Date: 22nd March 2014 at 8:53pm
Written by:

Skoorb on the Spot
With Chelsea having dismantled Arsenal in the lunchtime kick off and ruined Arsene Wenger`s 1000th game in charge of the club City once again found themselves playing catch up when they kicked off against the league`s bottom side. Not only 9 points behind the league leaders again they also faced the prospect of their superior goal difference being erased as an asset in the title race after Chelsea scored six without reply. After a sluggish start City eventually ran out comfortable winners with Toure`s first hat trick for the Sky Blues another cracking goal from Fernandinho and finally a goal for Martin Demichelis. Fulham came to the game bottom of the league but following their first morale boosting win under their new manager Felix Magath. He must have been pleased with the first 20 minutes or so as he saw his side press City and offer some genuine threats. However their luck was not to last as having survived a couple of decent penalty shouts against Sidwell for first handball and then taking away James Milner`s standing leg as he dribbled in towards goal, Amorebieta duly obliged and under the totting up process referee Jon Moss could not find a reason to ignore City claims. The Fulham defender, unaware that Negredo had moved around behind him to take a lofted pass into the Fulham penalty area, stuck out a leg to try and bring the ball down but succeeded only in connecting with the small of The Beast`s back and Yaya Toure stepped up to score the first of his hat trick. 1-0 at half time did not feel comfortable at all and City came out for rthe second period playing with much greater tempo and were awarded the opportunity to take the game beyond Fulham when the luckless Amorbieta caught Silva after a delightful lay off from Milner had set him through on goal. He was duly dispatched for an early shower and Toure slotted home his second spot kick of the day. Cue much relief from the home fans and a growing confidence from the City players. This confidence was enhanced further when following a well worked free kick the ball was laid sideways to Toure some 35 yards from the Fulham goal allowing him to strike a world class shot which gave Stockdale no chance. With City`s grip firmly established on the game Pellegrini started to remove his key pieces from the board in preparation for Tuesday`s derby. Navas replaced Silva and Rodwell took over from Toure who left to a standing ovation. As is the manager`s template – play independently of the score – City continued in search of further goals and were rewarded when Fernandinho stepped outside a challenge and carried the ball into the Fulham penalty area before unleashing a powerful strike that wasn`t half bad for a defensive midfielder. Magath, sensing the game was lost after Toure`s second penalty had taken the opportunity to blood some younger players and they strived hard but with only ten men what was already a significant challenge became nigh on impossible. The icing on City`s cake came in the 88th minute when every pundit`s favourite scapegoat Martin Demichelis found himself 4 yards from goal and with the ball at his feet following a City corner. It was a scruffy finish but after the stick he`s taken he will not mind that one bit and it capped another very good performance from the Argentine defender who had made some timely interceptions and showed a confidence in his play that had been lacking. Jovetic was given a run out and showed some decent touches and movement which was hopeful as Aguero will miss the derby and Dzeko was omitted from the match day squad through illness. A satisfactory afternoon`s work and we now move on to a potentially pivotal derby game where the main aim of the opposition will be to dent City`s chances of catching Chelsea.


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