In the first twenty minutes of the first half, it looked as if Fulham were going to grab a goal, and be able to concentrate on packing the box. There were many near misses by Fulham who had plenty of good opportunities to put pressure on the Citizens, and really force our team to press to get a goal. Thankfully, in the 26th minute my nerves were cooled as Milner launched a ball forward for Negredo to get under. As he went to control it Amorebieta kicked at his back side, which resulted in a penalty to City. Yaya stepped up and coolly put it into the back of the net, giving City the early lead; a very important consideration in games we need to win. After the goa,l City seemed to pick up the pace, and looked destined to add another goal before half time and put the nail in the coffin for Fulham and their hopes of getting something from this game. Sadly, that was not the case, which left the game tight as the teams headed into the half with the score at 1-0, City.
Now, I know I’m superstitious so, I like to believe that Demichelis and Nasri putting on gloves for the second half was the reason we quadrupled our score. On a serious note, the second half was exactly the response I was hoping for after only being up one going into the half. If you leave the score line too tight until the end, teams like Fulham will continue to believe that there is a chance to grab points from a game where they’re outclassed. Fulham went down to ten men, as Amorebieta committed his second foul in the box, when he clipped Silva as he sprinted by him for what looked like a sure goal-scoring chance. Yaya stepped up to take the penalty and scored again as the keeper guessed the wrong way. After the second penalty kick, City relaxed and played the beautiful free-flowing, possession hogging football we love to see. Yaya, on a hat trick, scored from another set piece when Nasri found the Ivorian in space from just outside the box. Like Silva’s goal last week, this was just another example of the talent we possess. Known for his wonder strikes from distance, Yaya didn’t disappoint.
After Yaya’s third, City just picked their spots when they were there, which was made a bit easier being up a man for the final 25 minutes or so. The first was scored by Fernandinho who found space in the box and sent a rocket of a shot by Stockdale and into the back of the net. The scoring was capped off in the 87th minute as Demichelis dinked a low cross, which dribbled over the line to make it 5-0, City. The bigger note in the Demichelis goal was who provided service; Stevan Jovetic. I’ll have more on that in his ratings, but it was great to see him back fit and making a difference in the match; even if he was only in for a small amount of time.
With games in hand it is imperative that we continue to take care of business and win the games we should as the end of the season closes in. Games against teams in the relegation fight at the end of the season are always the matches that scare me the most. With their Premier League lives on the line, these teams play with reckless abandon, and give top teams a run for their money as we saw today. Scoring five goals without Aguero, no matter our amount of talent, should give the players who have been struggling to score a confidence boost for this final run of fixtures. As important as this win was, it is time to put this game in the rear view mirror and get ready for our midweek match against United, who have shown a pulse recently. This could be trouble if we don’t focus for the full 90 minutes.
Can’t decide on my Man of the Match. Yaya is the obvious choice as the goal scorer, but the likes of Silva, Nasri, Milner and Fernandinho are all likely candidates. So, when is doubt, poll it out! My decision was Fernandinho, slightly because he got a goal, and mostly because his game today was very solid.
Negredo (6) – Much more lively today than he has been in past matches, hopefully that’s a sign of him getting back to full fitness. He was physical with the Fulham back line and they had trouble handling him at time.
Nasri/ Silva (7) – They get grouped together today because their understanding with one another is a huge benefit for us. Not to mention their individual talents mesh very well together. As soon as one passes the ball they move to an opening in the defense. It is always a learning experience to watch these two together
Yaya (7) – He, and my fantasy team, were the beneficiary of spot kicks from clear fouls in the box. Personally, I didn’t see much from him during the game, but that’s because Nasri, Silva and Milner hogged the ball. Jerks, right? The one time they shared the ball, Yaya had another wonders strike from distance, and I mean that was spectacular.
Fernandinho (8 MotM) – He is always all over the pitch, and that is the reason why the City fans have fallen in the love with the Brazilian. Such a team player, and he could easily be in the discussion for MotM in every game he plays because his impact on the game is always influential. So glad he got a goal today, he is one of the most deserving of one, and what a goal it was.
Milner (8) – He can catch flack at times when he starts, but for me his work ethic and attitude constantly put teams under pressure. He was menacing down the right side today, and he had some beautiful sequences with the ball. I love his gun slinger attitude when he is on the ball around the box, never sees a shot he doesn’t like.
Zabaleta (6) – One of these days he will get rewarded for his runs down the right with a goal, but right now he’s snake bitten. Defensively, even when he looks to be beaten, he stays with it and finds a way to win the ball back or halt the attack.
Lescott (6) – As long he is not getting run at by the opposing team he can be a good defensive player. He wins his challenges, reads the game well (at times) and uses his height to get in from of crosses. When Fulham had their breaks, thankfully, they couldn’t convert.
Demichelis (6) – I know, I’m knit picking here, but he got beaten to headers in the box, which can be a problem against other teams, only noting this because this is one of his strengths as a defender. Other than that, he was average with not much to do after that 20 minute spell in the first half. HE SCORES!!!!!!!! He was so greedy he tried for two! Selfish.
Kolarov (7) – He could literally kill someone with the power behind his shots, and always keeps the defense on their toes when he has the ball. Much like Demichelis, he didn't have much to do after that 20 minute spell, so he got involved in attack.
Hart (6) – Hey Joe, how was the view from your seat? Of course, the first half he was a little busier.
Navas (N/A) –
Rodwell (N/A) – HE LIVESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is all; no ratings just wanted everyone to know he is alive.
Jovetic (N/A) – Please tell me we have spent good money to buy him a new calf, right? In all seriousness, he needs to stay healthy, especially with Aguero out because they bring similar “spunk” to the attack.