Sports Mole brings you live text coverage as champions Manchester City take on Fulham at Craven Cottage in the Premier League.
By Jack Prescott, Rugby Editor Filed: Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 14:09 UK
Last Updated: Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 17:20 UK
Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live text commentary of Manchester City's visit to Fulham in the Premier League.
The champions arrive at Craven Cottage in indifferent form, with one win coming in their last six in all competitions.
Meanwhile, today's hosts have enjoyed a bright start to the campaign courtesy of three wins from their first five games.
Please note that the match is due to start at 3pm.
4.53pmAnyway, that's all from me for today. I hope you enjoyed the match and I look forward to your company again soon. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Goodbye!
4.52pmReferee Mark Halsey blows his whistle and Manchester City have only their second win of the season thanks to substitute Edin Dzeko's late winner here at Craven Cottage. Despite Fulham making it hard work for them, the champions deserve their victory and will now look to push on in the pursuit of a second consecutive title.
85minSUBSTITUTION: It's a last throw of the dice for City as Edin Dzeko comes on for Javi Garcia. The summer signing has been very quiet in that holding role today.
84minBalotelli takes it but he hammers the ball into the wall before Fulham clear.
83minKaragounis' first contribution is to bring down Aguero and give City a free kick in a promising position.
81minSUBSTITUTION: Chris Baird, who has been very solid for Fulham today, is replaced by Greek veteran and Cottagers debutant Giorgios Karagounis.
80minCity play it patiently around the box again before the ball comes to Balotelli. The striker launches one at goal but it goes harmlessly wide.
77minThe visitors are starting to camp out in the opposition half now as they look for a winner. Can Fulham withstand the siege?
75minSUBSTITUTION: City are utilising all of the quality on their bench now as Samir Nasri comes on for Gareth Barry.
73minCHANCE! Hart hasn't had much to do in this half but he's there to palm away Ruiz's stinging 20-yarder. Fulham were appealing for a penalty in the build up to that, believing that Kacaniklic's cross was handled, but Halsey wasn't interested.
70minBalotelli has his first crack at goal but he fizzes it wide of Schwarzer's left-hand post.
68minCity boss Roberto Mancini claimed earlier this week that Tevez's fitness was not quite there and I'm guessing that's one of the reasons for the change.
66minSUBSTITUTION: And here comes Mario Balotelli. The tempestuous Italian takes the place of Carlos Tevez
66min Mladen Petric is off for the hosts with Alex Kacaniklic coming on in his place.
65minCity have another crack at goal but Zabaleta can only curl his shot over the bar.
64minFulham are really struggling to get on the ball now.
62minCity craking up the pressure now. Zabaleta combines well with Silva down the right and the visitors have corner. There's a real scramble in the box but Fulham get it away for another corner. This time, Schwarzer has to rely on his defence to clear after failing to keep hold of the ball. It's all happening!
61minIt looks like Mario Balotelli might be coming on...
60minCHANCE! So close for City! Zabaleta floats a cross into Aguero and the Argentine's header goes inches wide. Schwarzer was nowhere near that one.
58minIt's not a bad cross from Duff but a Fulham player can't get their head on the ball and it goes out for a goal kick.
55minSilva's looking very lively here at the start of the second half. He's causing Fulham plenty of problems on the right. He has the chance to whip in a good delivery from a free kick but the ball evades everyone before going out of play.
52minIt's City's turn to have a corner now following good work from Silva. They play it short and it comes to nothing.
50minFulham do get a corner this time though as Kompany shepherds the ball out of play. Hart gathers the ball easily though to diffuse the danger.
49minFulham want a corner as a cross looks to come off Kompany but the linesman awards a goal kick.
47minCity start where they left off in the first half with plenty of the ball but Aguero put a tame shot into the hands of Schwarzer.
4.02pmFulham get us underway in this second half...
4.01pmI'm sure Fulham would be more than happy with a point but City will be going all out here for all three. If they keep playing like they did in the first half then there will surely be more goals for them.
4.00pmOkay then, the players are back out at Craven Cottage ready for the second half.
3.56pmThe early kickoff today saw Chelsea travel to Arsenal as both sides looked to keep up their unbeaten records for the start of the season. However, the Gunners had theirs ended as they went down 2-1 to the Blues.
3.54pmPREMIER LEAGUE HALF-TIME SCORES: Everton 3-1 Southampton Norwich 0-2 Liverpool Reading 0-0 Newcastle Stoke 2-0 Swansea Sunderland 0-0 Wigan
3.53pmAnyway, there's five other matches currently taking place in the Premier League so here's the half-time results...
3.49pmIt's been a lively first half here at the Cottage as Fulham and ManchesterCity go in 1-1 at the break. The hosts were somewhat fortunate to go ahead thanks to a generous penalty decision. Mladen Petric put away the spot kick but from there on it was all City. Mark Schwarzer kept his side ahead with a string of fine saves but the visitors got a deserved equaliser minutes before the break when Sergio Aguero tapped in after David Silva's initial effort had been pushed away.
45minWe'll have one minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half here at Craven Cottage.
43minIt's been coming. Silva is given plenty of time outside the area to have a crack at goal and he duly does. Schwarzer does well to push away the initial effort but Aguero is there to tap in the rebound for his first goal of the campaign.
40minCHANCE! It's all City now. Aguero lets one fly from 25 yards which Schwarzer manages to get down low to parry. The ball comes out to Zabaleta but his cross is cleared.
39minCHANCE! Huge let off for Fulham there as Schwarzer holds on to the ball following a goalmouth scramble. City think it's over the line but replays show that the Aussie shotstopper stopped it crossing.
37minRodallega lines up the free kick but sees his shot go into the wall. The ball comes out for Ruiz who can only plough a left-footed drive into the side netting.
36minBOOKING! Fulham have a free kick right on the edge of the box as Kompany takes down Petric. Plenty of City defenders around so no red card.
35minCity threaten again as Clichy's cross takes a wicked deflection but is held by Schwarzer. Barry was had a good chance to shoot there but opted to spray it out wide to his teammate.
34minTevez is fired up now after being denied a penalty and drags one wide of the goal. Shouts of "Who are ya?" come from the home fans.
32minFulham go up the other end as Sidwell blazes one over the bar.
31minCity appeal again for a penalty and I think they should have one this time. Riise is involved again and looks to have pulled Tevez down. Nothing given though.
29minCHANCE! City have a corner on the right which evades everyone. However, Aguero is lurking at the back post but can only guide his header into the sidenetting.
28minIt's a good effort from Riise, who strikes the ball from all of 35 yards, but Hart gets down low to gather.
26minFree kick for Fulham now in a dangerous position...
24minCHANCE! City almost find an equaliser! Tevez pings a wonderful ball out to the right where he finds an unmarked Zabaleta. The defender controls the ball before trying to pick out one of three teammates. However, Hangeland is there to hoof the ball away.
22minHowever, it's the Cottagers who are frustrating their opponents at the minute. City knock it around patiently again around the edge of the box but can't do anything with it as Fulham have plenty of bodies back.
20minIt's been pretty even inside the opening 20 minutes with the two sides enjoying 50% of possession each.
19minCity now want a penalty but their appeals are waved away! Silva made a typically slippery run into the box before going down under pressure from Riise. Nothing doing there though - I think the Spaniard just came up against someone bigger than him.
17minDisappointing from Zabaleta as some good work down the right ends with a poor cross that the Fulham defence clears with ease. Aguero and Tevez were waiting in the middle.
15minCHANCE! Fulham break quickly with Petric linking well with Rodallega. Petric gets the ball back inside the area but can only shank his effort over the bar. Dangerous stuff from the hosts there, creating a chance after City had looked comfortable on the ball seconds earlier.
13minCity respond well though as a crisp passing move ends with Tevez firing a weak shot into the arms of Schwarzer.
11minThat's got the home fans here at Craven Cottage pumped up now.
10minIt's a soft one to concede for City as Zabaleta is judged to have dragged down Riise. The initial contact looks to have been outside of the area, but referee Mark Halsey gives it. Petric steps up and sends Hart the wrong way with a powerful drive. The champions find themselves 1-0 down.
7minAguero does well to drive forward there and looks to play in Barry on the left, but the Argentine's pass is overhit and the ball goes out for a goal kick. That was careless from the striker.
5minWe have our first shot of the afternoon and it's Toure who drags a tame effort wide of Schwarzer's goal.
4minCity show plenty of patience around the Fulham penalty area there trying to look for an opening but their work is undone when Garcia clatters into Ruiz.
2minIt's all fairly even in these opening stages with both teams enjoying possession.
3.00pmOkay then, it'll be City to start us off in this one...
2.58pmFulham are wearing their traditional white shirts, while City have their maroon numbers on.
2.57pmThe players are lined up in the tunnel (well, it's not quite a tunnel, more of an open space by the pitch) at Craven Cottage and are ready to get this one underway...
2.55pmCity's defence of their title may have got off to a stuttering start, but they have got too much ammunition not to come away with the three points today. I'm going for a 2-0 win for the visitors.
2.53pmAnyway, time to serve up my prediction for today's match...
2.51pmJust under 10 minutes until kickoff at Craven Cottage!
2.49pmMeanwhile, the Blues won by the same scoreline during their title-winning campaign of 1967-68.
2.48pmFulham's biggest win over City was a 5-1 hammering in the old Division Two back in 1983-84.
2.40pmMancini's men then eased to a 3-0 win at the Etihad in February.
2.39pmCity took four points off Fulham on their way to the title last season, but they let a two-goal lead slip at the Cottage in September as they were held to a 2-2 draw.
2.36pmFancy some facts? Of the 29 matches between these two at Craven Cottage, Fulham have won 11 while City have ran out winners nine times.
2.32pmAt first glance you have to say that's some bench for City. Plenty of quality there if they find that things aren't going their way this afternoon.
2.23pmOf course for all of City's dropped points it's worth saying that they remain unbeaten in the league.
2.22pmIn contrast it's been a good start for Martin Jol's men as they've recorded three wins from their first five. Last time out they earned a 2-1 win at Wigan thanks to goals from Hugo Rodallega and the ever-reliable Damien Duff.
2.14pmChampions City have endured a difficult start to the defence of their crown, with six points dropped already from the opening five matches. As a result, today's hosts Fulham find themselves one place above their mega-rich visitors thanks to an impressive three wins from five.
2.10pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of Manchester City's trip to Fulham in the Premier League.