Manchester City 5 Fulham 0 match report: Yaya Touré treble means Fulham trouble

Fernandinho and Martin Demichelis complete the scoring to ensure City remain on Chelsea's tail

Etihad Stadium

This was hardly Manchester City at full throttle but it was still enough to win 5-0. They made another of those sluggish starts but that was soon forgotten as Yaya Touré’s first hat-trick in English football put them on their way to their biggest Premier League victory since November, ensuring the perfect start to a big week that brings a Manchester derby on Tuesday and a trip to the Emirates on Saturday.

City are now above Arsenal in third place and will head to Old Trafford knowing victory will lift them second – within three points of Chelsea with two games still in hand. Manuel Pellegrini, the City manager, may have over-egged the pudding slightly when describing it as a “complete performance” but he was justifiably delighted to see the goals flowing again at the Etihad Stadium, where the hosts had scored just five in their previous five games. “It is important, because maybe in the last month we were not scoring so many, even if we were creating chances,” he said.

In truth, they had a helping hand from Fulham’s Fernando Amorebieta, who played what is known in these parts as the Martin Demichelis role, conceding the two penalties that Touré converted to put City in control and earning a sending-off in the process. With 36 minutes still to play, it was then a question of how many City would score against the bottom club whose manager Felix Magath accused his players of throwing in the towel. “After the second penalty, we didn’t play any more,” said the German. “We have to fight for 90 minutes, not for 60.”

 

City took full advantage with Fernandinho and Demichelis completing the rout after Touré had delivered his hat-trick strike. It was some goal too.  Collecting a free-kick from Samir Nasri, he sent the ball curling into the top corner with a seemingly effortless swish of his right boot.

On a day Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko were both missing, it was another reminder of the importance of Touré, who now has 20 goals for the season. Pellegrini said: “At the beginning of the season he received some criticism that he was not defending well. For me it is easy to tell Yaya to stay back and defend and not allow him to play more freely, [but] he is an important player playing the way he likes to play and scoring 20 goals for a  midfielder is not easy.”

The only small blessing for the visitors was that the four sides directly above them all lost too, although Magath bemoaned the penalty decision which gave City their half-time advantage. “Not a penalty,” was his verdict on an incident where Amorebieta stuck out a boot and caught Alvaro Negredo on the backside.

TV replays suggested the contact was minimal but the referee, Jonathan Moss, awarded the penalty and Toure sent David Stockdale the wrong way. Touré repeated the trick nine minutes after the break after Amorebieta fouled David Silva.

After Touré’s third, Fernandinho added the fourth by sidestepping William Kqist and lashing a shot inside the near post. Demichelis then tapped in the fifth.

Now for Old Trafford. Pellegrini added: “Winning is always good preparation and winning today the way we did, scoring five goals and not conceding, is always important but the derby is a special match.”

Line-ups:

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart; Zabaleta, Demichelis,  Lescott, Kolarov; Touré (Rodwell, 77), Fernandinho; Milner, Silva (Navas, 68), Nasri (Jovetic, 82); Negredo.

Fulham (4-3-3): Stockdale; Heitinga, Hangeland, Amorebieta, Riise; Riether, Kvist, Sidwell; Kacaniklic (Roberts, 55), Woodrow (Kasami, 84), Richardson (Holtby, 55).

Referee: Jonathan Moss.

Man of the match: Touré (Manchester City)

Match rating: 6/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants