Dempsey double downs City
Fulham came from behind to beat Manchester City 3-1 at Eastlands thanks to Dickson Etuhu and a brace from Clint Dempsey. City never really got out of the traps and started the game with five changes from Thursday's 3-1 Uefa Cup reverse in Germany against Hamburg. Out went the injured Craig Bellamy, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Wayne Bridge while Robinho and Daniel Sturridge had to make do with a place on the bench. The visitors began the game brightly and could have taken the lead through Andrew Johnson and Dempsey, but it was City who opened the scoring with their first shot of the game. Stephen Ireland came forward unchallenged and bent the ball into the top right hand corner with the aid of a deflection off City old boy Dickson Etuhu on 28 minutes. Fulham quickly asserted themselves on the game in the early exchanges of the second period when Dempsey pounced to slot home from the edge of the area, five minutes after the restart. The Cottagers made it 2-1 when Etuhu earned himself a yard and fired past Given from distance to the keeper's right. And the game was over when Zamora fed Dempsey in the 80th minute for the wideman to coolly place the ball past Given. Opening goalIreland gave City a start their performance failed to warrant when he received a pass from Valeri Bojinov on halfway. The visitors fatally decided to stand off, not even making a tackle as the City midfield man reached the penalty area. Having got so far, Ireland decided to try his luck. And, profiting from a deflection off Etuhu, he beat Mark Schwarzer with a dipping effort. In truth it was just about the only noteworthy effort of the opening 45 minutes of a match that pitched Nigeria-born brothers Dickson and Kelvin Etuhu against each other. Martin Petrov sporadically sprang into life on his first Premier League start since August but there was very little purpose on either side, which was a surprise considering West Ham's defeat yesterday had once again opened the door to a European slot. Shay Given was called upon just once, when Bobby Zamora wriggled free of Richard Dunne and let fly with a shot on the turn that he was equal to. But, just as they did 12 months ago, Roy Hodgson's men overcame a dismal interval position to get their noses in front. First, after being gifted possession by Pablo Zabaleta, Dempsey latched onto the loose ball when Micah Richards had jumped in to tackle Zamora and expertly curled home. Wobbling defence Then, when City's wobbling defence failed to cut out the danger presented by Dempsey and the overlapping Paul Konchesky from the left, Etuhu rifled into the corner against his former club from 20 yards. Robinho's introduction, along with that of Daniel Sturridge, followed shortly afterwards, to rapturous applause. Not that it made much difference as Fulham continued to look more threatening. Brede Hangeland wasted a glorious chance to wrap up the points after Given had punched Dempsey's curling free-kick into Zamora. But another goal arrived seven minutes from time when City were caught on the counter-attack and Dempsey bagged his second from Zamora's touch pass.
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