After a week of more scrutiny and criticism, Manchester City responded in entertaining fashion with a devastating 4-1 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Again Carlos Tevez was the focal point of City`s attack scoring two goals on either side of strikes from Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure.
The encounter between the clubs was bigger than the three points today. Fulham manager Mark Hughes, this week spoke of his disappointment at his treatment over his dismissal again, so a win for Fulham would have been the perfect response against the man who took over him.
However, only five minutes in and the defeat Hughes desperately wanted never looked like materialising with Carlos Tevez`s seventh goal of the season breaking the home sides defensive shackles.
Manchester City and Carlos Tevez continued to torment the home side with an inspirational performance that certainly erased the “boring” City tag.
With Fulham failing to press us enough, the ease and satisfaction of the football was delightful to witness. Constant exchanges between the attacking quartet were causing the home side a great deal of confusion and City looked destined to find a much-needed second goal.
When the second goal arrived it was well worth the wait. Pablo Zabaleta`s only previous goal for City was a thumping strike against Wigan, and he followed that up today with another spectacular right footed shot from 25 yards that swerved away from Schwarzer.
If City`s second goal was pure individual brilliance then the third- scored by Yaya Toure- had the team magic City have been striving for. The way we elegantly stroked the ball around the opposition was admirable and when Carlos Tevez finally received the ball he played in Yaya Toure who placed his shot home to end a dominant first half display.
City`s lead never looked in jeopardy and the second half allowed us to focus on another possible clean sheet and a terrific away performance- three wins out of four away from home is certainly better than we`re used to.
Despite looking rock solid, Fulham did manage to net a consolation goal. Kolo Toure`s unfortunately deflected Zoltan Gera`s pot-shot to leave Joe Hart stranded.
Gera`s consolation goal was never going to cause City problems though after Carlos Tevez had previously put them 4-0 up. The Argentine scored his second with a delicate flick after another long range Zabaleta chance.
The performance from City epitomised perfection and again showed that once everything does come together City look frightening. After Chelsea`s shock defeat against Birmingham yesterday, City are now three points only behind the league leaders.
Had very little to do and couldn’t stop the goal.
A wonder strike capped a terrific performance.
Unfortunate to deflect Gera’s strike after another solid display.
Is there ever a time he doesn’t look rock solid?
Strong defensively and rampaged forward on many occasions which nearly brought him a goal.
Better City performance from the much-criticised Barry.
Strong and broke up the play with ease. Started adding a few of Silva’s flicks to his locker.
Powerful presence who scored a terrific 24-pass-goal-of-the-season.
Jinked and tricked his way through on many occasions. One hell of a terrific player.
The surprise starter never really got going.
Two goals and all-round brilliance from the master.
The impact sub had little impact.
Tried to slow the game down.
Brought on very late. No rating.