Manchester City march with victory over Fulham

Premier League: Man City 2 Fulham 0

Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne hit early on. Manchester City beat Fulham 2-0 in the Premier League table.

Pep Guardiola, who beat Burnley 5-0 last week, was able to get a big score line at the Etihad Stadium in the afternoon.

Not only did Sterling set up a strike in the fifth minute, but De Bruyne was superb, scoring a second from the penalty spot and then hitting the bar and getting a great save from Alphonse Ariola.

The hosts have seldom been threatened, and their campaign, which was ranked 14th a week ago, has now begun to jump to the top of the list.

Fulham saw little of the ball and did not promise much in the attack but they did not pass. After Monday’s thumping win against Leicester, manager Scott Parker may be reflecting on a good week.

Former City Youth prospect Tosin Adarabio, who joined Fulham in October in search of first-team opportunities, was acquitted when he returned to Etihad, but the hosts were always in control.

Guardiola made six changes from the side that faced Porto at midweek, with the return of De Bruyne all the more significant.

He played a key role in the first goal, seizing possession and moving forward to free Sterling in the area.

Sterling, who had previously been on a rescue from Ariola moments, chose his place and quietly headed to the bottom corner.

Raheem Sterling of Manchester City (left) and Ola Aina of Fulham fight for the ball.  Image: Peter Powell / PA
Raheem Sterling of Manchester City (left) and Ola Aina of Fulham fight for the ball. Image: Peter Powell / PA
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Ademola Lukman blocked a shot as Fulham tried to respond, but it was a rare opening for the London team.

Before Rodrigo missed the target, Joao Cancelo turned inside and shot well, with De Bruyne making a great save from Ariola.

Their second goal came from a penalty spot in the 26th minute when Joaquim Anderson tried to fire Sterling after City put in a great performance.

Fulham may have felt that contact with Sterling was minimal, but the decision stood and De Bruyne avoided a penalty, sending Ariola the wrong way.

John Stones’ recent good form has been a positive for City, but the center-back forgot for a moment when he noticed Ederson being away from his goal as he hit a back pass. The Brazilian had no chance to recover from the situation, but fortunately for the Stones the ball rolled wide.

Manchester City's Ruben Diaz (right) and Ederson.  Image: Alex Livesey / PA
Manchester City’s Ruben Diaz (right) and Ederson. Image: Alex Livesey / PA

Before the break, Ariola saved again from a sterling volley, and after the resumption, De Bruyne missed two great chances for C Bruyne’s advance.

After Gabriel mocked Jesus, he first saw a shot fall towards the Belgian bar from 10 yards, and then Ariola rejected him after passing through one with the keeper.

City started to smooth out the final whistle, and Ivan Cavaliro tried his luck from a distance but Fulham blinked briefly, but Ederson claimed the win.

In the first round the visitors moved forward again but saw the game without the City alarm.

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