Haaland is Man City hero vs. Fulham but De Bruyne gets 9/10

Manchester City rose to the top of the Premier League table on Saturday but left late to earn a 2-1 win over Fulham at the Etihad Stadium.

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It seemed set to be a typical day in the Premier League champions’ office as Ilkay Gundogan rushed forward from midfield before playing in Julian Alvarez to open the scoring, but the mood at the Etihad Stadium changed when Joao Cancelo conceded a penalty and received a red card 10 minutes later. Andreas Pereira converted the penalty, but despite the numerical superiority, the Citizens retained control of the game.

Kevin De Bruyne was Manchester City’s brightest player in a game that required all their championship caliber. The hosts thought they had taken the lead when the Belgium international scored with substitute Erling Haaland in the 75th minute – only for the VAR to confirm he was narrowly flagged for offside.

That seemed to be City’s last chance of the game before De Bruyne then won a penalty in added time. He left the duty to Haaland, who made no mistake as he was dispatched from 12 yards to earn an important three points for his side.

positive

Pep Guardiola’s side made sure to stay in control despite falling to 10 men early on and they got their reward in the end. De Bruyne also appears to be in the form that was instrumental in winning the league title last season.

negatives

An unnecessary challenge from Cancelo made life difficult for his squad, turning what seemed a routine afternoon into a full day’s work for the rest of his teammates.

manager rating

Pep Guardiola, 7 — Manchester City appeared to be in control despite being down by a man and Guardiola didn’t panic as he only made two substitutions before injury time.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players featured after 70 minutes receive no rating)

GK Ederson, 6 — There wasn’t much for Ederson to do that day as Fulham offered few shots on goal in the open game.

DF João Cancelo, 3 — A red card and a penalty kept his side busy in a game City were leading at the time he received his marching orders.

DF Nathan Ake, 6 — Had to work hard as the opponent went forward via the flanks when counterattacking and was often able to hold their own against the challenge.

DF Manuel Akanji. 6– Akanji could have done better with his chance just before half-time when he deflected a free header straight at Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

DF John Stones, 7 — Regularly stretched the game down the right flank with runs that were difficult for Fulham to match. Stones nearly received an assist from a precise cross towards Haaland, but the Norway international failed to get his shot on target.

MF Rodri, 7 — Showed more focus on his defensive duties following Cancelo’s sacking and helped maintain control of Manchester City down the middle of the pitch. Rarely making a wrong decision when passing, he quickly closed the hazard to prevent the game from developing in City’s third pitch.

MF Ilkay Gundogan, 7 — The Germany international controlled the game well throughout the game but his game was best defined by an excellent shot from midfield that was topped with a precise pass in support of the first set. Haaland picked out well with a nod in the second half.

MF Kevin De Bruyne, 9 — Manchester City’s regular talisman seemed the closest to making things happen in midfield as he was the focus of all promising attacking moves. Often able to unlock his more advanced players with accurate passes into sly areas. Won the penalty kick in stoppage time to win the game.

FW Jack Grealish, 6 — Tried to make room down the channel before boxing crosses that never seemed to find their target. Two shots on target didn’t bother the keeper before he was replaced by Phil Foden.

FW Julian Alvarez, 7 — A powerful strike from Alvarez gave Manchester City the lead after perfectly timing his run from behind the defence. Replaced by Haaland just after the hour.

FW Bernardo Silva, 6 — Using tricks on the right flank, Silva made it difficult for his opponents to close him, but the last ball wasn’t at his normal level that day.

substitutions

Erling Haaland (Alvarez, 64′), 7 — Had the ball in the net but VAR intervention saw it narrowly ruled offside. Made no mistake with the penalty to seal the game with moments remaining.

Phil Foden (Grey, 64′), 6 — Introduced just after the hour mark and played straight but had problems similar to Grealish’s when trying to create chances from the flanks. Looked more impressive when combined in central areas.

Ruben Dias (Gundogan, 97′), N/R — Brought to see the final seconds of the game.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/manchester-city-engman_city/story/4791373/erling-haaland-is-man-city-hero-vs-fulham-but-kevin-de-bruyne-gets-9-out-of-10-rating Haaland is Man City hero vs. Fulham but De Bruyne gets 9/10

Emma Bowman

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