Routine win despite extremely snowy conditions at the Etihad stadium with the Argentine striker in majestic form, Edin Dzeko and a Chris Baird own-goal sealing the win
A Sergio Aguero penalty and Chris Barid own-goal had put City two up at half-time before Edin Dzeko stroked home a third to give Roberto Mancini's side an easy win in freezing conditions.
Stefan Savic came into the City backline in place of injured skipper Vincent Kompany with Aleksandar Kolarov and Adam Johnson also replacing Gael Clichy and James Milner.
Martin Jol re-installed Mark Schwarzer to his line-up and opted for Baird rather than John Arne Riise at left-back for the Cottagers, while Clint Dempsey partnered Moussa Dembele in attack.
The Citizens started dominantly and had early chances through Dzeko, firing into Schwarzer's arms before flicking over from Gareth Barry's cross under pressure from Brede Hangeland.
The home side had a glorious chance to open the scoring after ten minutes, Adam Johnson jinking his way into the box before going over Baird's outstretched leg. Mike Dean pointed to the spot and Aguero dispatched the penalty with ease.
The Cottagers were struggling to get a foothold in the game with City dominating possession but they looked to work a way back into the game as Simon Davies' low shot was saved by Hart.
City constantly looked dangerous on the break with Aguero looking particularly ominous, the Argentine tricked his way into the box and with no Fulham players wanting to make a challenge, cut the ball back to Silva who prodded wide.
Fulham were feeding off scraps although Duff worried Hart with a searching effort that almost crept in at the far post.
But City went straight up the other end and doubled their lead, Kolarov's deep cross from the left fell to Johnson who fired the ball back across goal and with Baird unfortunately positioned, the Ulsterman was only able to cannon a deflection past Schwarzer.
The home side had another shout for a penalty moments later as Silva went down under Dickson Etuhu's challenge in the box with the Nigerian not seeming to make contact with the ball but referee Dean declined the Citizens' pleas.
Mancini's men continued on the offensive for the rest of the first half but were unable to breach the Fulham backline another time before half-time.
The west Londoners started the second half better, keeping the ball well but ultimately unable to break down City's defence with Savic looking much improved from his previously nervy outings.
The home side were also forced into making an early change, Nasri limping off with just eight minutes gone in the second half and replaced by James Milner.
Snow had fallen throughout much of the game, and the groundstaff were summoned to clear the lines of the pitch that had become obscured under a wintery blanket.
As the snow became stronger the action failed to warm up although Stephen Kelly almost troubled an off-balanced Hart with a toe-poked effort, before the England number one dealt comfortably with Baird's rifled free-kick.
City were stunned into action, Aguero turned neatly in the box but saw his shot blocked by Danny Murphy before Aleksandar Kolarov curled a close-range free-kick over the bar.
Soon after City had their third, Aguero picking the ball up on the left flank and darting into the box, breezing past Senderos and Davies before squaring to the unmarked Dzeko who tapped home from eight yards.
With the game all but won for City, Mancini brought off Aguero to a standing ovation and replaced the Argentine with Nigel de Jong to shore up the midfield for the final ten minutes.
Fulham continued to chase a late goal, Riise stinging Hart's palms but they were unable to find the net and City kept yet another home clean sheet as they move three points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table.