Match Analysis: Manchester City 2-0 Fulham

Man City's David Silva celebrates his second goal against Fulham on January 19, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole analyses Man City's 2-0 victory over Fulham, which came courtesy of a David Silva double at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City moved to within four points of rivals United at the top of the Premier League table courtesy of a 2-0 win over Fulham this afternoon.

David Silva scored his third and fourth goals of the season as the Citizens comfortably negotiated the struggling Cottagers.

Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action.

Match statistics

Man City:
Shots: 20
On target: 11
Possession: 56%
Corners: 1
Fouls: 12

Fulham:
Shots: 3
On target: 0
Possession: 44%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 6

Was the result fair?

A deserved victory for the Premier League champions which could have been made more emphatic had they converted any one of several late chances.

Man City's performance

They were strangely sluggish in the first period despite Silva's early opener, but their passing was much more fluent in the second half and they dominated minutes 46 to 90 without ever being troubled at the back. City were by no means at their best today but they had more than enough to see off a Fulham side that lacked any sort of attacking penetration.

Fulham's performance

They offered almost nothing up front as Steve Sidwell struck the post with Fulham's only notable venture forward. Their creative duo of Bryan Ruiz and Dimitar Berbatov never picked the ball up in areas where they could influence the game. Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes dealt well with the differing threats of Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez, but they let Silva's runs from midfield go unchecked and paid the penalty.

Sports Mole's man of the match

David Silva: He netted both goals and should have had a third. The silky Spaniard was a class apart and will justifiably be seen as the match winner. An honorable mention for Pablo Zabaleta, who was flawless once again before leaving the field through injury. Roberto Mancini will be hoping his absence is not a long one.

Biggest gaffe

Edin Dzeko somehow sent a six-yard effort high into the stands when it seemed easier to score than it did to miss.

Referee's performance

Jonathan Moss had a comfortable afternoon, showing only two yellow cards and correctly refusing City penalty shouts for handball against Sascha Reither in the first period.

What next?

Man City: A trip to Stoke City in the FA Cup fourth round before another away fixture, at Queens Park Rangers, in the Premier League.

Fulham: Martin Jol's Cottagers face Manchester opposition again when they travel to league leaders United in the FA Cup fourth round.

City midfielder David Silva opens the scoring against Fulham on January 19, 2013
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