Fulham 2 Manchester City 2: Sergio Aguero at the double

18 September 2011 07:42
Roberto Mancini watched his side blow a two-goal lead to drop the first points of their Barclays Premier League campaign and then claimed he is 'lacking players'.

The Manchester City boss, whose club have spent more than ?300million in the last three years and boasted ?115m of talent in the front four alone, insisted he was short of midfield players.

With James Milner and Nigel de Jong absent with head and ankle injuries respectively, Mancini had to turn to ?200,000-a-week Yaya Toure and ?12m England man Gareth Barry to shore things up in the centre of the pitch. It's a hard life sometimes, isn't it?

On the level: Danny Murphy celebrates scoring Fulham's equaliser against Manchester City

MATCH FACTS Fulham: Schwarzer, Kelly, Baird, Hangeland, John Arne Riise, Duff (Kasami 61), Murphy, Sidwell, Dempsey, Zamora, Dembele (Ruiz 88).

Subs not used: Etheridge, Orlando Sa, Senderos, Gecov, Grygera.

Goals: Zamora, Murphy

Booked: Sidwell Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Toure Yaya, Nasri (Johnson 81), Aguero (Tevez 82), Silva (Zabaleta 69), Dzeko.

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Toure, Balotelli.

Goals: Aguero 2

Booked: Barry

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (England)

Attendance: 24,750

City looked to be heading for a fifth straight league win when Sergio Aguero scored his seventh goal in six games after 18 minutes, then added his eighth 11 seconds after the restart.But Fulham fought back as Bobby Zamora and Danny Murphy, whose shot was deflected off Vincent Kompany, earned Martin Jol's side a point.

Mancini said: 'I don't have players at this moment. I can only change the full backs or the strikers. I have only two midfield players as Milner and De Jong are injured.

'After being 2-0 up it feels like a defeat, but it could be a lesson. When you dominate a game for 60 minutes and score only two goals it's a problem. I'm disappointed. We conceded stupid goal s and we lacked the killer quality.'

Aguero's 18thminute opener, a cool finish after Barry's ball was threaded throughby David Silva, looked offside, but Fulham had spent most of the first 45 minutes chasing the ball.

The visitors' fluid front four -Silva, Samir Nasri, Aguero and Edin Dzeko - interchanged at will and passed the ball effortlessly between them. City had barely slipped out of first gear.

Man of the moment: Sergio Aguero just cannot stop scoring for Manchester City

But Aguero's second, scored before most had settled back into their seats, seemed to signal City's intention to move up a level.

Silva knocked it back to Gael Clichy from the restart and the left back found Dzeko with a long, diagonal ball. The striker headed it down to Aguero, who stunned Mark Schwarzer with a wicked right-foot shot.

Nice and easy: Aguero keeps his head to slip the ball into the Fulham net

The Argentine found the back of the net again four minutes later, only to bedenied the second hat-trick of his short City career by the offside flag, but then Mancini's side let Fulham off the hook.

Tiredness may have been a factor, as nine of Sunday's starting XI began Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Napoli.

Yet seven of Fulham's starters lined up against FCTwente in the Europa League on Thursday.

Battle: City defender Joleon Lescott tries to escape the challenge of Fulham striker Bobby Zamora

Where Fulham had Schwarzer to thank for denying Clichy and Dzeko in the first half, it was City's turnto be in debt to their keeper in the second.

Joe Hart had little chancewith Zamora's finish after 56 minutes, as the striker was given time inthe box to control Dempsey's pass with his left foot and finish with his right, but the England goalkeeper then stopped Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey with excellent saves.

Long legs: City midfielder Yaya Toure managed to keep the ball away from Clint Dempsey

Yet still Fulham pushed. Zamora turned creator, setting up Murphy in the 75th minute. The Fulham captain's fierce shot found the bottom left-hand corner thanks to a deflection from Kompany.

The point took Fulham off the bottom and above Bolton and West Bromwich on goal difference.

Two good: Aguero scores his second to double City's advantage at Craven Cottage

But Jol is still searching for his first Premier League win in charge of the west London club.

Jol said: 'Now we're 18th, it's better. It was a fantastic achievement to come back against them because I don't think they'll give away leads like that again in the future.'

Not this time: Micah Richards' header is saved by the impressive Mark Schwarzer in Fulham's goal

 Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott: We know we can beat United nowUnited home bias won't affect us, insists Mancini as City prepare to play awayFulham 1 FC Twente 1: Schwarzer's own goal sees spoils shared at Craven CottageClick here for the latest Premier League table and results Watch all the Premier League goals on our brilliant highlights playerAll the latest Fulham news, features and opinionAll the latest Manchester City news, features and opinion

Source: Daily_Mail