Premier League

Player ratings as Cityzens close in on Premier League title

Player ratings as Cityzens close in on Premier League title

Manchester City breezed to a commanding 4-0 win over Fulham on Saturday afternoon to take another step towards the Premier League title and move back to the top of the table.

A brace from Josko Gvardiol, a Phil Foden strike and a late Julian Alvarez penalty helped Man City ease to an important victory, dispatching of a limp Fulham side and piling the pressure on title rivals Arsenal.

The Gunners face Manchester United on Sunday as they look to keep themselves in the title picture.

How the game unfolded

Man City headed to Craven Cottage as incredibly strong favourites having won their last 15 clashes with Fulham and it took just 13 minutes for the reigning champions to take the lead. A lovely passing move saw Kevin De Bruyne pick out Gvardiol and the in-form full-back took a wonderful touch before stroking past Bernd Leno.

The visitors began to strangle the life out of the game as they passed Fulham to death under very little pressure, with Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden testing Leno with slightly tame long-range efforts. Manuel Akanji probably should have doubled their advantage at the end of the half, but fired over from close range following a corner.

The Cottagers simply couldn’t escape Man City’s tight grip, continually handing possession back to Pep Guardiola’s side. They failed to even register a shot on Ederson’s goal in a first half that couldn’t have been much simpler for the away side.

The second half followed much the same pattern as the first and Silva almost put Man City out of sight after the restart. The Portuguese collected De Bruyne’s pass and rifled a near-post effort at Leno, who matched it with a firm save.

Just six minutes later and Man City did have their second goal of the game. Silva skinned Antonee Robinson on the right flank and drove into the penalty area before the ball eventually fell to the feet of Foden, who dragged a low drive into Leno’s far post.

Erling Haaland, who had seldom touched the ball in the opening hour, then should have grabbed his customary goal against the Cottagers, but skied a wonderful opening to the bemusement of Guardiola on the touchline.

Man City eventually put the icing on the cake with 20 minutes to play and it was the surprisingly prolific Gvardiol with another strike. SIlva’s deep cross was redirected goalward by the Croatian and the ball squeezed under Leno’s body to add a third for the visitors.

Issa Diop decided to make life worse for Fulham supporters inside Craven Cottage by hacking Alvarez…

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