Premier League
Fulham0Man City2

Fulham 0-2 Man City: Pep Guardiola's side go top with Craven Cottage win

Sergio Aguero scores for Manchester City
Only four of Sergio Aguero's 19 Premier League goals this season have come away from home.

Manchester City cruised back to the top of the Premier League as they condemned strugglers Fulham to their eighth consecutive defeat.

Pep Guardiola's side quickly established their superiority in the west London sunshine, with Bernardo Silva's 20-yard drive finding the bottom left corner inside five minutes.

City, who had 10 shots in the first 15 minutes, added their second when Sergio Aguero sublimely lifted the ball over home goalkeeper Sergio Rico from close range.

Some woeful defending from Fulham - who have now conceded 72 goals, the worst record in the top flight - contributed to both goals, with Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Joe Bryan both guilty of gifting the ball to City near their own goal.

Scott Parker's side also struggled to make an impression at the other end of the pitch and failed to register a shot on target.

City, who are chasing an unprecedented quadruple, move one point above Liverpool, who host Tottenham on Sunday (16:30 BST kick-off).

The Cottagers stay second bottom, 16 points from safety with six league games remaining.

Aguero's key contribution

By the time Aguero was substituted in the 57th minute Manchester City were well on their way to a seventh consecutive Premier League victory.

And the 30-year-old, who is the division's top scorer with 19 goals, played as decisive role as usual in the final third.

He may have only managed 22 touches, but one of his first was seizing on to Fosu-Mensah's mistake to assist Silva's opening goal.

Silva then repaid the favour to provide the Argentina forward the chance to continue his own rich vein of form - and Aguero delivered his 14th goal in his past 14 appearances.

His darting run gave him the time to execute the deftest of finishes as Rico closed in to narrow an already tight angle. It was Aguero's only shot on target but it brought him his fifth goal in eight Premier League starts against Fulham.

It also underlined his prowess against sides that come up from the Championship.

Since his arrival in England from Atletico Madrid in 2011, no player has been involved in more Premier League goals against newly promoted teams than Aguero - who has scored 29 times and provided seven assists.

Fulham toil again

While Fulham ran title challengers Liverpool close in their last outing at Craven Cottage - losing 2-1 after James Milner's late penalty - they barely laid a glove on City.

With injury depriving the Cottagers of 10-goal top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic, they started the contest with a line-up that had seven league goals between them this season.

In contrast, the visitors - who are now 14 games away from the quadruple - were able to boast a combined 22 league goals among their substitutes.

The opening half emphasised the disparity of resource and the ambitions of the two clubs, as the best attack in the division repeatedly cut open the worst defence.

Fulham were fortunate to only be two behind at the interval as City created a succession of chances and Raheem Sterling appeared to have a valid claim for a penalty turned down after Fosu-Mensah's challenge.

And even when City eased up in the second period, the hosts were still unable to muster an effort on target.

Instead, City almost added a third goal when Kyle Walker fired a right-foot shot against the post after Sterling had laid the ball into his path.

Man of the match - Sergio Aguero (Man City)

Sergio Aguero in action for Manchester City at Fulham
Sergio Aguero provided the cutting edge for Manchester City, creating and scoring a goal

'The first 15-20 minutes was incredible' - what they said

Manager Pep Guardiola, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "The first 15-20 minutes was incredible with the way we played.

"After the international break you usually miss a bit with your rhythm, but the effort was there. This game was tricky - 12:30 on Saturday, a sunny day. That is unusual and that is why I am so satisfied.

"We are going to do everything to win. No matter the next competition, we will win the game. Fulham was a tough game for Liverpool and Chelsea so we knew it was going to be tricky.

"We don't think too much about what people say about the quadruple. What Liverpool and Manchester City have done in the Premier League both deserve credit. That's why we are here."

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Guardiola praises Man City's 'incredible' start in Fulham win

Fulham caretaker manager Scott Parker, speaking to Match of the Day: "Anyone in my position knows the challenge I had. I thought we did all right. But you concede an early goal like that...

"I don't know if we were too tentative [early in the match]. I thought we were brave. You need to be brave against this team. It's the only way you can put a stamp on the game.

"You are where you are in the division. During games, there have been moments that have been pleasing. We know the predicament we are in but we need to finish the season strongly.

"I'm enjoying it immensely. The position I have is tough but I want to give the team an identity again."

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Fulham 0-2 Man City: Fulham need to finish season strongly - Scott Parker

City love London - the stats

  • Fulham have lost their past seven top-flight matches against Manchester City. Only once before have they suffered more consecutive top-flight defeats against one team - eight by Manchester United between 2005 and 2009.
  • City have lost just one of their past 10 Premier League visits to London, winning eight.
  • Fulham have conceded at least twice in their past 12 league games, the longest such sequence in the top flight since a run of 14 by Newcastle between May and October 1977.
  • City are the first side to face no shots on target in two consecutive away Premier League games - against Bournemouth and Fulham - since they also achieved the feat in November 2017.
  • The Cottagers failed to have an effort on target for the first time in 188 home league games.
  • Parker is the first Fulham manager to lose his first four games in charge in the Premier League.
  • Silva scored in three consecutive Manchester City appearances for the first time.
  • Aguero has been involved in eight goals in his past five league starts against Fulham (five goals, three assists).

What's next?

Fulham travel to Watford in the Premier League on Tuesday (19:45 BST kick-off), while Manchester City host Cardiff City on Wednesday (19:45) in their next league game.

Line-ups

Fulham

  • 25Rico
  • 22ChristieBooked at 67mins
  • 21Fosu-Mensah
  • 20Le MarchandBooked at 80mins
  • 5Chambers
  • 23Bryan
  • 11AyitéSubstituted forKebanoat 64'minutes
  • 29Zambo Anguissa
  • 10CairneySubstituted forSchürrleat 70'minutes
  • 3R Sessegnon
  • 12BabelSubstituted forMcDonaldat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Odoi
  • 6McDonald
  • 7Kebano
  • 14Schürrle
  • 19Vietto
  • 31Fabri
  • 43S Sessegnon

Man City

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 30Otamendi
  • 14Laporte
  • 35Zinchenko
  • 17De BruyneSubstituted forFernandinhoat 75'minutes
  • 8Gündogan
  • 21Silva
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 10AgüeroSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 57'minutes
  • 7SterlingSubstituted forMahrezat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Danilo
  • 5Stones
  • 19Sané
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 26Mahrez
  • 33Gabriel Jesus
  • 49Muric
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
25,001

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home5
Away24
Shots on Target
Home0
Away7
Corners
Home0
Away11
Fouls
Home4
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Fulham 0, Manchester City 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Fulham 0, Manchester City 2.

Foul by Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City).

André Schürrle (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez replaces Raheem Sterling.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Kevin McDonald replaces Ryan Babel.

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ilkay Gündogan.

Attempt blocked. André Schürrle (Fulham) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is blocked.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Ryan Babel (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

Attempt missed. Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Cyrus Christie with a headed pass.

Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

Ryan Babel (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Joe Bryan (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Maxime Le Marchand (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kyle Walker (Manchester City) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Foul by Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City).

Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Fulham. Timothy Fosu-Mensah tries a through ball, but Ryan Babel is caught offside.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match André Schürrle (Fulham) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Fernandinho replaces Kevin De Bruyne.

Offside, Fulham. André Schürrle tries a through ball, but Maxime Le Marchand is caught offside.

Foul by Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City).

André Schürrle (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. André Schürrle replaces Tom Cairney.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Booking

Cyrus Christie (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Cyrus Christie (Fulham).

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by André-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Joe Bryan.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Neeskens Kebano replaces Floyd Ayité.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Fulham) because of an injury.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City31252481216077
2Liverpool31237170185276
3Tottenham30201957322561
4Man Utd31187660411961
5Arsenal30186663392460
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolves31128113838044
8Leicester32135144243-144
9Everton32127134542343
10Watford31127124346-343
11West Ham32126144148-742
12Bournemouth32115164358-1538
13Crystal Palace31106153841-336
14Newcastle3198143140-935
15Brighton3096153243-1133
16Southampton3189143550-1533
17Burnley3296173759-2233
18Cardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3245232972-4317
20Huddersfield3235241859-4114
View full Premier League table

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