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Fulham vs Manchester City at Craven Cottage

Craven Cottage Referee : Kevin Friend
30th March 2019 12:30 PM (GMT)
  • 0 Fulham

  • 2 Manchester City

    • ‘5' Bernardo Silva
    • ‘27' Sergio Agüero


Commentary By Neil Leigh


A fond farewell...

All in all, not a bad Saturday was it?

Three points, back on top of the table  and the return of KDB and Ferna.

Thanks, as ever, for your company and make sure you join us on Wednesday when Cardiff City visit the Etihad for another crucial league clash.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


More from Pep...

"Liverpool and Man City have done incredible so far so deserve the credit. We will have 80 points with six games to play if we win next week.

"Enjoy the moment and dream to win another game."


Pep's verdict...

"Our first 15-20 minutes was one of the best of the season. We played with incredible spirit, we could have scored more. After the goals we controlled it.

"It was an incredible result after the international break and having played away. We did what we should do."


Bernardo's tribute

Bernardo paid his own special tribute to Bernard Halford after the victory.

"Everyone was very sad at the news. He was a very important person for the club and the fans and this win was for him."



Great scenes at the end with several City players donning red and black scarves along with Pep in tribute to Bernard Halford and saluting the Blues supporters.

Lovely gesture.


Twin peaks

City superb in that first 45 minutes and solid and disciplined in the second half.

Perfect combination and another vital win chalked off.


Clock watchers

City running down the clock now after what has been a dominant and thoroughly professional performance.

Liverpool found Craven Cottage a tough place to visit two weeks ago but the Blues have been just too good this afternoon.


Unlucky Kyle!

Brilliant move by City, Sterling's superbly timed ball found Kyle Walker on the overlap and he whacked the outside uptight with a hefty drive.

So unlucky for the England man.


Positive touch

Still a fairly quiet here at Craven Cottage as the clock winds down but Ferna's return just adds to the many positives that City should take away.


Welcome back Ferna!

Second change for City with KDB coming off for a deserved breather and the welcome return of Fernandinho.

Great to see the Brazilian back out there.


Knocking on the door

More dogged Fulham defending keeps us at bay as Raheem Sterling wriggles his way past two challenges the box before trying to unleash a close-range shot.

Game of patience still in this second half.


Not this time...

City harry and win possession back yet again from a harassed Fulham defence but Bernardo's bid to bag his second and our third goal is blocked.



Christie goes into the book for an industrial challenge on David Silva.

Fortunately there is no lasting damage but that was a poor effort.


Action man

You wouldn't have thought KDB had been out for several weeks.

He has been absolutely everywhere this afternoon.

Great to see with so many key games coming up.



Almost a third goal.

City steal possession again which allows Raheem Sterling the chance to cut inside. He first in a shot from just outside the box which Rico can only parry and Bernardo is inches away from meeting the round.


Not this time...

A brilliant swivel inside from KDB opens up space and the Belgian finds Nico Otamendi lurking in the box but the defender can't keep his shot down.

Well worked opening though.


Forward march

City are attacking towards our travelling fans this half who are urging the players on.

Think they like what they have seen so far!


Work station

One of the many admirable things about City is our prodigious work rate.

It has been phenomenal again at times today and is constantly putting Fulham under pressure.


Pep's tribute

The boss donned a red and black scarf before kick-off to pay his own respects to Life President Bernard Halford who sadly passed away earlier this week.


Play it again

Every time I see a replay of Sergio's goal it juts gets better and better.

What a season he is having and Kun just seems to be getting better with age.


Total Football

Over on Sky Sports Jame Redknapp has just used the phrase Total Football to sum up our first half showing .

High praise indeed but its difficult to argue with him when we think about how that first 45 minutes panned out.

Just a delight to watch.


So far, so good...

Can't ask for much more than that I don't think.

City right back in the groove after the international break and some of our build up play has been wonderful to watch.


Rocket man

Wow. Ilkay Gundogan fizzes in a stunning curling effort from just outside the box which misses the target by a matter of inches.

The German has been superb so far today.



KDB blasts in a free-kick from just outside the box which is partially blocked and Otamendi is a foot away from meeting the ball and scoring from close range


Golden vision

You do feel that a third goal would put this game to bed. Fulham striving to keep City out but we look so dangerous every time we launch an attack.


Back in business

Kevin De Bruyne looks right back in the groove.

He's prowling around with purpose in midfield and generally making life pretty torrid for the Fulham defence.


Penalty shout

More dazzling work from the Blues sees Raheem Sterling tumbled under a challenge from Fosu-Mensah after David Silva's lovely through ball.

Ref Kevin Friend said no but I've seen them given.


Lethal weapon

Once again the Blues grab possession back from Fulham through Bernardo.

He finds Aguero and Kun holds off three Fulham defenders before dinking a delicious effort into the corner of the net.

He made it look easy. It was anything but!!


Middle march

Gundogan glides through the middle of the park effortlessly and feeds Sterling.

This time however there is no-one waiting to meet his cross.


Pinball wizards

More brilliance from the Blues around the box with Aguero, Bernardo and Sterling all trying their luck.

Somehow the ball stays out but Fulham are right under the pump here


Stinging shot

The one way traffic continues.

Now Ilkay Gundogan blasts in a shot from Sterling's pass which Fulham keeper Rico does well to keep out 



Almost two. KDB whips in a stunning effort from the left which the Fulham keeper desperately claws over the bar.

An early onslaught from City here


In fine voice

The travelling  fans singing 'Only one Bernard Halford' in tribute to our late Life President. Plenty of red and black scarves here too.

Lovely touch.


Just what we wanted

Talk about being back in business!.  The Blues are harrying every Fulham defender and look menacing every time we go forward.

Perfect first few minutes here.


What a start...

The Blues had been threatening and KDB intercepts a Fulham ball and Aguero then feeds Bernardo who curls round the edge of the D before a left footed drive fizzes into the bottom corner of the net.

Get in!!!!



The Blues launch a lightning raid forward thanks to a superb Kyle Walker ball and Sergio Aguero twists and turns  and fires in a shot but the effort is blocked.


Mash it up Leroy!!

Leroy dons one of our special celebration mashup shirts, which pay homage to nine of our iconic shirts from the past six years


Saturday vibes

Nothing like a weekend early kick-off.

The sun's up, clocks are about to go forward... and three points would just about cap things off.

Less than 10 minutes til kick-off...


Tribute to a True Blue

A classy touch from the travelling Blues in honour of Life President Bernard Halford, who sadly passed away earlier this week.

Many of our fans have opted to wear either red and black scarves or red and black shirts - echoing one of our most iconic away kits - in tribute to Bernard who provided more than 40 years loyal service to the club.


The top and bottom of it

While it's a huge game for us, Fulham will be only too aware that time is rapidly running out if they are to maintain any hope of preserving their Premier League status.

The Cottagers lie second bottom 13 points from safety with just seven games to go.

It's a tall order but they will be stretch every sinew today so the Blues will have be on their guard.


Mashup time

The City players will be wearing our special, limited edition mashup celebration shirt in today's warm-up, which pays homage to some of our best-loved kits from the past six years.


Bench press

A powerful starting line-up from Pep and what about that bench?

Muric, Danilo, Fernandinho, Stones, Sane, Mahrez and Jesus are all waiting in the wings.

Talk about options!!


Lion-heart Raz

There have been plenty of stand-out performers for the Blues but, as he showed with England earlier this week, Raheem Sterling is in devastating form right now.

And he will head into the games on a high after his heroics for the Three Lions against the Czech Republic and Montenegro


Options a-plenty

The good news is that Pep Guardiola has plenty of selection options with almost a fully-fit squad to choose from.

Benjamin Mendy has trained this week and is in line for a return, while Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany and John Stones are also fit and ready to go.

The boss revealed at his pre-match press conference that other than Fabian Delph and long-term absentee Claudio Bravo, everyone was available for selection.


Pretty as a picture

IMHO Craven Cottage remains one of English football's most atmospheric grounds.

If you have never been I can heartily recommend it.


First footing

No lack of incentive for us this lunchtime as we kick-start the return to Premier League action.

If we can claim the crucial three points all the focus will then switch to Liverpool who face  tricky home encounter with Spurs tomorrow.

And it would also be the perfect way to begin a key week with our rearranged home fixture with Cardiff taking place on Wednesday followed by next Saturday's FA Cup semi-final with Brighton.

Busy, busy, busy!


Numbers game

The Blues boast a fine record against Fulham.

We have scored 10 goals without reply in our last three matches with Fulham and it's almost a decade since the Cottagers beat us - a 3-1 Premier League win at the Etihad in April 2009.

One other encouraging stat. City have scored in all of our last 23 matches against Fulham.


Danger signs

It has been a tough first season back in the Premier League for the Cottagers following last season's promotion with both Slavisa Jokanovic and Claudio Ranieri departing the Craven Cottage hot-seat.

But as Pep warned in his pre-match press conference Fulham are dangerous opponents and they ran Liverpool mighty close in their last match on home soil.


The opposition view...

Fulham caretaker manager Scott Parker: "Manchester City are a fantastic team with a manager who will go down as one of the greatest. But we're looking forward to it.

"For all the big positives that have come from the last few matches, the points haven't been there, but it's been fine margins in all of the games."


Marathon men

It promises to be a hectic last two months of the season for the Blues.

After today's trip to London, we face a punishing schedule of eight games in April alone with, hopefully, plenty more to follow in May.

It's a tough ask... but we wouldn't have it any other way!!


Pep's early thoughts...

"I would say after the international break we came back good, the rhythm is quite similar.

"Now we will play 11 games and we deserve to play 12, maybe 14 maybe 15. Game by game, we see what happens."


As it stands...

The Blues will step out in the capital two points behind leaders Liverpool but with a crucial game in hand.

And with Spring in the air, the clocks about to go forward and the sun out, I think it's fair to say we are entering the business end of the season with no margin for error.


Good morning Blues...

It's a welcome return to Premier League action for City following the international break as we head to Craven Cottage for a crucial clash where victory will see us return to the top of table - for 24 hours at least.

Everyone excited?

Other games that day

  • West Ham United0
  • Burnley2
    Wolverhampton Wanderers0
  • Leicester City2
  • Brighton and Hove Albion0
  • Manchester United2
  • Crystal Palace2
    Huddersfield Town0

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Liverpool 31 +52 76
3 Tottenham Hotspur 30 +25 61
4 Manchester United 31 +19 61
5 Arsenal 30 +24 60
6 Chelsea 30 +17 57
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 31 0 44
8 Leicester City 32 -1 44
9 Everton 32 +3 43
10 Watford 31 -3 43
11 West Ham United 32 -7 42
12 Bournemouth 32 -15 38
13 Crystal Palace 31 -3 36
14 Newcastle United 31 -9 35
15 Brighton and Hove Albion 30 -11 33
16 Southampton 31 -15 33
17 Burnley 32 -22 33
18 Cardiff City 30 -30 28
19 Fulham 32 -43 17
20 Huddersfield Town 32 -41 14
Link To Full Table