Manchester City leapfrogged Liverpool once again to go back to the top of the table this weekend before Liverpool took on Tottenham. City took on relegation destined Fulham, who themselves needed to take three points to stand any real hope of surviving their first season back in the top flight.
The game took place as the first fixture of the weekend; and on a warm sunny afternoon on the Thames, City took full advantage against a very poor Fulham side. Pep Guardiola opted to bring back a match fit Kevin de Bruyne in place of Leroy Sane, with other changes saw Oleksandr Zinchenko, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero coming in to replace Fabian Delph, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus from City’s last game against Swansea.
The Blues took full control early doors, with Bernardo Silva putting City 1-0 up in the space of 5 minutes when Aguero played the ball out wide to Bernardo, who cut inside from the left-hand side and drove a low shot past Sergio Rico in the Fulham goal.
City’s lead was quickly doubled, when Joe Bryant’s short pass was anticipated by Bernardo, again on the left-hand side who slotted in Aguero in the box. Aguero, seemingly in a tight angle, managed to dink the ball over Rico into the top right-hand corner.
Fulham failed to show up all game, however, it was City’s dominance which won the game for The Blues before the second half even started. Full time saw City win 2-0 and go back to the top of the Premier League, 1 point ahead of Liverpool, level on games played until Liverpool play Spurs on Sunday. Here are my 3 stars from the game:
With little work to do defensively, Walker had the freedom to dominate the right-hand side going forward for The Blues. Constantly a threat and playing with Raheem Sterling in-front of him Walker was able to offer a lot of pace, energy and space going forward for City. Despite City as a team not being at their best, Walker still offered enough going forward for City to be a threat. Had it not been for the woodwork, Walker may have seen a brilliant second-half effort result in only his second ever Premier League goal for Man City. A classy and professional performance from the England international.
Once again, the little Portuguese magician was at the top of his game in West London. A goal in the first 5 minutes of the game showed just how confident Bernardo is right now in a City shirt. His quality and close control saw him simply glide past 2 Fulham players and slot home a beautifully curled effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Topped off with an assist for City’s second, Bernardo demonstrated once again that when City aren’t at the very top of their game, the 24-year-old provided City’s best moments of the game. A man of the match performance once again from Bernardo.
In a game where City dominated for more-or-less 90 minutes, but just couldn’t find the finishing touch in parts, Aguero’s goalscoring ability was essential. It is impossible to play at the highest intensity every single game in a season, especially when the Blues are still competing in 3 competitions, so just getting 3 points is vital. His running off the ball is up there with the best in the game, and what he can do in some of the tightest and seemingly impossible angles, as shown with his goal yesterday once again demonstrating his importance and experience come this time in the season. There isn’t a better striker in England than Aguero right now.