Man City maintained their perfect start in the new Premier League season as they beat Fulham 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Despite not being at their very best Pep Guardiola’s side dispatched their opponents on the day with ruthless finishing and professional ease.
The reigning Champions started the better of the two sides, settling down with their usual intricate passing and building from the back. Mateo Kovacic and Phil Foden pulled the strings in midfield while new signing Jeremy Doku started on the right wing with Julian Alvarez playing just behind Erling Haaland.
Marco Silva’s side, meanwhile, were happy to sit back, absorb the pressure, and hit on the counter or look for an opening from set-pieces.
The hosts opened the scoring on the day after a passage of brilliant interplay in the 31st minute. Kovacic found Haaland with a perfect through ball and the Norwegian unselfishly squared it for Alvarez. The Argentine tapped the ball in from close-range.
Within the space of two minutes, Fulham were level. The London side won a corner and it was Raul Jiminez whose first-time volley was parried away by Ederson.
However, it was straight into the path of Tim Ream who slotted into an empty goal to restore parity.
Man City never gave Fulham a chance as Premier League domination continues
Despite not being at their very best, City went into halftime with a 2-1 lead when Nathan Ake scored with a free header from a corner that rolled into the bottom corner. Silva’s side protested the decision to award the goal despite VAR intervention. It appeared that Manuel Akanji might have obstructed Bernd Leno’s view in the Fulham goal.
Haaland made it 3-1 in the 58th minute. Alvarez’s well-placed pass set the Norwegian through on goal who scored clinically with a first-time finish. The 23-year-old PFA Player of the Year then made the points safe in the 70th minute.
Haaland scored from the spot again after Alavarez was brought down in the box by Issa Diop. The left-footed striker completed his hattrick deep into stoppage time, scoring his 50th league goal in a record 39 appearances.
City, with four wins out of four, will now head into the international break at the top of the table. Guardiola’s side will travel to London next to take on West Ham. Fulham, meanwhile, will look to bounce back against newly promoted Luton Town.
Photo credit: IMAGO / Propaganda Photo
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Women’s World Cup, Euro 2024 & Gold Cup
The New Home of MLS
- Price: $14.99/mo. for MLS Season Pass
- Watch every MLS game including playoffs & Leagues Cup
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $10.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $14.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & FA Cup
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $5.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & Brasileirāo