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  • Murphy (75 pen)
  • Santa Cruz (7), Tevez (36)
  • Date:2010-03-21
  • Kick-off:15:00
  • Venue:Craven Cottage
  • Attendance:25359
  • Referee:Probert, L

Live Commentary

90mins

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.

90mins

Roberto Mancini runs down the clock further as he replaces Craig Bellamy with Nedum Onuoha.

90mins

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.

90mins

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.

90mins

There will be four minutes of injury time as Shaun Wright-Phillips fires wide from the left side of the area.

89mins

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.

87mins

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.

84mins

Roberto Mancini opts to bring on some fresh legs in attack Shaun Wright-Phillips replaces Adam Johnson on the wing.

82mins

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.

80mins

Roy Hodgson also makes his final change in search of an equaliser with Bjorn Helge Riise replacing Chris Baird.

79mins

Roque Santa Cruz has been forced off after going down with cramp a moment ago and Nigel De Jong comes on to replace him.

77mins

Simon Davies whips a dangerous ball right across the City area before Javier Garrido manages to clear for the visitors.

76mins

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.

75mins

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.

74mins

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.

72mins

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.

70mins

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.

69mins

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.

68mins

Stefano Chuka Okaka fouls Javier Garrido and concedes a free kick. Patrick Vieira plays it in and the ball is cleared.

67mins

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.

65mins

Craig Bellamy goes close for City at the other end but his drive goes wide of the left-hand upright.

62mins

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.

60mins

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.

58mins

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.

57mins

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.

55mins

Another change for the Cottagers as Stefano Chuka Okaka gets the chance to spark the hosts into life as he replaces Zoltan Gera.

52mins

Roy Hodgson has seen enough and opts to make a change here with Clint Dempsey coming on in place of Bobby Zamora.

50mins

Pablo Zabaleta does well to cut out Paul Konchesky's pass for Simon Davies but his attempt to burst forward halted.

49mins

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.

47mins

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.

46mins

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.

45mins

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.

44mins

City are looking to play out the half with their two-goal cushion intact which has resulted in a quiet few minutes here.

42mins

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.

40mins

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.

38mins

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.

36mins

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.

34mins

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.

32mins

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.

31mins

Roberto Mancini will be pleased with how solid his City defence has started this game despite the enforced changes.

29mins

City break through Craig Bellamy down the right but Carlos Tevez cannot find him with a return ball and the move breaks down.

28mins

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.

25mins

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.

23mins

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.

21mins

The subsequent corner is taken by Craig Bellamy, but Chris Smalling makes a clearance this time.

20mins

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.

18mins

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.

16mins

Paul Konchesky is sloppy here as he hands City possession with a loose square ball 25 yards out and Carlos Tevez tests Mark Schwarzer

14mins

Chris Baird puts in a cross from the right which finds Zoltan Gera but his header is easy for Shay Given to collect.

11mins

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.

10mins

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.

8mins

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.

7mins

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.

6mins

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.

4mins

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.

3mins

Roque Santa Cruz passes to Carlos Tevez who gets in an effort from 25 yards which Mark Schwarzer has to tip round his post.

2mins

City have made the brighter start to the game here as Fulham will no doubt still have some weary legs after their European exertions.

0mins

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.

0mins

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.

0mins

Man City starting XI: Given, Zabaleta, Toure, Kompany, Garrido, Adam Johnson, Vieira, Barry, Bellamy, Tevez, Santa Cruz.

0mins

Fulham starting XI: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Smalling, Konchesky, Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Davies, Gera, Zamora.

0mins

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.

0mins

Kolo Toure takes Micah Richards place in defence, with Pablo Zabaleta shifting to right back and Joleon Lescott starting on the left.

0mins

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.

0mins

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.

0mins

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.

Match Preview

Fatigue could be Fulham's biggest problem as they attempt to halt Manchester City's push to secure a place in next season's Champions League.

The Cottagers have played Juventus twice in the last week, with a Premier League game at Manchester United in between, while an FA Cup sixth round replay at Tottenham is also on the horizon.

There have been signs recently that Roy Hodgson's side are starting to suffer from tiredness as a hectic schedule begins to catch up with them.

Their season began in July with a Europa League game at FK Vetra and Sunday's encounter will be their 51st of the campaign.

They remain difficult to beat at Craven Cottage though where they have won nine of their 14 Premier League matches but they could be without the services of Brede Hangeland (chest), Andrew Johnson (knee) and John Paintsil (cruciate ligament), who are all expected to miss the visit of Roberto Mancini's team to the capital.

City, without ever really looking majestic under their Italian coach, remain well placed to clinch the much-coveted fourth spot with an unlikely 4-2 victory at Chelsea and last-gasp equaliser at Sunderland keeping them on track.

Since last month's surprising 2-1 defeat at Hull City, Mancini's team have put together a five-match unbeaten sequence in the league and they go into this weekend's fixtures sixth in the table, only two points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham and with a game in hand.

Wayne Bridge and Martin Petrov (both knee) are both out of the the game while Michael Johnson will play no more football this season because of his own knee problem.


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Match Report

Another fine individual performance from Carlos Tevez helped Manchester City maintain their Champions League challenge and move up to fifth in the Premier League table following a 2-1 win at Fulham.

The Argentinian was instrumental in creating Roque Santa Cruz's opener and he added the second himself with a wonderfully taken goal to give his side a two goal advantage at half-time.

Danny Murphy gave Fulham hope from the penalty spot 15 minutes from time but the visitors fully deserved their win.

There is no doubt now that City are favourites to take the final slot available for a place in Europe's premier competition next season - they sit fifth, two points behind Tottenham but with a game in hand.

Tevez served notice of his mood just two minutes into the game after rasping a 30-yard drive that brought an athletic diving save from Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Just seconds after Zoltan Gera's close-range effort for the hosts was cleared off the line by Kolo Toure, Tevez initiated a counter-attack that ended with the ball in the back of Fulham's next.

Wriggling into space, the Argentinian played the ball into the feet of Craig Bellamy, who ran towards goal and fired a right footed shot.

A deflection off Fulham defender Aaron Hughes sent the ball onto the post, evading goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer as it fell for Santa Cruz to tap home just his third Premier League goal of the season.

In the 36th minute, Tevez doubled the advantage superbly after finishing a flowing passing exchange with Bellamy by cutting inside Manchester United-bound Chris Smalling and turning the ball past Schwarzer with aplomb for his 22nd of the season.

After the break, Santa Cruz forced Schwarzer into a smart save before winger Adam Johnson cut in from the right and saw his fierce striker graze the outside of the post.

Roy Hodgson's side, having created very little of note, were all of a sudden back in the 75th minute when Gareth Barry clearly handled Chris Baird's cross and referee Lee Probert awarded a penalty which Murphy converted.

Fulham substitute Stefano Okaka could have levelled but he could only sweep his shot into the side-netting.

The home crowd roared for another penalty after Vincent Kompany appeared to handle in added time but the appeals were waved away.

The visiting fans sighed with relief but their side's top four challenge continues to gather pace.

Fulham

Manchester City

Corners

42

Fouls

813

Goal attempts

714

Shots off target

55

Offsides

51

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