Fulham 3 Blackpool 0 FT
FULL TIME: That's it, all over. Man City take full advantage of slips ups this weekend from their Champions League chasing rivals Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham. A stunning performance that was clinically executed.
Sunderland were woeful, at the back and upfront, a toothless display that will seriously worry Steve Bruce. Right, I'm off, thanks for joining me.
90min: We'll have two minutes added on.
88min: On the positive side for Sunderland, they remain points clear of the relegation spots, but their lack of goals must be a real cause for concern at the Stadium of Light.
84min: You know it's really not going to be your day when things like this happen: Inch-perfect cross form out wide finds your man, totally unmarked, seven yards out, dead centre of the goal. and he heads hopelessly wide. Shame on you Elmohamady.
81min: A shot on target for Sunderland! Hang out the bunting, buy some Rola Cola for the kids: it's party time! An incredibly ambitious over head kick plops straight into Hart's hands. Ho, diddly, hum.
78min: Final change for City: David Silva comes off, replaced by Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Over the line: Vieira scores with his first touch of the game - despite Mignolet's best efforts
76min: Sunderland look like they want to go home now. I don't blame them, either. This has been a right thumping.
73min: GOAL! Man City 5 Sunderland 0 (Yaya Toure)
Absolute nonsense from Cattermole out on the wing, he hooks the ball int towards hi own area, right into Toure's path who clips the ball over Mignolet to make it five.
70min: Substitution for City: Dedryck Boyata is hooked for Ryan McGiven to make his debut.
67min: GOAL! Man City 4 Sunderland 0 (Patrick Vieira)
What a substitution! The veteran midfielder gets a streaky touch onto the ball - his first of the game - at a corner and the ball just about trickles over the line, despite Mignolet's best effort to keep it out.
66min: Substitution for City: Adam Johnson is replaced by Patrick Vieira.
63min: GOAL! man City 3 Sunderland 0 (David Silva)
Game over. Tevez picks up on Toure's lofted pass, one-on-one in the box, he rolls the ball to Balotelli, whose shot is blocked but Silva arrives right on cue to stab the ball home.
Four score: Silva picks up on a lose ball in the box to add to Sunderland's woes
59min: Substitution for Sunderland: Bolo Zenden replaces Jordan Henderson.
57min: Handball!! The massed ranks of Black Cats supporters scream their fury at the ref who waves away a penalty shout. But I fancy the official got that one right. Sessegnon's cross was blocked by Kompany, but the ball seemed to strike the defender's chest, not his arm.
52min: Ah, now this is more like it: Some super link-up play on the edge of the box between Silva and Tevez has Sunderland in thrall. The Argentine dinks an exquisite ball over the defence which Johnson races onto but Mignolet saves with his legs.
50min: Scrappy, scrappy, scrappy. Both sides are hell-bent on working it down the flanks, but neither can get any quality into the box. Ho, hum.
46min: Ouch! Toure writhes in agony on the floor after Gyan's efforts to nick the ball ended in him planting his studded boot on top of the City midfielder's boot.
SECOND HALF: Right, here we go, then. The players are back out, City are unchanged, Sunderland have swapped Phil Bardsley for Ahmed Elmohamady.
Spot on: Tevez wheels away following his penalty strike which only just made it home
HALF TIME: Man City 2 Sunderland 0
City came flying out of the traps and gave Sunderland a real working over at the start of that half. But the Black Cats weathered the storm towards the end and will think they have a glimmer of a chance of taking something from this in the second half. More in a bit.
45min: Just one added minute.
43min: Not much of this first half remaining, but Sunderland are certainly not out this game, not by any stretch.
40min: A bibbly-bobbly backpass heads in Mignolet's direction, the crowd up the tempo (whoooooaaaaaa) as he takes a touch which completely baffles Balotelli who had chased him down.
38min: Close! Hart is clearly troubled by Gyan's half-volley which zooms past his left-hand upright from about 25 yards out. Great strike.
36min: YELLOW CARD - Aleksandar Kolarov arrives late on the challenge with Sessegnon, whipping his ankles away from underneath him. Not a very clever challenge and so he's cautioned.
Let's all do the Poznan: The City fans perform their ritual celebration following Tevez's penalty
34min: So this is the scrappy bit of the game, then.
30min: YELLOW CARD - John Mensah goes in the book following a fair challenge on Tevez. I despair.
29min: Maybe those Ghanaians who booed Welbeck onto the field the other night will be pleased he didn't choose to play for the country of his parent's birth. A rather embarrassing air-shot from the loan striker when positioned nicely inside the area is one he'll want to forget.
26min: Not a wonderful passage of play for the referee Howard Webb: First up he is totally sold by Tevez's dive after the merest of contact from Mensah. then he fails to spot Michael Turner stop the ball and then scoop it out of Balotelli's path as the Italian attempted to burst in on goal. Luckily, the assistant saw the second offence.
23min: Hart makes a has of a punched clearance, up t'other end, Kolarov thwacks a low drive from a tight angle goalwards which Mignolet does well to hold on to.
21min: On this day last season, City were beating Burnley 5-0 at half-time - I wouldn't be surprised if we had the same score today, Sunderland have been woeful .
Goal! Johnson hammers home the first of the afternoon
18min: Cripes, it really should be 3-0. City ping the passes into feet down the right and Toure rolls the ball into Tevez who is totally unmarked near the penalty spot. But the diminutive Argentine dallies which allows tuner time to close him down and block the shot.
15min: GOAL! Man City 2 Sunderland 0 (Carlos Tevez)
Tevez just manages to roll the ball home, Mignolet dives to his left and almost keeps it out.
14min: PENALTY TO MAN CITY!
Referee Webb points to the spot as Bardlsey clatters into Tevez just inside the area. Definite pen, the Argentine stands over it.
12min: A first foray into the City half from Sunderland - Cattermole skips forward and pumps a ball into the general direction of Gyan on the edge of the D but Kompany nicks in to head clear.
9min: Manchester City 1 Sunderland 0 (Adam Johnson)
Wonderful link-up play down the left between Yaya Toure and Johnson down the right wing, neat one-twos move the ball into the box. Toure rolls the ball into Sunderland-born Johnson who thumps low past Mignolet.
Good to be back! Johnson wheels away after opening the scoring
6min: Half a chance for Balotelli as City work the ball down the left through David Silva, Michale Turner steps up to block the thunderous drive from the edge of the box.
4min: A rather tepid start to the game, an eerie silence around this ground, broken only by the occasional chant from the home fans. Balotelli's had a couple of touches, but is ye to do anything ridiculous/outrageous just yet.
KICK OFF: Here we go, Sunderland get us off and running.
15.55pm: Teams and players on the way out. action for you shortly.
15.50pm: The corresponding fixture last season arguably did for ex-boss Mark Hughes and while the same cannot be said for Roberto Mancini today, you fancy the Italian will get very twitchy during the run in of they don't take all three points today.
15.42pm: Right, kick off is approaching at Eastlands, so let's get the team news: Carlos Tevez returns to Manchester City's starting line-up after missing the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea a fortnight ago due to a groin problem and is joined in the City attack by Mario Balotelli, with Edin Dzeko dropping to the bench.
Gareth Barry and James Milner are also demoted as Sunderland-born midfielder Adam Johnson is handed a first start since sustaining an ankle injury in January.
For Sunderland, Michael Turner - out since injuring his knee in November - returns to a defence which is missing Titus Bramble, who could be out for the remainder of the season with cartilage damage, while Lee Cattermole replaces hamstring injury victim Kieran Richardson in midfield.
FULL TIME: Fulham 3 Blackpool 0
Mark Hughes' side eases to a most comfortable of victories to move up into 10th place and, more importantly, six points clear of the drop zone.
Same old story for Blackpool who looked very easy on the eye but the weaknesses at the back proved costly.
Man City v Sunderland - teamsMan City: Hart, Boyata, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Toure Yaya, De Jong, Silva, Adam Johnson, Tevez, Balotelli. Subs: Taylor, Milner, Wright-Phillips, Dzeko, Barry, Vieira, McGivern.
Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Turner, Mensah, Ferdinand, Cattermole, Henderson, Muntari, Sessegnon, Gyan, Welbeck. Subs: Gordon, Zenden, Malbranque, Colback, Elmohamady, Adams, Lynch.
Referee: Howard Webb
92min: YELLOW CARD - Hangeland goes in the book for a late lunge and Gary Taylor-Fletcher skews the ball wide from a couple of yards out with the goal gaping,. Nope, it's not Blackpool's day today.
90min: We'll have four minutes added on.
89min: Not long now, the day's work is almost done for Fulham who will be boosted by the three points, but you have to worry about Blackpool's Premier League safety, they're so bad at the back. And well done to the traveling fans who are making a right din at the death of this game.
85min: Clash of heads out in the middle between Kornilenko and Hughes calls a halt to play . and a comedian in the crowd decides this is the time to run down the stands and dance for a bit, dressed as the Michael Jackson from Bo' Selecta. Funny.
81min: Final Fulham substitution: Damien Duff is replaced by Simon Davies.
80min: Credit to Blackpool who continue to move the ball about with a real fluidity, but they aren't creating anything that could be described as troubling the Schwarzer.
76min: Substitution for Fulham, skipper Danny Murphy is replaced by Steve Sidwell.
Three and easy: Etuhu seals the win after tapping home from a couple of yards out
72min: GOAL! Fulham 3 Blackpool 0 (Dickson Etuhu)
Game over. Murphy's lofted free kick is met by Dempsey whose header rattles of the bar, the ball is squared by Hangeland and Etuhu has the simplest of finishes from two yards out.
69min: The changes almost pay instant dividends as Adam finds Puncheon but his attempted left foot curler is directed straight at the keeper.
68min: Yep, three changes: OFF = Grandin, Ormerod Beattie ON = Kornilenko, Puncheon and Varney.
66min: Just when I was about to urge Holloway to stick with his current system, we hear that he is planning to make a triple change in a couple of moments. A rather tepid segment of the game, not a great deal going on, I'm afraid.
64min: Hooooraaaaay! The Blackpool fans' mock celebration heralds a) the ref awarding them a free kick and b) brandishing a yellow card at Murphy for persistent offending.
61min: First change for Fulham, the home fans rise in unison to applaud Zamora off the pitch - he's replaced by Andy Johnson.
Futile: Beattie's effort have come without any reward this afternoon
58min: Moments after an 'ole' moment that delighted the home fan, a turn of Johann Cruyff-like proportions, Brede Hangeland fails to deal with a an lofted pass - he directs it into Beattie's path. The loan striker angling in towards goal, holding off a strong challenge from Salcido and smacks the ball flush onto the post.
54min: More anger pours forth from the small cluster of Blackpool fans in the away end. This time they're annoyed at the ref for not awarding them a free kick when it seemed Murphy had upended Adam on the edge of the box.
53min: 'Handbaaaaaaaal' screams an irate Tangerines fan who, it would seem, is placed somewhere near a pitch-side atmosphere mic. And I think he might have a point. Adam's thumps a low free kick into the box, it bounces up and hits Hughes on the hand. Ref says nowt doing.
47min: Adam swings a dangerous cross into the box but Schwarzer stands his ground and collects the ball as the Blackpool attackers closed in.
SECOND HALF: No changes to either side, and we're back up and running.
HALF TIME: Fulham 2 Blackpool 0
Peeeeeeeeep! The ref calls time on the first half. The Fulham fans will be very pleased Zamora started his first game since that shocking ankle break seven months ago - he's been stunning in the first 45 minutes. More in a bit.
Brace yourself: Zamora zooms off to greet his team-mates after nodding home his second
45min: We'll have one minute added on.
44min: Ooooh! Blackpool nearly strike right at the end of the half: Vaughan curls a beautiful effort an inch or two wide of Schwarzer's right-hand post.
42min: Off the line! My word, Schwarzer is a lucky boy: he came flying off his line, attempting to punch a lofted ball into the box clear, but Ormerod beats him to it. Only some great work from Baird, who nods of the line, stops the ball looping up and into the vacant net.
39min: Penalty? Duff hits the deck in the box after seemingly being upended by Adam. The Ireland international looks furious and barks a few words in the assistant's direction. But replays show the challenge was perfectly fair and the Blackpool skipper nicked the ball cleanly off his toe.
36min: Beattie manages to latch onto a cross from the left, but directs his header wide of Schwarzer's left-hand upright.
34min: Blackpool are starting to edge their way into this game now. they're dominating the possession, but are being restricted to speculative efforts from distance.
On the beat: Bobby fires home his first of the afternoon
30min: Yes, I will be checking Zamora's language if he scores a hat-trick today!
28min: GOAL! Fulham 2 Blackpool 0 (Bobby Zamora)
He's done it again! Duff swings in the cross and there's Zamora to flick the header from bear to the penalty spot into the far corner of the net. Far too easy.
27min: Duff twists and turns on the right-hand touchline, down by the corner flag and is chooped down. Duff stands over the ball, ready to swing the ball into the box.
23min: GOAL! Fulham 1 Blackpool 0 (Bobby Zamora)
Stunning goal! Zamora latches onto a lofted pass and gallops head long into the Blackpool defence, neither centre back makes an attempt to stop him and he fires a meaty thwack from the edge of the area into the top right hand corner. Kingson had no chance, Bobby's definitely back!
21min: It's certainly Fulham who are hitting their straps early in the game. Kingson's just had to deal (twice) with a drive from the edge of the box and Duff's shot was blocked as he cut in from the right-hand touchline.
19min: More nonchalant football from Kingson who steps inside a Fulham challenge inside the box again. I'm sure Ian Holloway will have a few words to say about that at half-time.
Murphy's law: The Fulham midfielder cuts out a Blackpool attack
16min: Off the post! Beautiful football from Fulham: Zamora controls Salcido's cross in the box, nodding down to Etuhu who rolls it into Duff, his instant shot was palmed onto the post by Kingson and eventually cleared.
14min: Richard Kingson races out his box to collect the ball, but there Zamora, surely he'll nick the ball off his toes? Nope the Ghanaian drops his shoulder and skips away from the Fulham striker with ease. Tidy!
11min: Some delightful passing in the midfield moves Blackpool sweeping upfield, the ball rolls into Adam's feet but his shot is always on the rise.
8min: YELLOW CARD - Charlie Adam, fresh from his recent ban, is the first man to go into the book after grappling Zamora to the ground. Fulham swing the free kick in from 25-yards out but a Blackpool defender heads clear.
6min: Beattie looks to latch onto Adam's dink towards the Fulham box, but Hughes scoots across to head clear.
4min: Lively opening from the hosts who have dominated possession through the early exchanges. Dembele robs Baptiste down by the corner flag and his cross is blocked, Fulham win the first corner of the games which amounts to nowt.
KICK OFF: Here we go, Blackpool in their famous tangerine kits get us underway, kicking towards the Hammersmith End.
Wacko: The statue of Jackson has left many Fulham fans speechless
1.25pm: Right, teams and players are on their way out, we will have some footie for you in a moment. Super!
1.20pm: My God, that statue. Al-Fayed has said any fans who don't like the statue can 'go to hell . or go and support Chelsea.' fancy this could come back to haunt him.
1.17pm: Time for some team news, then: Bobby Zamora has overcome illness to start for Fulham, the 30-year-old striker had been a doubt but is fit to play for the Cottagers, who also have Steve Sidwell on the bench after recovering from the knee injury which has ruled him out since February.Blackpool manager Ian Holloway, meanwhile, makes two changes to the side that drew 2-2 at Blackburn a fortnight ago, with James Beattie and Brett Ormerod replacing Luke Varney and Jason Puncheon in the starting line-up.
1.12pm: Have I mentioned that the Michael Jackson statue is bloody horror show. An absolute blight on a famous old football ground.
Mr Fayed should have a serious think about lifting it out of its foundations and dumping it into the Thames. Sorry, I said I wouldn't mention it again. it's just ridiculous.
1.08pm: So, what are we expecting today? A relegation thriller or a rather sedate early Sunday afternoon game of footer? Both manager's commitment to remaining in the top flight would suggest these two teams will be going all out for the three points. Which is good.
However, Blackpool are hovering above the relegation places by just one point, Fulham sit a further two points up on safety - it's a precarious life down at the bottom this season and you wouldn't blame either side for acting with a little caution.
Fulham v Blackpool - teams Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido, Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Dempsey, Zamora, Dembele. Subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Sidwell, Johnson, Gudjohnsen, Kakuta, Davies.
Blackpool: Kingson, Baptiste, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey, Grandin, Adam, Vaughan, Ormerod, Beattie, Taylor-Fletcher. Subs:Rachubka, Southern, Eardley, Varney, Kornilenko, Puncheon, Reid.
Referee: Stuart Attwell
1pm: Afternoon everyone and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League clashes between Fulham and Blackpool, Manchester City and Sunderland.
You may have heard that Fulham owner Mohamed Al-Fayed had planned to unveil a statute of his old pal and (tenuous) Whites fan Michael Jackson at the ground today.
Some of you may have thought this was some kind of belated April Fool's gag. Unfortunately not. Fayed revealed the huge memorial to the now deceased pop star earlier this afternoon.
I'll cut to the chase - it's bloody awful. You can read more on the unveiling and subsequent reaction here. Fortunately, we can concentrate on footballing issues from here on it.
We're on the banks of the River Thames for today's opening clash between Fulham and Blackpool, two sides who have the pall of relegation hanging around them as they lurk precariously above the drop zone. Three points would lift either side away from danger. for now.
Team news and all that jazz on the way presently and my email address, should you feel the urge to share your thoughts with the world on today's action, is thus: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bad: Mohamed Al-Fayed unveils the statue of Michael Jackson at Craven Cottage earlier this afternoon
That's bad! Fulham fans mad at 'bizarre' Jacko statue at Craven Cottage From Wembley to war: Lee Crooks on his journey from professional footballer to the RAFManchester City to fight Ireland's ?1.5m claim for pay-offAston Villa and Sunderland join Chelsea in the hunt for De BruyneAston Villa planning ?12m summer swoop for Blackpool skipper Adam
Explore more:People: Mark Hughes, David Silva, Gareth Barry, Mario Balotelli, Stuart Attwell, Michael Turner, Luke Varney, Brede Hangeland, James Beattie, Adam Johnson, Lee Cattermole, James Milner, Roberto Mancini, Ian Holloway, Edin Dzeko, Danny Murphy, Damien Duff, Simon Davies, Carlos Tevez, Bobby Zamora, Titus Bramble, Michael Jackson, Charlie Adam, Patrick Vieira, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Steve Bruce Places: Manchester, Ireland