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West Ham United
21 November 2010
• Craven Cottage, London
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 25694
Z. Gera 70'
C. Tévez 6', 56'
P. Zabaleta 32'
Y. Touré 35'
It's just starting to look a little grim for Fulham, who remain just one place above the Premier League relegation zone. Mancini meanwhile, will be pleased to have silenced his critics with a hatful of goals. That just about wraps things up for us, I'm Jamie Dunn, and be sure to stay with Goal.com for all the post-match reaction.
And that's full time at Craven Cottage. Manchester City record a 4-1 victory against Fulham after an absolutely dominant first 45 minutes. That will sting former City boss Mark Hughes no end, while City are on their way up the table.
90' + 1'
Into three minutes of stoppage time, and Gera goes down in the area clutching his face after a challenge from De Jong, but nothing comes of it. Fulham still pressing for a goal.
Milner replaces David Silva, who looked lively in the first half if not so much the second. The Spain international still has a huge part to play for City this season.
Just to further display the wealth of options Mancini has at his disposal, James Milner is getting ready to come on with two minutes of normal time to play.
Gera has a chance to add a second for Fulham, but curls a free kick high and wide. Kamara had been urging Salcido to take that one, and after that from Gera, it's easy to see why.
Just to ensure City are even more set up to see this game out, they replace Gareth Barry with the erstwhile Patrick Vieira. Not a bad option to have from the bench, eh?
Into the last 10 minutes of normal time at Craven Cottage. Fulham will play to the very last whistle, but City really don't need to take any risks and they should see this one out.
Yellow CardAndy Johnson
Carlos Tevez's work here is done after scoring two, and he is replaced by Adam Johnson. Kolo Toure takes the captain's armband.
Yellow CardPablo Zabaleta
Pablo Zabaleta doth protest too much, and receives a yellow card. It's a hefty challenge on Kamara but he gets a fair chunk of the ball.
Jo looks to be in trouble here. The Brazilian slaloms past a couple of players but is met by a firm tackle from Hangeland who stops in his tracks and leaves him a crumpled heap. But now he's up and looking alright.
GOAL!! Gera strikes from the edge of the penalty area and his shot takes a slight deflection off of Kolo Toure, which takes the ball past Hart. Remember Juventus at Craven Cottage...
Fulham have been visibly deflated by that fourth goal from Tevez. The hosts were looking like they could possibly make a game of it immediately after the interval, but there just looks to be no way back now.
A positive change for Fulham - Dickson Etuhu, booked earlier, is replaced by striker Diomansy Kamara. Mark Hughes may switch to a more conventional 4-4-2 now.
Tevez is not quite having it all his own way. The former Manchester United man collects a misplaced pass from Cempsey and sets off for goal, but Danny Murphy sprints across and makes a full-blooded but clean challenge to dispossess him.
Kolarov attempts the speculative with a curling shot from a narrow angle at the corner of Schwarzer's penalty area, but it whistles wide.
GOAL! Etuhu clears Kompany's header across goal, but only as far as Zabaleta, who attempts another powerful strike, but on its way to goal Carlos Tevez sticks out a heel and flicks the ball past Schwarzer. Game over.
Well this is much better from Fulham. Brede Hangeland surges forward and feeds Salcido, who crosses to the back post. Gera gets a header on target but fouls his marker as he meets the ball.
Yellow CardDickson Etuhu
Dickson Etuhu has picked up a yellow card for a robust challenge on De Jong. Very little reckless about it, but he caught the Dutch midfielder late and goes into the book.
Well, if Fulham don't get back into this game, their fans can at least be pleased with their response at the start of the second half. This time Clint Dempsey strikes at goal from distance, but can only shoot harmlessly wide.
Fulham have started brightly in the second half. First Aarun Hughes heads a corner over the bar, and then Andrew Johnson cuts a ball across the box, but Hart is first to it and cuts out any possible chances.
We're back underway at Craven Cottage and Fulham have made what they must hope can be a game-changing subsitution as Zoltan Gera replaces Damien Duff.
Half time here, and Fulham have found it tough at Craven Cottage as Manchester City have dominated, basically from the first whistle. Roberto Mancini's side look to be going some length to answering their critics here today, against a side who seldom concede as many as three goals in a whole game - let alone the first 45 minutes.
Nearly a positive for Fulham to take into half time. Baird spots a run infield from Simon Davies, who meets his long free kick with his head, but can only help it into Hart's arms. That's the England goalkeeper's first save.
Kolarov must be completely frustrated. The left back sends in a beautiful teasing low cross which glides along Schwarzer's six yard box, but no City play is there to tap home.
Absolutely no signs of a fightback here from Fulham. They've been left with an absolute mountain to climb, and they could be fearing a hammering.
Grant Wilson has more on Fulham's despair at Craven Cottage: The third goal has silenced the Fulham fans here, and a few have made their way to the exits. The City fans are enjoying every moment of this so far though.
GOAL! It gets worse for Fulham. David Silva finds Jo, who plays the ball to tevez, who helps it along to Yaya Toure, and the Ivorian takes two touches and fires across Schwarzer. 3-0 and Fulham are all at sea.
GOAL! What a strike Pablo Zabaleta! The ball breaks to the defender 20 yards from goal, and he becomes the second Argentinian to score in front of Diego Maradona as he lets fly, with the ball taking a slight deflection off Duff on its way into Schwarzer's top corner.
City are gaining a firm grip on this game as the half draws on. The entire team is seeing plenty of the ball, and Fulham just don't have an answer in the opening half an hour.
Tevez has a sarcastic chuckle to himself as he goes shoulder to shoulder with Salcido in the Fulham penalty area and muscles the Mexican to thr ground, but is penalised as he looks to pick out a waiting City player.
Salcido is down for Fulham. The defender made an important challenge to deny Zabaleta a chance to break down the left, but has suffered because of it. Fulham clear the resulting corner.
City should really be two up. From a Fulham free kick that Davies made a mess of, Roberto Mancini's side broke and the ball arrived for Kolarov who had a clear sight at goal, but saw his shot pushed out for a corner by Schwarzer.
Thus far, Fulham have no answer to City's defensive organisation. The visitors seem happy to face crosses into the box from relatively deep.
Here's more from Grant Wilson at Craven Cottage: It has been a relatively disappointing start for the home side and the fans are getting frustrated with the lack of passes Fulham are putting together. Meanwhile, the City fans are in buoyant mood, singing blue moon after that early Tevez goal.
That's speculative from Salcido to say the least. Dickson Etuhu fails to connect with a cross which trickles out of the box, and the left-back smashes it goalwards from 25 yards but can only find fin air above Joe Hart's goal.
Andrew Johnson makes his first attempt to get in behind the City back four, but the pass from Davies down the right hand side is a fraction too long and runs out for a goal kick.
That early goal is a huge boost for City. Fulham have proven to be difficult to beat this season, especially at home, and Tevez's strike will just have settled any early nerves.
Fulham look for an immediate response from a corner, but Aaron Hughes can only head over.
GOAL for Manchester City! Gareth Barry breaks from midfield and slots a pass through the heart of the Fulham defence, Salcido is the wrong side of Carlos Tevez, who collects and slots into the opposite corner. Shades of offside, but very little in that one.
Some good work in and around the box from Fulham involving Dempsey, Baird, Duff and Davies, but the final ball disappoints. Fulham fans will be encouraged with the way their side held the ball there.
First free-kick of the game to Fulham, conceded - unsurprisingly - by Nigel De Jong for a foul on Clint Dempsey. Though to be fair to the Dutchman, there was little in it.
...And we're underway at Craven Cottage!
We're just a few minutes from kick-off now, as Argentina legend Diego Maradona, an honorary guest today, walks across the pitch to what has to be described as a mixed reception, despite his undoubted genius.
Our man at Craven Cottage, Grant Wilson, has been chatting with Fulham fans ahead of today's game. John, 26 - "I'm hoping for an interesting but entertaining game this afternoon. But i think Fulham will just have the edge over City today especially with Mark Hughes facing his old employers. 2-1 Cottagers."
Manchester City Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Kolo Toure, Kolarov; De Jong, Barry; Tevez, Yaya Toure, Silva; Jo. Subs: Given, Boyata, Milner, Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson, Vieira, Adebayor.
Let's get straight into it then - here are the teams: Fulham Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido; Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Davies; Dempsey; Andrew Johnson. Subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Pantsil, Gera, Dikgacoi, Greening, Kamara.
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Goal.com's live text commentary of Fulham - Manchester City at Craven Cottage. I'm Jamie Dunn and I'll be taking you through to full time.
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