Fulham 0-4 Man City: Josko Gvardiol nets double to move champions top and close in on Premier League trophy

by 24britishtvMay 11, 2024, 8 p.m. 23

Manchester City took a significant step closer to a fourth successive Premier League title as Josko Gvardiol's double moved them top of the table with an emphatic 4-0 win at Fulham.

Two wins will be enough to guarantee City a fourth title in as many years but they could wrap up the league as soon as Tuesday at Tottenham if Arsenal fail to win at Manchester United on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

City moved top of the division for the first time in almost a month and within touching distance of making further history as they made light work of Fulham in the capital.
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Gvardiol skipped past Issa Diop to slot home the game's first chance after 13 minutes, with City eminently comfortable keeping the hosts at arm's length.

It took Fulham 57 minutes to register their first shot though within moments they found themselves 2-0 down as Phil Foden scuffed home a loose ball from 20 yards.

Manchester City's place back at the Premier League summit was guaranteed when Gvardiol's second of the day squirmed under Bernd Leno, before an injury-time Diop red card and Julian Alvarez penalty added insult to injury for the hosts.

How Man City dismantled Fulham to close in on title

Manchester City have a history of rising above title-race pressure but they were second to the ball in the opening stages at Craven Cottage, with Antonee Robinson and Andreas Pereira's pace on the break looking dangerous.

But once a number of early home corners and balls flashed through the box came to nothing, it did not take long for normal service to be resumed.

A long patient passing move clicked into gear as Gvardiol and De Bruyne exchanged passes on the left, with the former's drop of the shoulder taking him past Issa Diop before slotting inside the near post.

The Croatian defender had not scored in his first 22 Premier League games since joining last summer, but this was his third in four games - and he wasn't done there.

There was a familiar inevitability about how the rest of the first half would unfold, with City enjoying completely possessional dominance and only Fulham's last line of defence denying them another.

Diop twice stood strong to deflect away De Bruyne efforts, though Manuel Akanji had no excuse for blazing over from four yards from the talisman's corner.

Marco Silva had seen enough and withdrew Willian and Bobby De Cardova-Reid for Tom Cairney and Adama Traore, though it did little to turn the tide in their favour.

Traore showed his typical flashes of raw promise but produced only one moment of quality, when his low cross was backheeled into Ederson by Rodrigo Muniz 12 minutes into the second period in their first shot of the day.

Any hope of sparking an upturn in fortunes soon dissolved when Foden struck City's second from distance after Joao Palhinha had tackled Bernardo Silva on the edge of the box.

Pep Guardiola even afforded himself a smile at that, but there was still a mild feeling of trepidation in the away end.

That soon changed when Gvardiol added his second of the day on the slide from a De Bruyne cross, with the visiting supporters breaking out the Poznan as they sensed their grip on the title tightening.

Fulham, impressive at home so often this season, had barely laid a glove on their visitors this time around but things still had time to get worse, when Diop was shown a second yellow for a rash challenge in his own box on Alvarez late on.

The Argentine got to his feet to beat Leno from 12 yards and lessen City's goal difference deficit behind Arsenal to two - with every goal vital with such fine margins separating the two in the final eight days of the season.

The Premier League's final day will take place on Sunday May 19 with all games kicking off at 4pm. Man City host West Ham, while Fulham take on Luton.

Before that, City head to Tottenham on Tuesday May 14 - live on Sky Sports; kick-off 8pm.

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It's one of the biggest sporting events in a generation. Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk collide for the undisputed world heavyweight championship on Saturday May 18, live on Sky Sports Box Office.


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