Saturday 21 December 2013, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Richardson 50'; o.g. Kompany 69'
Manchester City
Manchester City
Yaya Touré 23'; Kompany 43'; Navas 78'; Milner 83'

50' Goal

Kieran Richardson
Assist by Adel Taarabt

69' Own-goal

Vincent Kompany

60' Yellow Card

Giorgos Karagounis

37' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:Fernando Amorebieta
Off:Philippe Senderos

65' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Pajtim Kasami
Off:Ashkan Dejagah

82' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Darren Bent
Off:Giorgos Karagounis

23' Goal

Yaya Touré

43' Goal

Vincent Kompany

78' Goal

Jesús Navas
Assist by David Silva

83' Goal

James Milner
Assist by Álvaro Negredo

45'+1 Yellow Card

Martín Demichelis Card was given for a foul

58' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jesús Navas
Off:Edin Dzeko

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:James Milner
Off:Samir Nasri

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Javi García
Off:David Silva

Fulham fought back from 2-0 down but were eventually beaten in a six-goal thriller at the Cottage.

Fulham fought back from 2-0 down but were eventually beaten in a six-goal thriller at the Cottage.

Perhaps unjustly trailing to Yaya Toure’s free-kick and a Vincent Kompany strike in the first half, the Whites didn’t let their heads drop and levelled after the restart. Kieran Richardson slotted home Adel Taarabt’s cross to get things going and then Kompany sliced a Sascha Riether cross into his own net to make it 2-2.

Fulham were on top at this point but City went back in front through substitute Jesus Navas’ angled drive before the visitors made sure of the points when James Milner, who had just replaced Samir Nasri, slotted home.

René Meulensteen named two changes to the side that lost 4-1 at Everton last weekend, with Richardson replacing Alexander Kačaniklić and Taarabt coming in for the injured Dimitar Berbatov.

The Whites started brightly at a wet and windy Craven Cottage and enjoyed the early possession thanks to some sharp and concise passing. Their first opening came in the 12th minute. Gael Clichy, playing at right-back, slipped to allow Richardson in down the left. The former Manchester United man pulled the ball back to Taarabt who took a touch before hitting a left-footed shot which Joe Hart palmed away.

That seemed to awaken City who went straight down the other end and almost took the lead when Edin Dzeko beat Riether to a long ball into the box and teed up David Silva whose shot from 12 yards crashed back off the crossbar.

City were in front in the 23rd minute. Silva won a debatable free-kick off Steve Sidwell just outside the area and Toure stepped up to smash the effort from 20 yards over the wall and into the top right-hand corner of the net via the underside of the bar.

Fulham continued to press and Ashkan Dejagah flashed a couple of deliveries across the face of goal, while Dzeko should have done better when City broke in the 31st minute, electing to shoot instead of passing to Nasri, who was free, and seeing his effort cannon off Aaron Hughes.

The dangerous Taarabt forced Hart into a save low down to his right 60 seconds later and, at the other end, Dzeko met Aleksandar Kolorov’s cross but shot too close to Maarten Stekelenburg who beat his effort away.

Silva’s delightful chipped pass then deceived the Fulham defence and was met by Dzeko but, at full stretch, he couldn’t get enough power behind his header to really trouble Stekelenburg.

Meulensteen was forced into a change in the 37th minute as Philippe Senderos was replaced by Fernando Amorebieta, before Sidwell freed Taarabt who saw his shot deflected wide by Kompany. The resulting corner ended in a goalmouth scramble but Amorebieta couldn’t quite move his feet quickly enough to get a forceful shot away and City cleared their lines.

City were 2-0 up in the 43rd minute. John Arne Riise caught Nasri out on the right wing to give away a free-kick. Silva whipped the delivery to the far post where Martin Demichelis had peeled away and he nodded it back across goal for his defensive colleague Kompany to prod home from close range.

Demichelis was booked on the stroke of half-time for catching Taarabt before the first 45 came to a close. The Whites were applauded off at the break for a performance full of endeavour and determination but lacking in a little bit of luck.

It could have been 3-0 to City just after the break when Kolorov’s cross was met by a sliding Silva but his effort was pounced on by Stekelenburg. But Fulham reduced the arrears in the 50th minute with a superb counter-attack. Scott Parker robbed Silva just outside the box and Sidwell cleared the ball to Taarabt on the far touchline. There was still plenty for the Moroccan to do but he skipped brilliantly past Clichy to get free down the left before crossing for the unmarked Richardson to fire past Hart from seven yards.

Sidwell then headed a Dejagah cross wide on 56 minutes when Taarabt was better placed to meet it. And City substitute Navas shot the wrong side of the post from Silva’s cross after Sidwell had been caught in possession. Giorgos Karagounis was shown a yellow card before play restarted after fouling a City player in the build-up to the attack.

Nasri completely missed his kick from Navas’ cross as City threatened in the 63d minute, before Dejagah was replaced by Pajtim Kasami.

Fulham were level in comical fashion in the 69th minute. Parker freed Riether down the right and the full-back’s scuffed cross was swiped at by Kompany who saw the ball loop up and go in off the far post.

As the game became ever more open, City went back in front in the 78th minute when Silva picked up a loose ball in the centre of the park and played a slide-rule pass into the path of Navas who fired a right-footed drive through the legs of Stekelenburg from a tight angle.

Meulensteen responded by throwing Darren Bent into the action as the striker replaced Karagounis but almost immediately City increased their two-goal advantage again as Alvaro Negredo’s cross with the outside of his left boot was met by the onrushing Milner who made no mistake from eight yards.

The goal made sure of the points for City but Fulham could, once again, take plenty of positives from another much-improved performance.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 21 December 2013
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 25,509

Referee: Kevin Friend


Line-up: Stekelenburg; Riether, Senderos (Amorebieta 37'), Hughes, John Arne Riise; Parker, Karagounis (Bent 82'), Sidwell; Dejagah (Kasami 65'), Taarabt, Richardson

Unused substitutes: Stockdale, Kacaniklic, Duff, Ruiz

Head Coach: Rene Meulensteen

Manchester City

Line-up: Hart; Clichy, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Nasri (Milner 75'), Fernandinho, Yaya Touré, Silva (Javi García 84'); Dzeko (Navas 58'), Negredo

Unused substitutes: Pantilimon, Boyata, Rodwell, Guidetti

Manager: Manuel Pellegrini

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Liverpool 17 36
2 Manchester City 17 35
3 Arsenal 16 35
4 Chelsea 16 33
5 Everton 16 31
6 Newcastle United 17 30
7 Manchester United 17 28
8 Tottenham Hotspur 16 27
9 Southampton 16 24
10 Stoke City 17 21
11 Swansea City 16 20
12 Hull City 17 20
13 Aston Villa 17 19
14 Norwich City 17 19
15 Cardiff City 17 17
16 West Bromwich Albion 17 16
17 West Ham United 17 14
18 Crystal Palace 17 13
19 Fulham 17 13
20 Sunderland 17 10
Total Shots
Shots On Target
Passing Accuracy
Sending Offs
Fulham (4-3-3)
  • 1Maarten Stekelenburg
  • 27Sascha Riether
  • 4Philippe Senderos
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 3John Arne Riise
  • 28Scott Parker
  • 14Giorgos Karagounis
  • 7Steve Sidwell
  • 24Ashkan Dejagah
  • 19Adel Taarabt
  • 15Kieran Richardson
  • 13David Stockdale
  • 35Fernando Amorebieta
  • 8Pajtim Kasami
  • 11Alexander Kacaniklic
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 10Bryan Ruiz
  • 39Darren Bent
  • Rene Meulensteen
Manchester City (4-4-2)
  • 1Joe Hart
  • 22Gaël Clichy
  • 4Vincent Kompany
  • 26Martín Demichelis
  • 13Aleksandar Kolarov
  • 8Samir Nasri
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 42Yaya Touré
  • 21David Silva
  • 10Edin Dzeko
  • 9Álvaro Negredo
  • 30Costel Pantilimon
  • 38Dedryck Boyata
  • 7James Milner
  • 14Javi García
  • 15Jesús Navas
  • 17Jack Rodwell
  • 60John Guidetti
  • Manuel Pellegrini
Total shots
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
Minutes played by player
Assists from open play
Successful aerial duels
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
Pass forwards
Successful dribbles
Sum of all a players ball events
Accurate passes
Key passes
Player intercepts a pass
Goalkeeper saves
Goalkeeper catches a cross
  • 90 That's it at Craven Cottage where Manchester City run out 4-2 winners. A fighting performance from Fulham, though, the boys were unlucky.
  • 88 Negredo turns in the box, but thankfully the Spanish striker scuffs his shot. Stekelenburg saves.
  • 85 Silva is replaced by Javi Garcia.
  • 85 We missed this one, but Nasri made way for Milner on 75 minutes.
  • 85 Milner cuts in from the left, Parker does well to make the block.
  • 82 Negredo curls in a cross from the right with the outside of his left boot and James Milner finishes from close range.
  • 81 Giorgos Karagounis off, Darren Bent on.
  • 77 Silva rolls the ball through to Navas, who fires across Stekelenburg and into the net. Absolutely gutting. #FFC
  • 74 Fantastic game here, real end-to-end football.
  • 68 Parker threads a delightful pass through to Riether. The right-back's cross is then scooped into his own net by Kompany.
  • 67 Richardson picks out Kasami in the City box, but the youngster can't get the touch he requires. Hart does enough to see the ball to safety.
  • 66 Sidwell moves the ball out to Richardson, his cross is trapped and cleared by Kompany.
  • 63 Ashkan Dejagah is replaced by Pajtim Kasami.
  • 62 Karagounis whips in a corner from the right, Kolorov heads clear.
  • 59 Giorgos Karagounis goes into Kevin Friend's book for a foul.
  • 59 Hughes does well to block Negredo's strike. The ball falls to Navas, who fortunately fires wide with the goal in sight.
  • 58 Jesus Navas replaces Edin Dzeko.
  • 56 Great delivery from Dejagah who floats the ball in from the right. Sidwell gets his head to the cross but can't direct it towards goal.
  • 53 Fulham up the tempo, with Karagounis winning possession before slipping a forward pass through to Riise. Clichy does well, though, to see the ball out.
  • 49 Taarabt skips Clichy's challenge on the left flank before cutting in and squaring for Richardson who finishes coolly.
  • 46 Silva threads a fine pass into the left channel before meeting Kolorov's low cross from the left. Stekelenburg gets down well to deny the Spain international.
  • 45 Fulham get the action back underway, with the Whites now attacking the Hammersmith End.
  • 45 Goals from Toure and Kompany separate Fulham and Manchester City at the break.
  • 45 Demichelis is shown a yellow card for a late foul on Taarabt.
  • 43 Silva curls in a free-kick from the right, Demichelis gets the knock-down and Kompany applies the finish.
  • 38 Taarabt skips away from Martin Demichelis before driving at the City goal. Hart makes another crucial stop to keep him out.
  • 37 René Meulensteen is forced to make his first change of the game with Fernando Amorebieta replacing Philippe Senderos.
  • 35 Dzeko meets Kolorov's cross from the left, Maarten Stekelenburg makes a fine save to keep the City striker out.
  • 34 Great determination from Scott Parker, the skipper hassles Silva to squander possession as City push forward.
  • 31 Taarabt puts City on the back foot again, before moving Hart into another low save. Good play.
  • 30 Fantastic pass from Taarabt who clips the ball out to the right for Riether. The German right-back crosses and Dejagah almost does enough to sweep the ball beyond Hart.
  • 29 Edin Dzeko knocks the ball down for Negredo, but Hughes is alert again. The Northern Irishman does enough to see the ball clear.
  • 27 Good footwork from Taarabt who creates a bit of space before shooting from distance. Easy stop for Hart.
  • 26 Good move from City, who work the ball from deep. Silva tries to free Alvaro Negredo, but Aaron Hughes reads the pass well.
  • 22 Yaya Toure scores against the run of play, whipping a free-kick over the Fulham wall and in off the crossbar.
  • 20 Sidwell fouls Silva on the edge of the box. Dangerous free-kick for City.
  • 19 Taarabt turns Fernandinho before firing a skidding strike at the City goal. Hart gets down well to claim.
  • 18 Samir Nasri looks to cut in from the right, but it's Karagounis again with the intervention.
  • 15 Silva jinks beyond Steve Sidwell, but can't get by Giorgos Karagounis who makes an excellent tackle on the edge of the box.
  • 13 City respond with David Silva hitting the bar with a powerful first-time strike. So close!
  • 12 Richardson picks the pocket of Gael Clichy before rolling a pass into the path of Taarabt. The Moroccan forces a fine low save from Joe Hart.
  • 10 City look to build a nice move down the right, but a stopped following two crunching tackles from Richardson and then Riise.
  • 9 Another forceful run from Riether. This time he finds Taarabt who almost finds Riise with a clever spin and pass.
  • 7 Richardson finds Riise, who crosses from the left. Vincent Kompany clears the danger.
  • 6 Good start for the home side and Richardson almost squeezes a low strike from the edge of the box through a crowded goalmouth.
  • 4 A clever reverse pass from Ashkan Dejagah frees Riether but Aleksandar Kolorov does just enough to block the German's cross.
  • 2 Sascha Riether drives forward from the right to find Scott Parker. The Fulham skipper attempts to spread the play, but his pass is too high for John Arne Riise.
  • 1 And we're underway at Craven Cottage, with Fulham defending the Hammersmith End in the first half.
  • Rene Meulensteen makes two changes from the side that faced Everton last weekend with Kieran Richardson and Adel Taarabt replacing Alexander Kacaniklic and Dimitar Berbatov.
  • In form Manchester City make the trip to Craven Cottage today - the Blues have won four of their last five Premier League matches.