Manchester City are harder to get at than Manchester United says Fulham boss Martin Jol

Manchester City 2 Fulham 0: Fulham manager feels there is a toughness about the champions that sets them apart

How does it feel, you wanted to ask Martin Jol, to be out of the frying pan with just a week to prepare for the fire?

His Fulham side had just lost 2-0 to a mechanically efficient Manchester City. On Saturday, they travel to Old Trafford for the fourth round of the FA Cup.

They will be expected to lose to Manchester United, although Fulham will probably be given more of a chance than they had during a sterile, frost-bound Saturday at the Etihad, which is often one of the dullest places in Europe to watch football.

This is not because Manchester City are not playing well, it is because when they face opponents who are anything less than high-quality they simply stifle them. This time, two David Silva goals were enough.

If you take away City's games against the top eight in the Premier League, they have won eight matches by a collective scoreline of 21-3. The last of these lesser sides to score a league goal here was Queen's Park Rangers on 1 September.

Against the same kind of opposition, Manchester United have, like City, won all their matches but kept two clean sheets. They conceded two against Stoke City and three in a theatrically gripping encounter with Newcastle United. Aside from a couple of 1-0 wins over West Ham in the league and FA Cup, there has been very little at Old Trafford that has been routine.

"As a matter of fact, we played at Old Trafford earlier in the season and lost 3-2," Jol said. "Last season, we only lost 1-0 and Danny Murphy was brought down and we should have had a penalty. We tend to do OK against Manchester United but, maybe you are right, City are different.

"We analysed City and saw they had a problem against Ajax and Borussia Dortmund when you put their midfield under pressure and this is what we tried to do.

"But if you concede a goal in the second minute, as we did, you can probably put all your plans aside. And the problem we had was that, if you look at Javi Garcia and Gareth Barry, City's midfield is so physically strong.

"City are more rigid and play with more individual quality than United – but I am not going to say that United are more vulnerable because we have to play them on Saturday."

When he managed Hamburg, Jol got to know Vincent Kompany well and when Fulham did attack the Manchester City captain was in the mood to dominate.

"They are very difficult to beat, especially at home," Jol said. "I can remember five or six balls in their box and Kompany was like a tower and at half-time, I was saying, 'Try to get the ball over Kompany', because I know him very well and he is a strong guy.

"We could have hurt them, you know, because I don't think they played as well as they can."

Goals: Man City Silva 2, 69. Substitutions: Man City Nasri 5 (Zabaleta, 64), Aguero (Tevez, 81), Lescott (Silva, 89). Fulham Briggs 5 (Richardson, 67), Petric (Dejagah, 73).

Bookings: Man City Garcia. Fulham Karagounis, Richardson.

Man of the match Silva. Match rating 5/10. Possession: Man City 45%. Fulham 55%.

Attempts on target: Man City 7. Fulham 0.

Referee J Moss (West Yorkshire).

Attendance 47,286.

Flat-track bullies - how rivals compare

Manchester City's home record against the bottom 12...

P 8 W 8 Goals for: 21 Goals against 3: Clean sheets: 6.

Manchester United's home record against the bottom 12...

P8 W8 Goals for: 24 Goals against: 10. Clean sheets: 2

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on Scotland's oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
News
news

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballThe latest scores and Twitter updates from tonight’s games, featuring Bayern Munich vs Man City and Chelsea vs Schalke
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
i100
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

Extras
10 best table lamps
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week