Fulham 2-2 Man City

A bit of the old bulldog spirit saw Fulham earn a rousing home point against Man City’s powder blue oil billionaires. For a long time it was one of those bottom of the league afternoons, the players trying almost too hard to do things the right way, the fans nervous and wary.

That City scored first with a soft goal, perhaps a smidge offside, only confirmed what we all knew. The ball dinked through, Aguero, slick as you like, goal. General outrage in the stands but it looked close enough from my seat. Fulham responded with a fair amount of possession, but persisted with a laudable but frustrating brand of keep ball which often meant we kept the ball all the way back to our goalkeeper, often from encouraging initial positions. Dempsey had a couple of good shots, but surely we needed to be more direct, faster, more assertive?

If this is what we were going to do in the second half it’d have to wait a moment, as City scored a second straight from the kickoff. A long ball to the touchline drew Hangeland to challenge Dzeko, the latter won the ball, Aguero had all the time in the world and used it, smashing low and hard past Schwarzer’s dive.

We obviously feared the worst at this point, but the players persisted, and sure enough did try to get the ball forward quicker, did try to hit Zamora, did take a few more risks. Some sweet interplay between Dembele and Dempsey led to Zamora getting half a moment in the area, and he turned and swept home a surprising but euphoric strike to make it 2-1. Game on!

City withdrew the excellent Silva for the less excellent and more defensive Zabaleta, a signal that perhaps Mancini was concerned. Rightly so, as Murphy and Sidwell were running the game now, Kasami (on for Duff) had brought some impressive effervescence to the right flank, and everyone was trying to push City back. Dembele and Dempsey brought fine saves from Hart, then Murphy equalised with a sweet, sweet deflected dribbler: again Zamora deep in the area, teed up his captain, goal!

At this point it felt like there would only be one winner, but City dusted themselves down and played a bit more keep ball. Ruiz came on for his second taste of English football and one hospital ball aside acquitted himself quite well. Otherwise, three cheers all round for a fine team effort in which everyone played their part.  It’s only a point but under the circumstances it feels like a win, and the players will feel a lot better about the world this evening.

8 thoughts on “Fulham 2-2 Man City

  1. The Hughes era was satisfactory and might have become more than that, but as it was it contained nothing as stirring as that second half today. Those on and off the pitch now can bond again and the season has received its kick start. Hats off in general, but with some players you expect it more than with others. Second half was the best I recall from Dembele. More please.

      1. Thought he was impressive from the off. In the first half he proved to be our only player capable of holding onto the ball and moving it forwards in the final third. In the second half the midfield triangle of Sidwell, Murphy and Dembele really clicked, and his distribution to our wide attackers was excellent. There was enough here to believe that by season’s end that midfield trio will be one of the best in the league.

  2. There wont be many teams who will be able to say that they outplayed Man City for a half, but I think we were good value for our point and could have left with all three.

    My friend pointed out that after they scored their first, they had the appearance of a team that was convinced it was ‘job done’ and that may have helped us not get tonked.

  3. I think we will look back and see this match as this year’s ‘Stoke match’ and a major turning point. Hopefully we’ll back this up with 3 points up at Brum and a good result against those upstarts down the road the following week. A win against Chelski tomorrow night wouldn’t hurt either! Looking forward to hearing how the fringe players get on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s