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Match Report and Player Ratings: Fulham 0-4 Manchester City (Premier League)



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Manchester City’s charge towards the Premier League title continued in style this afternoon with a highly impressive 4-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Despite some initial nerves, City took a first-half lead thanks to yet another Josko Gvardiol goal, and it was complemented by Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez and a second for the Croatian in the second half to seal the points.

Fulham don’t have anything left to play for this campaign but provided stern early competition, before being broken down by Gvardiol’s first and looking powerless to stop the champions’ charge thereafter.

The Blues only settled into the match once they’d taken the lead; Gvardiol galivanted forward from left-back, exchanging passes with Kevin De Bruyne and coolly rolling it past Bernd Leno for his fourth goal in seven games.

It was standard procedure for the rest of the first half, with City taking control of possession and carving out a few other good chances, as Leno saved from Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden, and Manuel Akanji put a close-range volley over the bar.

The second period began in much the same fashion, with more threatening possession and Leno again called upon to beat away Bernardo’s near-post drive.

Fulham soon provided a reminder of their threat but City were unperturbed and immediately went close again at the other end as De Bruyne drew a good stop from Leno, but it was a sign of the danger which the Cottagers couldn’t heed.

Silva turned sharply in a wide position and drove to the edge of the Fulham box, seeing his progress stopped by a big tackle from Joao Palhinha but the ball dropping to Phil Foden, whose right-footed finish crept into the bottom corner for the latest in a long line of crucial contributions from the Football Writers’ Player of the Year.

It should have been three almost immediately afterwards, only for Erling Haaland to somehow conspire to scoop over the bar when put clean through by De Bruyne.

Eventually it was three for City, with a neat short corner routine freeing Bernardo to float in a cross to the back post, which was narrowly missed by Akanji but not by Gvardiol, who tucked in between Leno’s legs.

A cherry was added at the end with substitute Julian Alvarez’s penalty, but the hard work had already been done, and the win leaves Pep Guardiola’s men just two wins from a fourth consecutive Premier League title.

Player Ratings

Ederson – 7

Rarely ever required to make a contribution with his hands, and equally scarce was any pressure on his footwork.

Manuel Akanji – 7.5

Switched seamlessly from a raiding role on the right flank to a dominant showing through the middle. Missed a sitter in the first half.

Ruben Dias – 8

Back into the lineup and back commanding the defence. Handled the threat of Muniz with utter professionalism.

Nathan Ake – 6.5

Made a couple of decent clearing headers in the early stages, before being forced off with what looked like a reoccurrence of the problem he had last week against Wolves.

Josko Gvardiol – 9 (MOTM)

Not content with becoming a natural in his adoptive home at left-back, Gvardiol is now coming for Haaland’s job as the main man on the scoring front! Grabbed two well-taken goals and showed off his technical prowess too.

Rodri – 8.5

Dominant as ever in the midfield, complemented beautifully by Kovacic to never give Fulham a sniff in the middle of the park.

Mateo Kovacic – 8

Doubled up as an anchor for whenever Rodri fancied a meander forwards, as well as pressing tirelessly.

Bernardo Silva – 8

Came in from the right flank to link all of City’s play, whilst providing a cutting edge too to assist the third goal.

Kevin De Bruyne – 8

Always the man City look to to lead them on the attacking front, and he did so to set up Gvardiol’s first and produce a number of other chances for his teammates.

Phil Foden – 8

Had impetus every time he got on the ball, looking to make a difference and shooting where possible. Added another fine goal to his collection for the season.

Erling Haaland – 7

Couldn’t increase his Premier League goal tally but aided the team’s cause with a series of nice pieces of holdup play.


Kyle Walker – 7

Solid going both ways after his early introduction.

Jeremy Doku – 7

Came on and did what he does, putting fear into the hearts of defenders with his running.

Rico Lewis – 7

Baited the press and manipulated the ball impressively.

Oscar Bobb – 7

Went on a few trademark mazy runs.

Julian Alvarez – 7

Remained cool to tuck home his penalty easily.