Fulham vs Man City: The Review
In years gone by a Manchester City visit to the Cottage was a game Fulham fans could be hopeful of securing 3 points from, Saturday the same optimism was not present! After all this was a different City, this City are no longer a sleeping giant they have definitely awoke thanks to the influx of money from their sugar daddies.
A sell out of almost 26,000 welcomed the reigning champions from Manchester to South West London. The biggest visitors of a young season, Fulham were eager to test themselves against arguably the countries best.
Fulham took the lead early through a Mladen Petric penalty won on the 10th minute albeit in slightly controversial fashion by left back John Arne Riise who was adjudged to have been fouled by Pablo Zabaleta. This was Fulham’s third penalty of the season, one from each of the opening three fixtures of the campaign, each converted by different players.
Fulham buoyed by their early goal had the momentum for the majority of the first half and should have made this period count by getting a second goal, this would have seen a different game. As it turned out City managed to grab ahold of the game and were rewarded for their pressure by Sergio Aguero who dispatched after a messy penalty box scramble to smash home at the Hammersmith end after 43 minutes.
Whilst the first half was an even enough affair the same cannot be said of the balance of play in the second period, the City that appeared were nothing short of breathtaking. Zabaleta and Silva gave Riise a torrid time, with Zabaleta constantly over lapping and Silva at his imperious best Fulham were pinned back. Apart from the occasional break especially from Duff, who is enjoying an Indian summer of his illustrious career, Fulham did not stand a chance with a City winner always likely.
The Citizens eventually got a reward for their constant pressure, when Edin Dzeko was introduced the script was set for the former Wolfsburg man who with his first real touch hit the back of the net in the 87th minute to send City’s travelling ranks into hysteria.
The match illustrated to me that City will be champion’s again, their second half performance was simply outstanding the statistics illustrate this dominance, 71% possession Barcelona-esc. 403 attacking passes to Fulhams 81 and a total of 726 attempted passes, total dominance. I also found the fact City had a plan B changing style with the introduction of Dzeko interesting as this versatility allowed City to change the game something that will stand City in good stead.
This isn’t to say Fulham’s performance was terrible, far from it. Martin Jol’s men must be satisfied to have held City so long and with a touch more luck could have snatched something from a side with the resources to bring on 100 million pounds worth of talent compared to Fulham who introduced talent which cost the club not a single penny. The gulf in resources is incredible but that’s what makes football so great that these two teams can produce such an entertaining spectacle.
Players Of Note – Men Of The Match:
Yaya Toure – a power house, looked like men against boys, he really made city tick and managed to run the midfield up against centre back, midfield cover Chris Baird and workman Steve Sidwell. Toure take a bow, incredible!
Silva & Zabaleta – excellent on the right wing carved Fulham up time and time again.
Damien Duff – in an attacking sense rolling back the years with a number of lung busting runs.
Aidan Fulham (@AidanFulham)