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

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
i100
Life and Style
tech

Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments

Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
News
i100
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

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor