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Manchester City vs Fulham at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : Stuart Attwell
15th September 2018 3:00 PM (BST)
  • 3 Manchester City

    • ‘2' Leroy Sané
    • ‘21' David Silva
    • ‘47' Raheem Sterling
  • 0 Fulham


Commentary By Caroline Oatway


Until next time...

That's all from us for today!

Head over to for more post-match reaction. We'll have the highlights live on the site and City App from midnight tonight.

You can also check out player stats right here on the Matchday Centre.

See you again on Wednesday night!



"It's nice to get going again after the World Cup - we only got 12 days off. I've been working to get fit and get up to speed, and after 70 minutes today I'm on track to getting back to full fitness.

"I felt like I won most of my duels and I was communicating well with the rest of the team. I couldn't get my feet sorted at times! But that will come with more match time and fitness.

"It was frustrating to not put more chances into the ball of the net - we need to be more ruthless. We knew Fulham could be a threat - they have been impressive already this season. But we started with the mindset that we needed to be on the front foot. We try to do that in every game."


Fabian Delph:

"Bernardo Silva? Ah, he's average. One of the worst players in the team...

"Nah, he's a team player, a wonderful guy, everyone loves him. He looks about 45 but he's only about 20 or something.

"He'll keep improving, there are many more good games to come from him."


Leroy Sane:

"A fantastic week for me - I became a daddy this week! It was also a good game today and we won, we played a good game.

“I'm relaxed at the moment, I train hard and when the manager gives me an opportunity I show him what I can do. The next game on Wednesday is a really important game.”


Matthew Upson (5 Live Sport):

"Fulham made the game entertaining thanks to how the set up and all credit to them for trying to take the game to City, but the hosts were incredibly dominant.

"City were so effective and made Fulham pay when they had to."


Top three

A comprehensive performance from the Blues - superior on all cylinders to continue our excellent start to the season and 100% home record.



And there you have it!

City run out 3-0 victors over Fulham, thanks to goals from Leroy Sane, David Silva and Raheem Sterling.

A fine afternoon's work!


Attack in defence

Gabriel Jesus showcases his defensive qualities, tracking back and challenging Schurrle as he tried to get a shot away. The Brazilian gets a foot in and it deflects comfortably into the arms of Ederson.



Stunning cross by Sterling to find Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian stretches to meet it but he can't direct his effort and it sails over the bar.

Cruise control

City well in control of this one, now. Any hopes of a Fulham comeback surely dashed by that early second half goal.

The Blues are passing the ball around; still looking to press at every opportunity.


Almost an instant impact!

Gabriel Jesus almost finished off a truly sumptuous City move down the left, involving Silva and Sane. Bettinelli made himself big though to make the save.



Well, that didn't take long. They must have heeded my advice to 'keep it up!'

Wonderful play by Aguero to chest the ball down, drive at the defence and square for Sterling to convert from two yards!

Made everything look to easy! World class.


First half analysis

So, an excellent first half for the Blues. Solid at the back, industrious in the middle and creative upfront. Exactly what you want!

Early goal of course helped - but City are fully deserving of the lead and seem to be really enjoying themselves out there.

Special mention for Bernardo, who had been outstanding once again.


Mad end

A crazy few moments, as Sterling drills a shot to the near post, which is well-saved.

From the resulting corner, the ball finds Sane, who clips over and in - but the offside flag is raised!


Awesome from Aymeric

Superb from Laporte to snuff out the danger, as Vietto made his way into the box. Dispossessed him with ease and played the ball calmly across the box to Bernardo. Cool.



Bernardo almost fashioned a chance, heading on a corner to the backpost - but no-one was anticipating it! It bounced all the way across the goal, begging to be tapped home.


On alert

Fulham are frequently threatening on the counter-attack but City are limiting the Cottagers to half-chances. The Blues are defending brilliantly.



A brilliant team move almost heralded a third goal and a second for Sane.

The German received the ball in the six-yard box but it just trickled away as he was about to pull the trigger and Bettinelli smothered.



Silva tries to tee up Aguero with a floated delivery into the box. It reaches the Argentine but the angle was against him and his header bounces wide.


Tactical switch

Sane and Sterling have switched wings. City have had a lot of joy down the right so let's see how our German winger fares with the chance to run at the Fulham defence.


The General

Superb challenge by Otamendi to thwart Vietto. Fulham had a man over on the counter-attack there but the Argentine raced back and slid in perfectly to halt the danger.


El Mago

That goal was Silva's 50th in the Premier League and 100th in his career - and it arrived on his 350th City appearance in all competitions!

Stat attack!


O Captain, my captain!

El Capitano doubles the lead, after excellent work from Bernardo. The Portugal man did well to keep the ball in play on the by-line before crossing for Aguero.

The striker's effort was blocked but fell kindly for Silva, who chested down and smashed the ball in off the crossbar from close range!


Off the crossbar!

So unlucky! 

Bernardo plays Sterling clear with a lovely ball, having displayed some wonderful control in the centre. The England man sprints forward and slots the ball through Bettinelli's leg's - but the goalkeeper manages to get a touch and the ball bounces up and over the bar!


Aguero effort

Chance for Aguero, crafted with another outrageous Ederson goal-kick.

You've seen it before... the reaching ball to our lone striker. It found him but Fulham got back and he couldn't quite connect with his shot as he'd have wanted.

Bettinelli gathers.


What a start!

Phew! Time for a breather... 

From kick-off to a Fulham corner to a City opener all in the space of 90 seconds!

The perfect start, of course, and a much-needed confidence boost for Sane, after a difficult few months.


Get in there!

Sane with the goal but it was all about Fernandinho! The Brazilian nipped in to win possession ahead of Odoi, raced clear and crossed to the backpost for Sane to tap home!


As we get the pleasantries out of the way, here's a recap of the City starting XI...

Ederson, Walker, Delph, Laporte, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Silva (C), Bernardo, Sane, Sterling, Aguero 

SUBS: Muric, Stones, Gündogan, Mahrez, Jesus, Zinchenko, Foden


A new proposition

With it being so long since we last faced Fulham and so much having changed since then, they're somewhat of an unknown quantity.

Pep Guardiola said in his press conference he has studied the Cottagers throughout the international break and has been impressed with what he has seen.

Only time will tell whether they'll occupy the defensive tactics we're so used to facing but they have a lot of attacking talent.

City at the Etihad usually means goals will be scored and with eight from the first two home fixtures, the Blues are already averaging four per match.

But Fulham’s usual open, attractive style means their four matches have produced 16 goals... so can we expect a high-scoring match this afternoon?


Brilliant Bernardo

Bernardo Silva has maintained the sublime form of the 2017/18 campaign, finding the target in our opening Premier League win away at Arsenal, shining again in the 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield and, thanks to his touch, agility and vision, being at the heart of so much of City’s best work.

Arguably the most exciting aspect about the midfielder is that he is getting better all the time! Carry on, Bernardo!


Full-time in the early kick-off

Liverpool triumph against Spurs at Wembley, courtesy of goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Firmino. Erik Lamela scored in injury time for the hosts but it proved too late to find a leveller.


Four changes for City

City make four changes from the side that beat Newcastle United 2-1 a fortnight ago.

The champions will be looking to maintain a 100% home record this season, following wins over Huddersfield Town and the Magpies.

John Stones is replaced by Nicolas Otamendi, Fabian Delph replaces Benjamin Mendy, Leroy Sane is in for Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva replaces Gabriel Jesus.



Ederson, Delph, Laporte, Otamendi, Walker, Fernandinho, Sane, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Aguero. SUBS: Muric, Stones, Gundogan, Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Zinchenko, Foden.


Sergio Aguero on Fulham

“It’s been some time since we played them last.

"Here’s hoping my good run continues against them – but I remember them all being tough matches.

"They impressed me last season and went on a long unbeaten run and have started this season well.

"We’ll keep focused, we’ll stay true to our game, and we’ll aim for the win as we always do."



City and Fulham have met 63 times in all competitions.

The Blues have triumphed on 30 occasions and the Cottagers 17, while there have been 16 draws.

Interestingly, both sides have a better away record in this fixture than home (five home wins and six away for City; one home win and three away for Fulham). Hopefully, that's not an omen!


Team news

Who do you expect will make the starting XI this afternoon?

Pep Guardiola confirmed Raheem Sterling has been passed fit for the match, having been forced to withdraw from England duty with a back problem.

Of course, Kevin De Bruyne and Claudio Bravo remain long-term absentees - the Belgian with a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) lesion and the Chilean goalkeeper an Achilles tendon injury. Danilo also remains a doubt with a foot injury.


U18s in action

Our Under-18s are playing away at Sunderland today. KO is at 11am.

XI | Moulden, Ogunby, McDonald, Harwood-Bellis, Corrigan, Hodge, Wright-Phillips, F. Dele-Bashiru, Simmonds, Firoini, Knight SUBS | Sobowale, Trafford, McAtee, Palmer, Ohio


Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic: "Everyone knows how Manchester City play football, everyone knows what this team's style is. We are a team promoted from the Championship, we want to use similar weapons and we want to attack with possession of the ball."


Pep on Fulham: "I'm really impressed [with Fulham]. I had two weeks watching them. I saw three games. They have good players - [Jean Michael] Seri, and players in the front like [Aleksandar] Mitrovic. It's not just long balls and channels, they want to make their own game. I'm pretty sure they'll have a good season."


Pep on Leroy: “He will be so important for the Club.

“It’s a challenge for him and not just him – everybody.

“The season will be judged in 11 months – not three weeks. He’s a nice guy and I don’t have any bad words about him.

“He has to respond in the right way. He’s so competitive and professional.

“Sometimes, for some players, it’s that way (a slow start to the season). Some players at the end of the season go down.

“We cannot forget: he is 22 years old. Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Raz (Raheem Sterling) – the other ones are young - and he will grow up.”