FA Premier League
23/02/2020 12:30 pm
Referee: Kevin Friend of Leicester
|Bernardo Silva (5'), Agüero (27')|
|25 Sergio Rico||31 Ederson|
|21 Timothy Fosu-Mensah||2 Kyle Walker|
|5 Calum Chambers||30 Nicolas Otamendi|
|20 Maxime Le Marchand||14 Aymeric Laporte|
|23 Joe Bryan||35 Oleks Zinchenko|
|22 Cyrus Christie||17 Kevin De Bruyne||Fernandinho 75'|
|10 Tom Cairney||Schürrle 70'||8 Ilkay Gündogan|
|29 Andre Zambo Anguissa||21 David Silva|
|3 Ryan Sessegnon||20 Bernardo Silva|
|11 Floyd Ayité||Kebano 64'||10 Sergio Agüero||Gabriel Jesus 57'|
|12 Ryan Babel||McDonald 88'||7 Raheem Sterling||Mahrez 88'|
|4 Denis Odoi||3 Danilo|
|6 Kevin McDonald||5 John Stones|
|7 Neeskens Kebano||19 Leroy Sané|
|14 Andre Schürrle||25 Fernandinho|
|19 Luciano Vietto||26 Riyad Mahrez|
|31 Fabri||33 Gabriel Jesus|
|43 Steven Sessegnon||49 Aro Muric|
Johnny On The Spot: Manchester City have entered the season’s final straight with a dominant, routine win at relegation certainties Fulham.
Roared on by 3,000 travelling fans in a capacity crowd, the Blues could not have asked for more obliging opponents at this stage of an outstanding Premier League title defence. The champions prodigious work rate allied to the home side’s relentless coughing up of possession around their own penalty area saw this mismatch done and dusted inside the opening 30 minutes. Fulham’s caretaker gaffer Scott Parker will certainly be immensely grateful that City’s profligacy ensured that his spiritless side did not ship double figures. City’s attacking intent was clear throughout a sparkling first half, exemplified by Pep Guardiola once more positioning forwards high up into the Fulham half of the field for Ederson’s booming goal kicks.
Rather than push on for more goals after that imperious opening period, The Blues took their collective foot off the gas and opted for game management with an eye on an intensive looming run of fixtures, unprecedented intensity for a season’s climax in the history of our club. Despite the failure to convert gilt-edged opportunities, this was a thoroughly professional performance from a City side playing their sublime football on the cusp of greatness. That’s now 145 goals scored inside 50 fixtures this season, 66 in 20 games for the calendar year. Today, 3 photographers stationed behind Ederson’s goal whilst 26 jostled for position behind Rico’s served to underline the expectancy that is building behind this brilliant City team’s stellar progress.
Only one element of concern emerges from the champions latest win in London. City’s lethal weapon Sergio Aguero, who had a lot of work to do to secure a brilliant 29th goal of the season here indicated that he needed to come off shortly before the hour mark. Pep took no chances in hooking him. That said, Kun’s withdrawal was countered by the bustling, successful returns to action of Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho.
City have used this season’s four international breaks very well to get intensive treatment into injured players whilst deploying careful squad rotation. The results have spoken for themselves after each pause: 3-0 v Fulham, 5-0 v Burnley, 4-0 at West Ham and now 0-2 at the Cottagers to complete a clean sweep sequence.
JB’s Man of The Match: Ilkay Gündogan. Benefitting from a steady run of games and improving with every start.