Sunday 27 February 2011, 3:00pm at Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Barclays Premier League
Manchester City
Manchester City
1
Balotelli 26'
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Duff 48'
Fulham secured a well-deserved point at the City of Manchester Stadium on Sunday. Damien Duff’s second-half strike cancelled out Mario Balotelli’s first-half opener.

26' Goal

Mario Balotelli

70' Yellow Card

Mario Balotelli Card was given for a foul

59' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Patrick Vieira
Off:Edin Dzeko

76' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:James Milner
Off:Aleksandar Kolarov

48' Goal

Damien Duff

34' Yellow Card

Andrew Johnson Card was given for a foul

85' Yellow Card

Danny Murphy Card was given for a foul

78' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Eidur Gudjohnsen
Off:Andrew Johnson

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Damien Duff returned to the starting line-up for the Whites after missing Fulham’s last match against Bolton in the FA Cup - and he certainly proved to be an influential figure. With Steve Sidwell missing through injury, Dickson Etuhu was also back in the centre of midfield.

The Whites started the game maintaining a sound defensive shape as City looked to get at Fulham early on, particularly down the wings courtesy of their attacking fullbacks - Jerome Boateng and Aleksander Kolarov.

Boateng looked a threat for most of the first-half, hugging the touchline and giving the home side some much needed width, resulting in a number of dangerous deliveries into the box.

Fulham mounted a promising attack on 20 minutes. Carlos Salcido made his first attacking run of the encounter, skipping past Boateng and setting off a period of sustained pressure for the Whites. Fulham moved the ball well and created a shooting opportunity for Danny Murphy, the Fulham Captain firing just over from 20 yards.

But City took the lead on 26 minutes courtesy of some opportunist finishing from Italian striker, Mario Balotelli. The City front man collected the ball some 25 yards from goal and drifted into a central position before hitting an accurate right-footed shot past Schwarzer.

Yet Fulham’s confidence looked far from being dented by the goal as the Whites got straight on to the front foot – pushing the home side back. But City were able to hold firm in the face of a resurgent Fulham and reached the half-time interval with their one-goal advantage intact.

Mark Hughes sent his Fulham players out early for the start of the second-half and the response he got from his men was almost immediate, with Damien Duff finishing off an incisive move to net the equaliser on 48 minutes.

Brede Hangeland set the play in motion by chipping a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Andrew Johnson. The Fulham striker used a burst of pace to beat his man and fire a low cross to the back post, where Duff arrived to firmly side-foot past Joe Hart.

Aaron Hughes needed to be at his best on 58 minutes when a searching pass from Kolo Toure fell perfectly for Balotelli. Fortunately, Hughes was able to match the striker for pace and muscled past the Italian, allowing Mark Schwarzer to collect safely.

Schwarzer was called into action soon after when Carlos Tevez was set free by a clipped pass. With Hangeland rapidly closing him down, Tevez scuffed a left-footed shot on target, which Schwarzer did well to reach and divert behind for a corner. 

Aleksander Kolarov’s dipping long-range effort required the attentions of Fulham’s big Australian on 67 minutes – tipping the ball over the bar. City started turning the screw, winning a number of corners and putting the Fulham back line under relentless pressure.

Impressively, the Whites maintained their composure and soon started redressing the balance of play. Damien Duff played a pivotal role, winning a number of important free-kicks and looking dangerous whenever in possession.

Mark Hughes made his only substitution on 78 minutes, replacing Andrew Johnson with Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Fulham were looking the stronger side as the game entered its closing stages and it was through Damien Duff that the Whites’ most promising attacks were coming.

But despite their clear attacking intentions, Fulham were unable to find the winning goal, although Mark Hughes' side were certainly good value for the point.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Sunday 27 February 2011
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Attendance: 43,007

Referee: Peter Walton

Manchester City

Line-up: Hart; Boateng, Touré, Lescott, Kolarov (Milner 76'); Yaya Touré, Zabaleta, Barry; Tévez, Balotelli; Dzeko (Vieira 59')

Unused substitutes: Taylor, Wabara, Wright-Phillips, Jô, Guidetti

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Baird, Hangeland, Hughes, Salcido; Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey; Dembélé, Johnson (Gudjohnsen 78')

Unused substitutes: Stockdale, Kelly, Gera, Kakuta, Greening, Davies

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 27 60
2 Arsenal 27 56
3 Manchester City 28 50
4 Tottenham Hotspur 27 47
5 Chelsea 26 45
6 Liverpool 28 39
7 Bolton Wanderers 28 37
8 Sunderland 28 37
9 Newcastle United 28 36
10 Everton 27 33
11 Stoke City 27 33
12 Aston Villa 28 33
13 Fulham 28 32
14 Blackburn Rovers 28 32
15 Blackpool 28 32
16 Birmingham City 26 30
17 Wolverhampton Wanderers 28 28
18 West Ham United 28 28
19 West Bromwich Albion 27 28
20 Wigan Athletic 28 27
Manchester City (4-3-2-1)
  • 1Joe Hart
  • 17Jerome Boateng
  • 28Kolo Touré
  • 6Joleon Lescott
  • 13Aleksandar Kolarov
  • 42Yaya Touré
  • 5Pablo Zabaleta
  • 18Gareth Barry
  • 32Carlos Tévez
  • 45Mario Balotelli
  • 10Edin Dzeko
Substitutes
  • 12Stuart Taylor
  • 57Reece Wabara
  • 7James Milner
  • 8Shaun Wright-Phillips
  • 24Patrick Vieira
  • 27
  • 60John Guidetti
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 6Chris Baird
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 3Carlos Salcido
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 30Mousa Dembélé
  • 8Andrew Johnson
Substitutes
  • 12David Stockdale
  • 2Stephen Kelly
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 24Gaël Kakuta
  • 27Jonathan Greening
  • 29Simon Davies
  • 22Eidur Gudjohnsen