Manchester City 3 – 0 Fulham – as it happened
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FT. Manchester City 3 – o Fulham.
That was fun at first but it quickly became dire and scrappy. The snow made it all look cool but in the end its “get in the way of the game” to “that’s beautiful and looks hella fun” ratio came out losing. Sergio Aguero was the only dependable source of quality, with Silva and Richards both contributing with some good moments.
Fulham were beaten as soon as the ref called for a penalty in the tenth minute and never really recovered. Each new goal, and in smaller increments each new passing second, brought the Cottagers further and further down into a pre-Valentine’s holiday funk.
Stefan Savic did alright at center back. So far he’s been a bundle of nerves in his appearances for City but today I didn’t notice him, which is a good thing considering I’d only previously noticed him when he made knucklehead mistakes.
You can watch all three goals and probably some highlights at 101 Great Goals.
City are now at the top of the table, three points clear of Manchester United. United go to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tomorrow. The war for the title is on.
Reporting for The FCF, I’m Andy Pacheco-Fores. Thank you for joining me.
90+4 min. The commentators make the very good point that Clint Dempsey has barely touched the ball all game. Dempsey is their best player, the second best American player of all time (Claudio Reyna #1), America’s all-time leading Premier League goalscorer, the only American to ever score a Premier League hat trick, and Fulham’s top scorer this season by a long, long way. There’s somethin’ happenin’ here…
90+2 min. There are still 3 minutes of extra time left. Just kill it now, ref. Just kill it now. Have mercy, ref. Have mercy. It’s cold out there.
Pizarro has spent most of his career in Italy, including some years at Inter under Mancini. He was then at Roma, but had a falling out with Ranieri, the commentators say, and while I don’t remember Ranieri ever coaching Roma, it’s not much of a surprise to find out considering Italy’s carousel approach to its club managers. And players for that matter, I guess.
89 min. Substitution: Johnson off, new signing David Pizarro on. Pizarro is Chilean, and so is my grandmother, so he’s OK by me.
84 min. Admirably, Fulham are still looking for a consolation goal. Yellow card for Baird now, a hard tackle from behind on Dzeko. Substitution: Dembele off, Gecov on.
83 min. The players are all tired and cold and miserable. They want it to be over. They’re not having any fun. Foul on Bryan Ruiz.
80 min. Micah Richards picks a Fulham player’s pocket with the deftest of touches, only to then stick his head down and charge toward goal, firing off a speculative shot that goes way wide. He’s still young, he’ll learn.
79 min. Substitution: Aguero off, de Jong on. Not sure if Kun got a standing ovation when his name came up, but he should have. The life of the team today.
78 min. Fulham have been dire, all game. They’ve worked hard, but amounting to nothing. I get the sense that they were beaten by the first goal and the other 80 minutes left have just been a formality. Nigel de Jong is warming up, getting ready to come on.
76 min. Dempsey with a long range shot that’s deflected out for a corner.
Substitution: Philippe Senderos off for John Arne Riise. This happened earlier in the stoppage for snow clearing, I just forgot to mention it.
74 min. Yellow card for Kolarov, who tackled Dembele pretty hard and then got into a forehead pushing contest with him. In this weather, dude? Chill out.
72 min. GOAL! Dzeko. City 3 – 0 Fulham.
Dzeko scored the goal but Aguero made it.
71 min. There’s a penalty shout followed by chaos and ping pong in the Fulham box but miraculously no goal. Fulham get it out, break, lose it, and Aguero leads another counterattack. Excellent dribbling/running by the Argentine, and he picks out a great little pass for Dzeko to easily tap it in.
69 min. HAH! The snow on the ground has thickened to the point that a ground pass leaves visible tracks, pretty little lines cutting across the field.
SHOT! Aguero, again.
67 min. Another stoppage of the game to clear the snow around the lines again. Also, Substitions: Bryan Ruiz for Dickson Etuhu.
66 min. A foul on someone leaves City with a free kick from a very dangerous angle. Kolarov duly blasts it directly upward into the sky.
Aguero has been City’s best player today, with David Silva the only one even close to catching up. Hart’s made several good saves, as he is wont to do. Dzeko’s been anonymous.
64 min. SHOT! Kun. Blocked.
63 min. Some fans in the stadium have their shirts off. Betting odds on their blood alcohol content anyone?
61 min. The snow is falling and it’s becoming ever harder for the teams to play well, no matter how gorgeous it looks. SHOT, FULHAM! Joe Hart saves easily.
57 min. City aren’t really being challenged and are just running the game. The snow is making it difficult for them to get into an attacking rhythm, so Fulham’s fate hasn’t gotten worse–yet.
Also, the game just stopped for a second to clear snow from the field where the lines are supposed to be. Now resumed at 59 min.
53 min. Substitution: Milner on for Nasri.
Like for like, in terms of how little I care for them.
52 min. Aguero just bullied Dembele off the ball. Strong for a little man.
48 min. A promising and, I must say, quite beautiful attacking movement by City fizzes out and Fulham try to get something on the counter. Dempsey with a shot that’s blocked and rebounds back into play, some more hopeless prodding by Fulham and it’s back in Hart’s arms.
46 min. City are passing it around in a leisurely fashion. Ain’t got no worries, cuz they ain’t in no hurry…
HT kick off!
Hopefully something exciting will happen.
If you like this game you might like some of our fine merchandise.
You can watch both goals from the first half at 101 great goals.
OR, you can take a snack break, which is what I will be doing.
HALF TIME. MANCHESTER 2 – 0 FULHAM.
It could (should?) be much worse for Fulham. Their attacks seem like when you’re at the beach and the water from the wave that just hit you gets sucked back into the ocean, gathered up by the next wave coming to hit you again.
44 min. Now they’re talking about Terry, Suarez, and racism in football. Meanwhile Aguero winds his way almost into the six yard box and gets the ball taken from him.
45 min. Fulham get a good attack going. City get it back and counter but someone makes a mistake and Fulham counter-counter, Dempsey almost getting a good shot off, but it’s for naught.
Most of the action is happening on the wings. Neither side seems to care about the center circle that much.
42 min. Corner to Fulham. Fulham lose possession, Aguero leading the counter, but he overhits it toward an offside Silva. Schwarzer obligingly collects and throws it back down their way.
This has been a somewhat open game, as Fulham always attack soon as they get the ball and City just always attack as if they have nothing to lose. Of course with a 2-0 lead, and the first goal coming so soon, City are justifiably confident and comfortable.
38 min. Corner for City, Schwarzer easily collects and Fulham try their best to get the ball out of their own half and into City’s penalty area. The former they’ve done, the latter doesn’t want to happen.
36 min. A break from City is led by Kun and he’s unlucky not to net his second of the night. £38 million is a lot of money and adjusted for inflation Aguero was a worthwhile buy.
34 min. Power run down the byline by Richards almost leads to a third for City, but it’s not to be. City are running the game now practically unopposed. Fulham can’t–or won’t–really get at them. No pressure on the ball at all when City have it in their own half.
33 min. Fulham seem to have lost the plot. They’re poor in possession and look deflated out of it.
29 min. GOAL! Johnson. City 2-0 Fulham. Error from Chris Baird apparently deflected it into the goal, might be an OWN GOAL by Baird. John Arne Riise is warming up.
28 min. A great run from Damien Duff culminates in a shot that goes just wide. Not sure if he had Hart beaten but it’s an idle speculation anyway.
27 min. Commentators note that of the six games Yaya Toure has missed for City on Africa Cup of Nations duty, they’ve lost three. WHAT DOES IT MEAN???????
25 min. Fulham are sitting deep and are having a lot of trouble bringing the ball out. City have no such problems, comfortably dominant.
24 min. Intricate sequence of quick short passes leads up to a David Silva shot, which Schwarzer saves.
23 min. Shot! Davies. But Hart saves it. Commentator says “es el mejor de la Premier, para mi.” I think to myself, eh. Needs more Vorm.
21 min. Jurgen Klinsmann is watching this game.
20 min. Johnson has been running around down the right flank and getting to the byline, but his play has been Walcott-esque.
19 min. The commentators are still talking about Tevez. In an obvious way it’s annoying to keep hearing people talk about him, but in another way it’s refreshing to get a view in on a world where nobody really knows or cares about Manchester City or their oil money or title ambitions and only understand the club in terms of how it affects a high-profile South American player who technically still works there.
16 min. Corner’s wasted. Kolarov hit one into outer space from 30 yards or so out. Back to midfield drudgery.
16 min. Not much seems to be happening on the field anyway. Fulham bring the ball forward with extreme difficulty. City start to counter, do it too slowly until David Silva gets the ball, but by then it’s too late and out for a corner.
I’m watching the game with commentary in Spanish and the commentators refuse to talk about the game, focusing instead on Carlos Tevez.
So yeah, that’s PENALTY! GOAL! AGUERO! 1-0 City.
Manchester City XI: Hart; Richards, Savic, Lescott, Kolarov; Johson, Barry, Nasri, Silva; Dzeko, Aguero
Subs: Pizarro, De Jong, Milner, Clichy, Zabaleta, Pantilimmon, Rekik
Fulham XI: Scharzer; Kelly, Senderos, Hangeland, Baird; Murphy, Davies, Etuhu, Duff; Dempsey, Dembele
Subs: Riise, Hughes, Gecov, Ruiz, Kasami, Frei
And while I was wasting time with these team sheets, Fulham conceded a PENALTY! Which Sergio “El Kun” Aguero scored. GOAL! I didn’t see it, but I heard yelling about it. 1-0 City.
HELLO EVERYONE SORRY I’M LATE ALICE IN WONDERLAND JOKE!
Ahem, it’s me. The game’s already underway. Playing catch-up, team info to come quickly.