Sunday, July 21, 2024

Manchester City 5-1 Fulham: What Were The Main Talking Points As City Return To The Top Of The Premier League Table?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 3 Sep 2023

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Putting in a rampant second-half display at the Etihad on Saturday afternoon, Manchester City extended on their 100% start as they landed a 5-1 romp against Fulham.

Opening the scoring just after the half-hour mark as Julian Alvarez notched his second Premier League strike of the season, the Sky Blues were shockingly pegged back just seconds later as Tim Ream grabbed a rugged equaliser.

However, with the Cottagers left feeling extremely frustrated as Nathan Ake’s controversial header was allowed to stand moments before heading into the half-time break, City certainly ran rampant after returning from the interval.

With the record-breaking Erling Haaland bagging his fifth domestic hat-trick in just the space of 35 minutes, Pep Guardiola’s men laid down another Premier League marker here.

Now the only top-flight club that can boast a 100% start after their opening four appearances, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Saturday’s showdown at the Etihad.

City simply goes marching on

While Guardiola might have once again been missing from City’s dugout on Saturday afternoon after undergoing minor back surgery, the reigning champions clearly aren’t showing any signs of a blip.

Although the Sky Blues might have been largely frustrated for large spells of the first-half, City have only continued to underline why they’re once again seen as a landslide contender to make even more domestic history this season.

Writing themselves into the history books back in June as they got their hands on a maiden Champions League title and became the first English club since 1999 to be crowned treble champions, Saturday’s hosts have once again come flying out of the traps this time around.

Winning each of their opening four Premier League appearances and already notching 11 strikes, City certainly find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high.

While midfield icon Kevin De Bruyne might still remain sidelined with a long-term injury issue, it is hard to find anyone that will be able to dethrone Guardiola’s record-breakers this season.

Heading into the international break riding a real wave of momentum, the Sky Blues certainly couldn’t have wished for a better start to proceedings.

Haaland extends on his domestic romp

Only breaking a string of Premier League records following his blockbuster move from Borussia Dortmund last summer, it is no surprise that Haaland is tipped as a runaway contender to make even more history this time around.

Opening the 2023/24 campaign with yet another top-flight brace as City stormed their way to a 3-0 victory away at Premier League returners Burnley on August 11th, the Norwegian icon has only continued from where he left off last season.

Playing a crucial role as Guardiola’s side were crowned treble champions, the Premier League record-breaker once again run rampant here.

Putting in a major second-half flurry on Saturday afternoon and notching his fifth top-flight hat-trick, Haaland has also notched six goals in his opening four Premier League appearances.

Only continuing to cement his reputation as one of the greatest marksmen in Premier League history, it is no surprise that reports are suggesting that City are already desperate to tie their attacking talisman down to a new deal at the Etihad.

Although Haaland’s current deal in Manchester runs until 2027, it has been suggested that City are already seeking to add another 12 months to his already bank-breaking contract.

Easier tests will await for the Cottagers

Causing what was an EFL Cup upset earlier in the week as they edged past Tottenham following a nail-biting penalties victory at Craven Cottage, Fulham certainly travelled to Manchester with the mood in their camp at a real high.

However, while Marco Silva’s men might have frustrated the reigning Premier League champions for large spells throughout the first-half, the former Everton boss saw his side came crashing back down to earth.

Last seen on top-flight duties mounting a stunning last-gasp comeback away at title hopefuls Arsenal as they eventually salvaged a 2-2 stalemate, Saturday’s guests will simply be glad to see the back of the Etihad.

Mustering just a single point from any of their last three Premier League appearances and putting just a sole victory on the board, Silva’s men will be hoping to find some stability when they return from September’s international break.

Gaining a string of plaudits last season as they punched an eye-catching top-half finish on their top-flight return, the Cottagers will know that their are certainly easier tests down the road.

Still dealing to life without former attacking talisman Alexsandr Mitrovic, Fulham will be next seen on September 16th when they welcomed Luton to west London.

Match Report

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Ake, Rodri, Kovacic, Doku, Alvarez, Foden, Haaland

Subs: Phillips, Silva, Gomez, Bobb, Lewis

Fulham: Leno, Tete, Diop, Ream, Robinson, Cairney, Reed, Pereira, Wilson, Jimenez, De Cordova-Reid

Subs: Traore, Muniz, Willian, Castagne, Harris

Goals: Manchester City: Alvarez (31’), Ake (45+5’), Haaland (58’ 70’ P, 90+5’) – Fulham: Ream (33’)

Yellow Cards: Manchester City: Silva, Rodri – Fulham: Robinson, Diop, Pereira

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Michael Oliver


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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