Man City away at Fulham in Barclays Premier League - Manchester City FC

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Aguero Celebration
Season2011/12
Away
  • Fulham

    Fulham  2

    Zamora (55mins), Kompany o.g.(75mins)

  • Manchester City

    City  2

    Aguero (18 & 46mins mins)

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  • 18 September 2011 16:59
  • Posted by Chris Bailey

City dropped their first points of the season thanks to a docile second half performance at Craven Cottage.

Two goals to the good and seemingly on the way to a fifth straight Barclays Premier League win, the Blues fell asleep against the bottom side and paid the penalty as the home team grabbed an unlikely draw.

It was the kind of defensive laxity that has had Roberto Mancini shaking his head after the win at Bolton when his dominant side took an age to kill off a game they controlled.

This time they didn’t get away with it and anyone who saw the ninety minutes will wonder why and how.

It took just 18 minutes for the Blues to size up the opposition and pick their way through their massed defence.

Gareth Barry and David Silva were involved in the build-up with the Spaniard providing the deft final pass for Sergio Aguero, as is his style, to pass the ball into the net.

Agueros First Goal

 

At that point he had seven for the season in the top-flight to Fulham’s two

...Fulham 2 City 2

The over-worked Mark Schwarzer made excellent saves from both Gael Clichy and Edin Dzeko as City made the contest look like a training ground exercise.

The Aussie’s heroics were, however, in vain because Aguero made it 8-2 in his favour this season within twelve seconds of the second half starting.

His arrow straight drive from just outside the box after a knock down from Dzeko should have made the points safe and put more clear water between the Blues speedboat and those chasing the top two.

But it didn’t thanks to some fine Fulham play, a strange refereeing decision and a slice of luck for Fulham.

Home spirits were lifted by Bobby Zamora’s 55th minute goal curled past Hart when he was given far too much time on the edge of the box and the Blues paid for not putting the game to bed 15 minutes from time when Danny Murphy’s effort hit Vincent Kompany and deflected into the bottom corner.

Dzeko seemed to be fouled in the build-up which added to the Blues sense of injustice.

Martin Jol, the affable at coach at the helm of a likeable club who had previously never lost to City in six Premier League encounters, could take heart from his side’s surge around the hour mark during which Dembele and Dempsey brought a pair of fine saves from the previously redundant Hart.

There is no doubt that he ended the game the happier of the two bosses.

His men even forced Mancini into a tactical change sacrificing Merlin Silva for the more utilitarian talents of the dependable Pablo Zabaleta at 2-1.

David Silva Action Fulham

Already into their third month of competitive play, this was Fulham’s 15th encounter of a busy season home and abroad they didn’t look tired in the second half.

City had been racking up points, goals and tips for the title in unprecedented quantities and none of the three looked like slowing down at a ground where they scored four last season.

Craven Cottage’s quirks and confines are not always easy to adapt to when you are used to towering stands and vast expanses of velvet like turf but all venues seem to come alike to the current City crop of attacking players.

Having made five changes for the visit of Napoli in the Champions League in midweek Mancini tweaked the personnel again for this capital trip.

Out went Pablo Zabaleta and Aleks Kolarov and in came Micah Richards and Gael Clichy giving the Blues additional pace out wide.

Mancini’s plea that his men keep things simple and stop over-elaborating both in the opposition penalty area and on the half way line was heeded though some of the intricate passing comes so naturally to the small men up front it is hard to know what is simple and what is not!

Certainly, however, they lacked a clinical edge even though when they were on top the rotation around the pitch, the speed of thoughts and feet were a joy to watch.

Not that anyone in red and black was purring at two points being tossed away.

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Match details

Sunday 18 September 2011, 3:00PM

Craven Cottage Att:24,750
Barclays Premier League

Referee:
Mark Clattenburg (County Durham)

Teams

Fulham:

Schwarzer, Kelly, JA Riise, Hangeland, Baird, Sidwell, Murphy, Duff (Kasami 60 mins), Dempsey, Zamora, Dembele (Ruiz 87mins)

Unused subs:
Etheridge, Senderos, Grygera, Gecov, Orlando Sa,

Bookings:
Sidwell (85mins)

Manchester City:

Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Barry, Silva (Zabaleta 69mins), Nasri (Johnson 81mins), Aguero (Tevez 82mins), Dzeko

Unused subs:
Pantilimon, Kolo Toure, Kolarov, Balotelli,

Bookings:
Barry (59mins)

All times are taken from a live feed and are approximate at time of publishing.

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