—END OF LOAD TAG—>
|Chris Baird (Bjorn Helge Riise, 81)|
|Zoltan Gera (Stefano Chuka Okaka, 56)|
|Bobby Zamora (Clint Dempsey, 52)|
|Kolo Toure, K|
|Adam Johnson, A (Shaun Wright-Phillips, 84)|
|Roque Santa Cruz (Nigel de Jong, 79)|
|Craig Bellamy (Nedum Onuoha, 90)|
FULL TIME FULHAM 1-2 MAN CITY: It's all over and City secure a vital three points in their bid for a top-four finish in the Premier League. Fulham improved slightly in the second half but could not find a leveller after Danny Murphy's penalty.
Roberto Mancini runs down the clock further as he replaces Craig Bellamy with Nedum Onuoha.
Gareth Barry gives away a free kick 25 yards from goal but Clint Dempsey hits the subsequent shot into the wall. From the resulting corner City clear their lines.
Fulham have a very hopeful penalty shout when Bjorn Helge Riise's cross strikes Vincent Kompany's right arm but he had no chance of getting out of the way.
There will be four minutes of injury time as Shaun Wright-Phillips fires wide from the left side of the area.
A chance here for City to seal the win as Carlos Tevez squares for Patrick Vieira but the French veteran's effort lacks the power to beat Mark Schwarzer.
Damien Duff tries to break through on the City goal but he is denied by an offside flag from the assistant referee much to the visitors' relief.
Roberto Mancini opts to bring on some fresh legs in attack Shaun Wright-Phillips replaces Adam Johnson on the wing.
Stefano Chuka Okaka has two quick chances for Fulham but fires over the bar and wide respectively with the second a great chance for the Fulham as he was inside the six-yard box.
Roy Hodgson also makes his final change in search of an equaliser with Bjorn Helge Riise replacing Chris Baird.
Roque Santa Cruz has been forced off after going down with cramp a moment ago and Nigel De Jong comes on to replace him.
Simon Davies whips a dangerous ball right across the City area before Javier Garrido manages to clear for the visitors.
City go forward from the kick off and Stefano Chuka Okaka fouls Patrick Vieira to give away a free kick. Gareth Barry crosses the ball in from the free kick, but Aaron Hughes is on hand to clear.
FULHAM 1-2 MAN CITY: DANNY MURPHY steps up to fire the spot-kick past Shay Given to give Fulham hope of salvaging something from this game.
Fulham get a chance to get back into this game as Gareth Barry is deemed to have handled a Chris Baird cross into the box.
Patrick Vieira clatters into Danny Murphy to halt the Fulham man's progress in the middle of the park but still no bookings in this game.
Fulham launch a ball forward looking for Clint Dempsey but the big forward cannot get a clean connection and Shay Given picks up the loose ball.
Carlos Tevez goes on a run at goal but his path is blocked by Chris Smalling. However the ball runs loose to Adam Johnson who curls a left footed shot just wide of the far post.
Stefano Chuka Okaka fouls Javier Garrido and concedes a free kick. Patrick Vieira plays it in and the ball is cleared.
Fulham win a corner which is whipped in by Simon Davies from the right but Javier Garrido is on the spot to make the clearance for City.
Craig Bellamy goes close for City at the other end but his drive goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Shay Given is called into action in the City goal as Clint Dempsey tries his luck with a long range effort which is fairly comfortable for the Republic of Ireland custodian.
Fulham are having a spell of the ball now as Stefano Chuka Okaka and Clint Dempsey almost combine to put the loan man from Roma through on goal.
Adam Johnson goes so close to grabbing his second goal for City within a week as he cuts inside Paul Konchesky before hitting the outside of the far post with a low left-footed strike from the edge of the box.
Craig Bellamy does well to get past Chris Baird on the left and he squares the ball to Roque Santa Cruz but Chris Smalling does enough to put him off and the subsequent effort is comfortably saved by Mark Schwarzer.
Another change for the Cottagers as Stefano Chuka Okaka gets the chance to spark the hosts into life as he replaces Zoltan Gera.
Roy Hodgson has seen enough and opts to make a change here with Clint Dempsey coming on in place of Bobby Zamora.
Pablo Zabaleta does well to cut out Paul Konchesky's pass for Simon Davies but his attempt to burst forward halted.
Adam Johnson's ball inside is flicked on by Roque Santa Cruz which almost puts Carlos Tevez through on goal but the Argentinian cannot get to it.
Early pressure from Fulham sees Bobby Zamora in a race with Vincent Kompany but the Fulham man commits a foul and City win a free kick.
The second half is up and running and no changes made by either side. Roberto Mancini will hope for more of the same from his players while Roy Hodgson will be hoping his Fulham side can find a second wind.
HALF TIME FULHAM 0-2 MAN CITY: Goals from Roque Santa Cruz and Carlos Tevez have deservedly handed City a two-goal lead against a tired looking Fulham side at Craven Cottage.
City are looking to play out the half with their two-goal cushion intact which has resulted in a quiet few minutes here.
A sign that Fulham are not going to give up here as Dickson Etuhu produces a right-foot shot from just outside the area that goes wide of the target.
City appear happy to knock the ball about between themselves now as Pablo Zabaleta loses patience and knocks a long ball into the Fulham area which is too close to Mark Schwarzer.
Fulham have been leggy throughout this half and that second goal has City in total command of this game. However Fulham did fightback from two-down at Eastlands in October and, after the Juve game, anything is possible.
FULHAM 0-2 MAN CITY: City come forward again and go further in front as Craig Bellamy sets up CARLOS TEVEZ who turns inside Chris Smalling and fires in his 22nd goal of the campaign.
Craig Bellamy looks frustrated here as he was waiting to be played in by Carlos Tevez but the ball is overhit and runs through to Mark Schwarzer.
Damien Duff tries to get going down the flank for Fulham here but again his cross into the centre fails to find a team-mate.
Roberto Mancini will be pleased with how solid his City defence has started this game despite the enforced changes.
City break through Craig Bellamy down the right but Carlos Tevez cannot find him with a return ball and the move breaks down.
A lull in the action is broken by a Patrick Vieira foul on Bobby Zamora. Aaron Hughes takes the direct free kick, but Bobby Zamora finds himself in an offside position.
Paul Konchesky does well here to get the ball back to Mark Schwarzer as Craig Bellamy tries to pick Carlos Tevez out on the City right.
City are on top here and come forward again as Craig Bellamy sets up Carlos Tevez for another effort which Mark Schwarzer gets down well to gather.
The subsequent corner is taken by Craig Bellamy, but Chris Smalling makes a clearance this time.
Danny Murphy brings down Carlos Tevez 35 yards from goal. Craig Bellamy chips the free kick into the area which is knocked behind for a corner by Aaron Hughes.
A great chance for Roque Santa Cruz to make it two but he fires over in the area after a Chris Smalling error sees a cross put in for Pablo Zabaleta to head the ball down into the Paraguayan's path.
Paul Konchesky is sloppy here as he hands City possession with a loose square ball 25 yards out and Carlos Tevez tests Mark Schwarzer
Chris Baird puts in a cross from the right which finds Zoltan Gera but his header is easy for Shay Given to collect.
Fulham win another corner which is taken by Simon Davies. Damien Duff gets on the end of it but his effort is wide of the goal.
Paul Konchesky whips a ball into the centre but City's late inclusion Javier Garrido clears before Bobby Zamora can get on the end of it.
City are straight back on the attack as they look for a quick second but Craig Bellamy's cut-back fails to find a team-mate.
FULHAM 0-1 MAN CITY: City break up the field and take the lead as ROQUE SANTA CRUZ is on hand to fire in the rebound when Craig Bellamy's effort in the area came back off the post.
Fulham win a corner which is taken by Simon Davies but City clear. However Damien Duff plays it back in to Zoltan Gera whose effort is cleared off the line by Vincent Kompany.
The initial corner is cleared but the ball is put straight back in and Roque Santa Cruz's header is easily taken by Mark Schwarzer.
Roque Santa Cruz passes to Carlos Tevez who gets in an effort from 25 yards which Mark Schwarzer has to tip round his post.
City have made the brighter start to the game here as Fulham will no doubt still have some weary legs after their European exertions.
The action is underway at Craven Cottage with Fulham looking to build on thier sensational win against Juventus on Thursday, while City can move to within two points of fourth placed Tottenham with a win.
There is a late change for Manchester City as Joleon Lescott, previously selected at left-back, is withdrawn after being injured in the warm up and replaced by Javier Garrido.
Man City starting XI: Given, Zabaleta, Toure, Kompany, Garrido, Adam Johnson, Vieira, Barry, Bellamy, Tevez, Santa Cruz.
Fulham starting XI: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Smalling, Konchesky, Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Davies, Gera, Zamora.
Vincent Kompany moves into the centre of defence which allows Patrick Vieira to start comes in central midfield and striker Roque Santa Cruz plays in place of Nigel De Jong.
Kolo Toure takes Micah Richards place in defence, with Pablo Zabaleta shifting to right back and Joleon Lescott starting on the left.
City boss Roberto Mancini has recalled winger Adam Johnson to the starting line-up in place of Shaun Wright-Phillips after he came off the bench to score a last-minute equaliser at Sunderland last Sunday.
Chris Smalling replaces Brede Hangeland is replaced in defence by Chris Smalling, while midfielder Danny Murphy is back from suspension in place of Stephen Kelly.
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson makes two changes to the side that pulled off a stunning 4-1 win over Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday for the visit of Manchester City.
Its been a fairly predictable season in the Premier League.
Southend United have gained promotion to League One after a tense penalty shootout again Wycombe Wanderers that ended in 7-6.
Clubs across Europe are rubbing their hands together in glee as Sami Khedira has announced hell be leaving Real Madrid at the end of the season.
With the summer transfer window fast approaching, Liverpool will again have the chance to strengthen their squad.
We love football.
Hull and Newcastle will be fighting for their Premier League lives on Sunday in yet another instalment of relegation drama