Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Fulham v Man City LIVE: Latest Premier League result and reaction – The Independent


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Fulham 0-4 Manchester City: Josko Gvardiol’s double sees Pep Guardiola’s side hold serve against Arsenal in the Premier League title race
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Manchester City hit the top of the Premier League with one week of the season left as two goals by Josko Gvardiol and one each from Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez sealed an emphatic 4-0 victory at Fulham fc.
City’s stroll in the London sunshine, their seventh successive league win and 16th consecutive victory over Fulham in all competitions, moved them two points clear of Arsenal.
Pep Guardiola’s relentless side, closing in on an unprecedented fourth English title in a row, have 85 points from 36 games, with Arsenal on 83 having also played 36.
Arsenal can regain top spot by beating Manchester United on Sunday but City, who play their game in hand at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, are two wins away from making history.
Relive all the action from Craven Cottage below:
One game closer for Manchester City, one match down as they seek to not just retain the Premier League but end the campaign with a domestic double. The reigning champions, looking for a fourth title in a row, kicked off one point behind Arsenal with a game in hand; they might end the day instead wondering if perhaps they could cruise to both trophies in second gear.
It is usual to suggest after title candidates pick up three points in this manner, where they dominate entirely and their hosts barely raise a hand in protest, that they will have more difficult tests ahead. Yet this time, will that really be true?
City have two league fixtures left to play and an FA Cup final. In order, they play a woefully out-of-form Tottenham who have suffered four straight defeats, then are home to West Ham on the final day, the Hammers being currently without a win in six and having confirmed the impending departure of manager David Moyes.
And at Wembley, sure: it’s Manchester United so it’s a rivalry, a derby and a final for goodness sake, a trophy to play for. But United are truly terrible, have defensive absences to contend with and their only two wins in the last eight have come against rock-bottom Sheffield United and Championship side Coventry, the latter on penalties.
Not that Pep Guardiola will encourage such suggestions, but Man City could easily stroll from here on out and there’s nothing at all that Arsenal, in particular, can do about it.
Read Karl Matchett’s match report below.
Fulham 0-4 Man City: Josko Gvardiol netted a brace either side of Phil Foden’s strike, before a late Julian Alvarez penalty
Man City boss Pep Guardiola briefly spoke to TNT too. He praised Gvardiol and his first goal, adding that he“moved really well on both feet”.
“The composure he has is really good. I’m really pleased.”
On Foden, he says it’s another brilliant performance, adding that all City were hoping for was to arrive at their last two games with their destiny in their own hands.
“Two games left. Recovery soon, because on Tuesday there’ll be another one. We know exactly what we have to do.”
When asked whether the record of winning four titles in a row weighs on his mind, he dismisses the suggestion, but adds that City have to take it “one step at a time”.
“But of course we have this challenge in our heads.”
Fulham boss Marco Silva is next in front of the TNT cameras.
He says the game was “really difficult”, and calls the first half “a little quiet from us”.
“Not that many chances. We did not have much of the ball but even City with the control of the game did not have many chances.
“Second half we tried to change things from the bench. We had some good moments for around 15 minutes, had a chance with Muniz from a good Adama cross. After that the second goal killed the game.
“With it being so difficult we had to try and have the confidence to go [forward] but it was not the same, and it was hard to make an impact.”
he adds that overall, “it was a successful season with the context of what happened in the summer, a difficult summer after a good last season”.
“We had to rebuild again and we did it really well. We did not have the power of the other teams but it was a success. Now is the moment to sit with the board and discuss what are possibilities are.
“If we want to take a step forward we need to be clear and find out what the steps are in the market and go from there.”
Plenty has been made about Rodri’s undefeated record, and the Spaniard has now gone 48 consecutive Premier League appearances without ending on the losing side for Manchester City. Only Sol Campbell has a longer unbeaten run – 56 games between November 2002 and October 2004!
The other impressive City player today was of course Josko Gvardiol, who now has five goals in his last seven games for the club. He didn’t score in any of his first 32 appearances.
Josko Gvardiol was first to speak to TNT.
He says it was “another great performance, not just from me but the team as well”.
“ It was a very good goal, but today we showed who we are and what we are ready for.
““Another two goals for me and of course another clean sheet. Really happy. We discussed about me taking the penalty, and of course I would have liked to, but we have a taker and he takes them.”
He adds that City “just need to be focused on ourselves and keep going that way. Of course we talk about it [goal difference] and as you can see we are trying to get there”.
On the Tottenham game, he says it is “another final”.
“Hopefully it is going to be another good game and another good day for us.”
So attention immediately turns to the final two games of the season for both of the sides that are still in the title race. Today’s result officially rules Liverpool out of the run-in.
Arsenal travel to Manchester to face a struggling United side at 4.30pm tomorrow. The Gunners now find themselves two points behind City, with a two-goal advantage in goal difference. If they win, the title race will go to the final day and their home game against Everton.
City could win the title against Spurs on Tuesday if Arsenal lose tomorrow. If not, the title race will go down to the final day, and their final game of the season at home to West Ham.
A great afternoon for City, and one of their famous fans.
FULL-TIME: The referee brings the game to an end soon after kick-off, and it’s another accomplished performance from City.
4-0 and they’ve got the advantage in the title race. Up next – a potentially tricky game against Spurs.
96 mins: GOAL! Alvarez steps up and rolls the ball into the bottom-right corner, sending Leno the wrong way.
Issa Diop was also sent off there for getting a second yellow card.
94 mins: Fulham are barely bothering to press as the game nears its end, and City win a penalty from nowhere!
The away side attack, and Bobb cuts back the cross to Alvarez. He scuffs his shot, but is taken down by Diop!
Surely Gvardiol will take?
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