Manchester City 4-0 Fulham (11 May, 2024) Game Analysis

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Manchester City hit the top of the Premier League with one week of the season left when two goals by Josko Gvardiol and one each from Phil Foden and Julián Álvarez sealed a 4-0 demolition of Fulham on Saturday.

City’s stroll in the London sunshine, their seventh successive league win and 16th consecutive victory over Fulham in all competitions, moved them two points clear of Arsenal.

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Pep Guardiola’s relentless side, closing in on an unprecedented fourth English title in a row, have 85 points from 36 games, with Arsenal on 83 having also played 36.

Arsenal can regain top spot by beating Manchester United on Sunday, but City, who play their game in hand at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, are now two wins away from making history.

Steve Nicol reacts to Manchester City's comfortable 4-0 win over Fulham, with defender Joško Gvardiol scoring twice.
Steve Nicol reacts to Manchester City’s comfortable 4-0 win over Fulham, with defender Joško Gvardiol scoring twice.

Croatia defender Gvardiol slotted them in front in the 13th minute after a neat one-two with Kevin De Bruyne, and City doubled their advantage with Foden sweeping home a shot after 59 minutes. Gvardiol made sure of the points when he slid in to touch home Bernardo Silva‘s cross at the back post.

The City fans were in full party mode when Álvarez tucked away a stoppage-time penalty after being fouled by Issa Diop, who was sent off for his second yellow card.

City established a new English record for consecutive wins by one club over another as they beat Fulham yet again, but it is a landmark fourth successive title they really desire.

They took a huge step towards that by stretching their unbeaten league run to 21 games, piling the pressure on Arsenal ahead of their trip to Old Trafford.

Guardiola’s side have had to play catch-up recently with their last three victors all coming after Arsenal had won, but this time, they were given the chance to test the London club’s resolve in the weekend’s opening game.

Midtable Fulham began their final home match of the season in positive fashion with early forays forward but City were quickly into their passing rhythm.

Defender Gvardiol showed his recent appetite for goals when he played a one-two with De Bruyne, side-stepping a Fulham defender and dispatching past a static Bernd Leno.

It was his third goal in his past five Premier League matches, but for all of City’s domination, they were unable to extend their lead before the interval.

With Arsenal’s form giving City no margin for error, there were a few jitters, with goalkeeper Éderson forced to scramble to deal with a deflected low cross. But any nerves were soothed in the 59th minute when Silva’s run was blocked and the ball fell to Foden who swept a shot past Leno.

Erling Haaland should have made it 3-0 but blazed over. But such are City’s riches that goals can come from anywhere, as Gvardiol and Álvarez demonstrated.

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