Manchester City brush aside Fulham with 2-0 victory

Manchester City brush aside Fulham with 2-0 victory
Fulham's Ivan Cavaleiro, left, jumps for the ball with Manchester City's John Stones during their match in Manchester. (AP)
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Updated 05 December 2020

Manchester City brush aside Fulham with 2-0 victory

Manchester City brush aside Fulham with 2-0 victory
  • Guardiola’s team is now just 3 points behind leaders Tottenham after a dominant display at the Etihad

LONDON: Manchester City climbed into the Premier League’s top four on Saturday, easing past Fulham 2-0.

Pep Guardiola’s team have had a patchy start to the season but are now just three points behind leaders Tottenham after a dominant display at the Etihad.

Earlier, Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his 11th Premier League goal of the season to rescue a point for Everton in a 1-1 draw against struggling Burnley.

City, who had won just four of their opening nine matches, are showing ominous signs they are returning to their best form after building on their 5-0 mauling of Burnley last week.

They made a superb start at the Etihad, with Raheem Sterling putting them ahead inside five minutes to end his recent goal drought.

The England forward, who had already had one shot saved by Alphonse Areola, raced through on goal from a measured Kevin De Bruyne pass and calmly side-footed into the far corner.

De Bruyne, in Guardiola’s 700th game as a manager, doubled the lead from the penalty spot after Sterling was brought down by Joachim Andersen.

The Belgian rattled the bar early in the second half as City continued to dominate possession but they could not add to their lead.

The result lifts City to fourth in the table on 18 points, ahead of Leicester on goal difference, while Fulham remain fourth from bottom.

Earlier, Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton trailed at Turf Moor after a fine strike by midfielder Robbie Brady before England forward Calvert-Lewin leveled on the stroke of half time.

But neither side could find a winner in a contest in which goalkeepers Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope — rivals for the England number one shirt — caught the eye.

“We are not satisfied with the result but the performance was quite good,” Ancelotti told the BBC. “The start was terrible and Burnley are able to defend. We created some good chances.”

“(England manager) Gareth Southgate has to be pleased, both goalkeepers did really well,” he added.

Premier League chiefs on Saturday issued advice to supporters on coronavirus safety measures, including a warning for fans not to get carried away when their team scores a goal.

“Fans can celebrate but should remain socially distanced from people outside their social bubble,” said the advice.

“Hugging of other fans and high-fives should be avoided and fans are asked to be respectful to those around them, including avoiding excessive shouting or singing.”

London and Liverpool are among the areas to have been placed into the Tier-2 category based on COVID-19 rates, meaning up to 2,000 fans will be able to attend matches.

But clubs based in Tier-3 areas, such as Manchester and Birmingham, are still not allowed to open their gates.


Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players

Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players
Updated 22 January 2021

Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players

Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players

LONDON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is focusing on potential signings in the January transfer window after trimming his squad but refused to be drawn on a loan move for Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard

Sokratis Papastathopoulos was released from his contract this week, while Mesut Ozil is on the brink of a transfer to Turkish club Fenerbahce.

Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba have already left on loan deals as Arteta seeks to re-balance his squad.

The Arsenal boss, speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round match at Southampton, would not be drawn on reports linking the club with a loan move for Real’s attacking midfielder Odegaard.

But he said the focus would now turn to the entrance door rather than the exit at the Emirates.

“We are in that process now,” Arteta said on Thursday when asked if it was now time to start bringing players in.

“We have done the first part more or less and we are focusing now on the second phase.

“Obviously this market and the context makes it difficult, but we are looking at options and we will see what we can do.”

Arteta, whose team are FA Cup holders, said the departures had left his squad short in certain areas.

He said a left-back could be on the radar, with the decision to allow Kolasinac to join Schalke until the end of the season leaving him with only Kieran Tierney as a natural option.

“With the departure of Kola we are a little bit short with left-footed fullbacks at the moment,” he added.

Both Ozil and Sokratis were omitted from Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads for the first half of the season.

Arteta had stressed several times he was unhappy with the bloated nature of the squad and feels the departures will help him achieve a better balance.

“We could not carry on with 31 players in the squad,” he said. “It is unmanageable. And when you have to leave some of the foreign players out, it makes it even  more difficult.

“To do it for a few weeks is OK, to do it for months and maintain the health, the ambition and the chemistry is really complicated.

“So one of the main objectives was to make some decisions about how we are going to offset that. We have done it.”