Football: Brown provides fiery tonic
Manchester City 3 Goater 24, Taylor 32, Horlock 54 Fulham 0 Half- time: 2-0 Attendance: 30,251
Sunday 17 January 1999
Fulham, not exactly fresh from their midweek victory over Southampton, betrayed the first warning signs that their FA Cup adventures could yet prove a distraction from the main business in hand. After an early flurry, during which the persistent Barry Hayles had a shot saved and Chris Coleman put a header over the bar, Fulham were hardly sighted again until their substitute Paul Peschisolido almost scored with a header in the last minute.
In between, City were resoundingly in command. It was almost as if their ability to get on the wrong side of the referee fired them up, nobody more so than Michael Brown. The midfielder was the first of five home players booked and was then spoken to twice after that. When Brown decided that he had better stay on the pitch, however, he gave the sort of industrious and influential display that the Maine Road faithful hoped to see regularly when he first broke into the first team.
It was Brown's pass to Lee Crooks that started the move for the first goal, Crooks' cross finding the head of Shaun Goater for the Bermudan's first League goal since October. Both Goater and striking partner Gareth Taylor had chances, before Taylor broke Fulham's increasingly rickety offside trap for the second goal.
City made certain of progress towards the play-off positions when Brown was fouled, right on the edge of the penalty area, nine minutes into the second half. When the wall was finally dragged into position, Kevin Horlock drove his free-kick straight through it for the third City goal.
Fulham could easily have conceded more and their lack of attacking bite persuaded Kevin Keegan to make a triple substitution for the last 20 minutes. It looked dramatic, but made little difference to what was already a lost cause.
"We had a good night on Wednesday and we had a chance to round off a super week, but we weren't up to it," Keegan said. "They had more commitment than us today."
The City manager, Joe Royle, admitted: "It was a good time to play them, but we've played our best against the top sides in the division. There's been so many false dawns at City, but who knows?"
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Mutual contempt burns as rivals Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho face off again
Wayne Rooney is Premier League's richest footballer with £72million worth but Lewis Hamilton leads the Sunday Times Rich List
Memphis Depay to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal faces difficult task as Liverpool hold 'secret' meeting with transfer target
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers reveals transfer plans to sign a new striker to put Daniel Sturridge's future into doubt
- 1 Bruce Jenner's 'Interview of the year': Suicidal thoughts, rejection by family members and new wardrobe
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...