skip to content
The referee blows for offside against Mario Balotelli. Mark Schwarzer takes the indirect free kick.
Chris Baird challenges Pablo Zabaleta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gareth Barry restarts play with the free kick.
Mario Balotelli has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Damien Duff by Pablo Zabaleta. Indirect free kick taken by Chris Baird.
Unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey by Carlos Tevez results in a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
Jerome Boateng takes a shot from 35 yards and missed to the right of the goal.
The referee shows Danny Murphy a yellow card. Free kick awarded for a foul by Danny Murphy on Carlos Tevez. Free kick crossed right-footed by Mario Balotelli, Eidur Gudjohnsen makes a clearance.
Moussa Dembele takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart. Danny Murphy fouled by Patrick Vieira, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy. The assistant referee flags for offside against Damien Duff. Pablo Zabaleta restarts play with the free kick.
Damien Duff sends in a cross, Headed effort on goal by Clint Dempsey from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.
Shot on goal by Carlos Tevez from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
Andrew Johnson leaves the field to be replaced by Eidur Gudjohnsen.
James Milner comes on in place of Aleksandar Kolarov.
Damien Duff sends in a cross, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Moussa Dembele misses to the left of the goal.
Gareth Barry gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Damien Duff. Damien Duff delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, clearance by Aleksandar Kolarov.
Mario Balotelli is shown a yellow card. Free kick awarded for a foul by Mario Balotelli on Damien Duff. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.
Corner taken by Mario Balotelli played to the near post, Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mario Balotelli, save by Mark Schwarzer.
Aleksandar Kolarov takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer. Aleksandar Kolarov takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Danny Murphy.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mario Balotelli from the left by-line to the near post, Chris Baird manages to make a clearance.
Centre by Carlos Tevez, Damien Duff manages to make a clearance. Corner taken right-footed by Mario Balotelli from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Moussa Dembele.
Kolo Toure challenges Clint Dempsey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Murphy delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel.
Dickson Etuhu fouled by Kolo Toure, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
Unfair challenge on Moussa Dembele by Jerome Boateng results in a free kick. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer. Aleksandar Kolarov takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Moussa Dembele makes a clearance.
Patrick Vieira is brought on as a substitute for Edin Dzeko. Pablo Zabaleta has an effort at goal from a long way out that misses to the right of the target.
The ball is swung over by Joe Hart, save by Mark Schwarzer.
Unfair challenge on Damien Duff by Aleksandar Kolarov results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy. Moussa Dembele produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
Aleksandar Kolarov challenges Damien Duff unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy. Moussa Dembele has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Shot from inside the six-yard box by Mario Balotelli goes wide right of the target.
Foul by Brede Hangeland on Mario Balotelli, free kick awarded. Carlos Tevez produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joleon Lescott by Danny Murphy. Direct free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.
A cross is delivered by Pablo Zabaleta, Headed effort from inside the area by Mario Balotelli misses to the left of the target.
Andrew Johnson takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
Unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by Danny Murphy results in a free kick. Gareth Barry takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Clint Dempsey on Gnegneri Toure Yaya. Direct free kick taken by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.
A goal is scored by Damien Duff from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 1-1 Fulham.Assist on the goal came from Andrew Johnson.
Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Damien Duff.
Centre by Carlos Salcido, Aleksandar Kolarov manages to make a clearance.
Aleksandar Kolarov takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Aaron Hughes.
Moussa Dembele delivers the ball, clearance by Gareth Barry.
Damien Duff gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gareth Barry. Joleon Lescott restarts play with the free kick.
Gnegneri Toure Yaya gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey. Free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
Clint Dempsey fouled by Gareth Barry, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick. Moussa Dembele takes a shot. Mario Balotelli gets a block in.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mario Balotelli on Aaron Hughes. Chris Baird takes the direct free kick.
Gnegneri Toure Yaya concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Murphy. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
Andrew Johnson is given a yellow card. Andrew Johnson challenges Gnegneri Toure Yaya unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the free kick.
Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.
Brede Hangeland concedes a free kick for a foul on Mario Balotelli. Pablo Zabaleta takes the direct free kick.
Mario Balotelli fouled by Dickson Etuhu, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
Centre by Damien Duff, clearance by Joleon Lescott. Mario Balotelli challenges Moussa Dembele unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
Edin Dzeko gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Brede Hangeland. Brede Hangeland takes the direct free kick.
Clint Dempsey fouled by Jerome Boateng, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel.
Aleksandar Kolarov produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Mario Balotelli fires in a goal from outside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 1-0 Fulham.Assist on the goal came from Carlos Tevez.
Moussa Dembele takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
Shot by Danny Murphy from outside the box goes over the net.
Carlos Salcido crosses the ball. The ball is crossed by Damien Duff.
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov, Mario Balotelli produces a volleyed right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Carlos Salcido concedes a free kick for a foul on Jerome Boateng. Aleksandar Kolarov crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Carlos Salcido makes a clearance.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Mario Balotelli. Indirect free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
Carlos Salcido gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta. Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the free kick.
The ball is delivered by Jerome Boateng, Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.
Carlos Salcido crosses the ball, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.
Clint Dempsey produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.
The ball is sent over by Chris Baird, Joe Hart makes a save.
The ball is crossed by Chris Baird, clearance made by Kolo Toure.
Aleksandar Kolarov takes the outswinging corner, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Mario Balotelli misses to the right of the target.
Dickson Etuhu challenges Pablo Zabaleta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Pablo Zabaleta takes the direct free kick.
Aleksandar Kolarov sends in a cross, Carlos Salcido manages to make a clearance.
Jerome Boateng delivers the ball, save by Mark Schwarzer.
Mario Balotelli crosses the ball, clearance made by Clint Dempsey.
Lescott: We don`t want sympathy over schedule
Joleon Lescott insists Manchester City's players are not looking for sympathy despite being faced with an exhausting schedule that is putting their dreams of a long-awaited trophy at risk.
Already committed to two games a week until the next international break at the end of March, City's problems will become even more acute should they draw Wednesday's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Aston Villa.
The replay would be wedged in between a Saturday tea-time Premier League encounter with Wigan and a 4,500km round-trip to the Ukraine for a Europa League last-16 encounter with Dynamo Kiev.
Manager Roberto Mancini has reacted angrily to the prospect of such a schedule, claiming the football authorities are treating players "like machines".
However, Lescott - who is preparing for Sunday`s Barclays Premier League clash at home to Fulham - is more circumspect.
The defender is more accustomed to the demands placed upon English stars than Mancini. And he accepts a backlog of games is the price to be paid for success.
"We are not looking for any sympathy," he said. "We want to play in these games.
"We want to win every game in every competition. We recognise that is not going to happen but we still have to try.
"Of course it is possible to keep pushing for the top four and win trophies. Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal do that every year and we don't look at ourselves as any different to those clubs.
"We know it is going to be tough. But if you are at the top or going to be one of the best, you will reach semi-finals and quarter-finals of competitions, which just means more games.
"It is going to be a long season but that is how we want it."
It has also to be noted that Mancini is not entirely blameless for his club's predicament.
Had they beaten lower league opposition in Leicester and Notts County at the first attempt, two extra FA Cup fixtures would have been avoided and the Villa tie could have taken place last weekend as scheduled.
In addition, it was Mancini's decision to reduce the numbers in his squad last month by allowing Roque Santa Cruz and Wayne Bridge to leave on loan, moves that have backfired given a growing injury list that could rule a host of players out of Sunday's encounter with the Cottagers.
Vincent Kompany (hip) is a major doubt while Micah Richards (calf), James Milner (hamstring), Nigel de Jong and Adam Johnson (both ankle) are all expected to miss out.
For Lescott, the clash has particular significance as it marks the first return to Eastlands of the man who brought him to City.
Mark Hughes spent #22million luring the 28-year-old from Everton in 2009, instantly anointing him as potentially the best central defender in England.
"It will be strange to be up against Mark Hughes," admitted Lescott.
"He brought me to the club and I owe him a lot.
"But there will be no friends when the whistle blows. I will pay him my respects after the game."
Fulham striker Bobby Zamora, who only last weekend returned from five months out with a broken leg, is a doubt having gone over on his ankle in training on Friday morning.
Midfielder Steve Sidwell has been ruled out for four weeks after damaging knee ligaments, while Philippe Senderos and Diomansy Kamara will also miss Sunday's match with back problems.
Fulham boss Hughes admits his players must make amends for their 4-1 thrashing by City earlier in the season to prevent this week's trip to Portugal being branded "a jolly".
Hughes took his side on a four-day mid-season training camp in a bid to kickstart a late surge up the Premier League table.
The trip was also designed as a bonding exercise and players were allowed to play golf and go fishing when they were not working.
Hughes is confident the camp will ultimately pay dividends but knows another heavy defeat against his former club on Sunday will raise questions about its value.
"You go for a break and the reasons for doing it are correct," he said.
"But if you get beaten then people think you've been on a jolly. That's always the danger.
"We are hoping to get the right reactions.
"It was good for the guys to get together.
"They have never been taken away and, as a consequence, they really enjoyed it."
Regarding his first visit to Eastlands since he was sacked as Blues boss just over a year ago, Hughes said: "I know I can walk through the doors with my head held high and look everyone in the eye, because of the job I did there.
"Whether or not that can be said of some people there, that is for you to decide."
Hughes the happier after draw
Mark Hughes gained sweet revenge for his dismissal as Manchester City manager 14 months ago by virtually ending their Premier League title challenge as Fulham claimed a point in a 1-1 draw.
Damien Duff's leveller just after half-time was enough to deny the Blues victory, leaving them 10 points adrift of leaders Manchester United, having played a game more.
And ill-feeling between Blues' bosses past and present erupted with an angry exchange at the final whistle, when Roberto Mancini did not appear to look at his predecessor at the post-match handshake, leading to Hughes pulling his hand away in disgust.
Mancini has far more to worry about.
If Tottenham and Chelsea win their games in hand, City will find themselves outside the top four.
And, having complained so often about the huge number of fixtures his team are having to play, Mancini must be concerned about how meekly they faded once the Cottagers had levelled Mario Balotelli's ninth goal of the season.
Having let a number of squad men leave on loan, Mancini now finds injury robbing him of others and far better will be required on Wednesday if City are to dispose of Aston Villa to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Fulham headed north boasting a proud record of just one defeat in their last seven league encounters at City.
The most famous, a 3-2 win three seasons ago after the Blues had taken a two-goal lead, saved them from the drop.
These days, City are a far stronger outfit, as Fulham boss Mark Hughes could testify given he was sacked 14 months ago because owner Sheikh Mansour felt the Welshman had fallen marginally short of the exacting standards he was set.
Hughes' successor Roberto Mancini is doing better, although he has spent another huge pot of money to achieve it.
Yet, with David Silva missing due to an ankle problem and City in the middle of what could turn into 15 matches in seven weeks, the hosts were a lacklustre during the opening stages.
Balotelli went close on a couple of occasions but so did Fulham, whose skipper Danny Murphy watched his rising drive fly over midway through the half.
With the atmosphere flat as well, City needed something to raise them.
For once, Carlos Tevez, sporting a tight perm, was outdone, both in the fashion stakes and who should score.
Balotelli's 'Mr T-style' dyed blonde hair was fairly distinctive. His goal was better.
Exchanging a couple of short passes with Tevez, the Italy striker was given too much room by Murphy and promptly despatched an excellent shot past Mark Schwarzer.
Had Aleksandar Kolarov showed even a small amount of awareness when he streaked into the box minutes later, City would have had a second.
Instead, the Serbian ignored a posse of expectant team-mates, smashing a shot into the side-netting from an impossible angle.
Fulham kept battling, although there was rather too much aggression from Clint Dempsey, who after engaging in bad-tempered exchanges with Gareth Barry, Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta, was summoned by referee Peter Walton to receive a lecture from Murphy.
But Dempsey's attitude belied a fierce Fulham determination. And within two minutes of the restart they were level.
The execution was simplicity itself.
Brede Hangeland sent Andrew Johnson flying down the right wing.
The former Everton star galloped on a few paces before drilling a cross low into the area, which Duff arrived with perfect timing to tuck home from close range.
As City's response was limited to a Balotelli mis-kick after Zabaleta had taken advantage of Hangeland's slip to pull a cross back to the near post and holes were appearing with alarming regularity in the hosts' midfield, Edin Dzeko was sacrificed as Mancini abandoned his three-man attack.
The extra solidity Patrick Vieira brought to midfield nearly paid dividends too as Balotelli lifted a pass over the Fulham defence to release Tevez.
Mark Schwarzer got his angles right though, pushing the South American's effort just wide.
The veteran Australian needed every inch of his massive frame to touch a dipping Kolarov effort over as City began to build up some momentum, although as it turned out, Fulham looked more plausible winners in the latter stages.
Dempsey and Dembele both went close as Duff terrorised the City defence from his right flank station.
Balotelli suffered the ire of his own supporters when he blazed over two minutes' from time, which proved to be City's last chance.
"Who will win the PL title this season - 2013/14?"
© 2004 - 2014 football.co.uk