacking threat City carried throughout the first half and rarely troubled Joe Hart.
Aleksander Kolarov should have put City 2-0 up when he raced clear, only for the ball to get stuck under his feet and his tame shot was tipped behind for a corner. City did grab the 2nd goal of the match in spectacular fashion, when another Argentine delighted the following faithful. Silva’s low cross was only cleared as far as right back, Pablo Zabaleta, who smashed the ball past the helpless Schwarzer for only his 2nd ever goal in City colours.
Mancini’s team then put the game beyond doubt with Yaya Toure benefiting from a well worked move which included unfamiliar starter, Jo and Tevez. The blues attacking talent had finally been unleashed and left the fans ironically chanting, “boring, boring City!”
City struggled to maintain the high tempo that they had set in the first half and Fulham started the 2nd half much brighter, even without giving Joe Hart much to worry about.
Another slick City passing move unlocked the Fulham defence again to send Tevez racing clear. He shot straight at Schwarzer when it seemed it would be easier to provide Jo with a tap in, but just moments later, Tevez grabbed his 2nd goal of the game. Another Fulham clearance fell straight into Zabaleta’s advancing pathand with another spectacular goal in his mind, he fired a low shot goal wards for Carlos Tevez to flick into the roof of the net.
Fulham did manage to provide their fans with one goal to cheer when Jo headed the ball into substitute, Zoltan Geras path, who saw his low strike deflected into his own goal by former Manchester City captain, Kolo Toure.
The Hodgson hangover continues for Fulham as they fell to their 7th defeat of the season and have just 2 wins in the Premiership so far. In contrast, City are now just 3 points off the Premiership summit and if they can start to consistently produce performances like this, the future looks very bright.
I won’t be getting carried away though and we should only be concentrating on the next game which will be a tough encounter away to Stoke.
Man of the match – Pablo Zabaleta
A player who doesn’t get enough praise for me is Zaba and he edges out Tevez and Kompany for my man of the match tonight. He seems to always be overlooked by the Argentina national team, but produced a fantastic overall performance for City today. His stunning first half strike was one of the goals of the season so far and he also provided Tevez with his 9th goal of the season.
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