It took the home just two minutes to break the deadlock in front of their own supporters. Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was able to parry out Edin Dzeko's shot from distance, but Silva was on hand to convert the rebound from close range.
© PA Photos
City went on to dominate the remainder of the half and went close to doubling the advantage with 19 minutes played. Dzeko rose highest inside the area to head goalwards, but on this occasion Schwarzer was able to thwart the danger.
Carlos Tevez then tried his luck from 25 yards out moments later, but his bouncing effort was held by Fulham's Australian goalkeeper.
Tevez had another opportunity with 30 minutes played, but he was unable to make a connection with James Milner's low cross from the right.
In what was a rare venture forward for the visiting Londoners, they almost levelled up proceedings in the 33rd minute. Steve Sidwell beat Pablo Zabaleta in the air, but the midfielder's headed effort skidded wide via the outside of the post.
That proved to be the final chance of the half, as City took a slender lead into the break.