Manchester City tasted more success in the fourth round of the FA Cup as they managed to beat Fulham 4-1 in their latest encounter at the Etihad. Despite trailing early, the Citizens responded with four goals with the likes of Riyad Mahrez, John Stones, and Ilkay Gundogan finding their names registered on the scoresheet.
For this home fixture, Guardiola missed out on only one key name in his lineup as Gabriel Jesus was declared unfit for the game. However, the Brazilian was not missed in this vital cup fixture after Guardiola decided to slot in Riyad Mahrez upfront.
Manchester City player ratings vs Fulham: Mahrez stars in massive 4-1 win over the Cottagers
A solid start by the visiting Fulham side saw the hosts trail 0-1 in the early stages of the game. Fabio Carvalho’s opening goal, however, got canceled out by an excellent equalizer from Ilkay Gundogan. Within seven minutes, John Stones, too, joined the party as the defender helped his team take the lead with a towering header past the Fulham no.1.
After taking a 2-1 lead over the Cottagers, the Sky Blues did not plug their urge to extend their lead. Winger Riyad Mahrez entered the fray for Manchester City as he added a brace in quick succession-both goals scored in the space of four minutes.
By the hour mark, the hosts were cruising with a firm three-goal advantage over the visitors. Marco Silva’s men were willing to decrease the deficit but were unsuccessful in their attempts to unsettle the City backline.
The end result went in favor of Guardiola’s side as we witnessed the defending champions end the game with a 4-1 win over the Championship leaders.
Here are the ratings. Have a look…….
Goalkeepers and Defenders(Manchester City)
Zack Steffen(Goalkeeper) – 7/10
City’s second-choice keeper was given a full game at the Etihad against the Cottagers. The American international did everything to stop the opener but was unable to stop the breach at his end. Besides the opener, the keeper had very little to do in front of the sticks as the Fulham frontline looked out of sorts for the major part of the game. Overall, it was a decent outing for the City no.2.
John Stones(CB) -8/10
The English international was given prime responsibility to handle this City defense. At the heart of the backline, the center-back looked calm and composed as always. The former Chelsea man displayed his heading prowess within the first 15 minutes of the game as we saw the tall center-back head of a De Bruyne cross into the Fulham net to take the lead against the visitors. It was a solid performance from the City no.5.A typical Stones performance it was!
Guardiola’s fourth-choice center-back found himself struggling in the initial stages of the game. Thankfully, the Dutchman adapted to the tempo of the game and had improved with each passing minute. City’s no.6 seemed to have found some form by the end of the game. To sum up, it was another above-average performance from the defender. Will be interesting to see whether Guardiola uses him against the likes of Norwich and Brentford next week.
Yet to see the Portuguese put up a ‘bad’ performance in a City shirt this term. Against Fulham, he was again called up for his attacking abilities on the pitch, and thankfully he did not disappoint. The former Juve man troubled the Cottagers in every phase of the game. However, the player would be slightly unhappy with his contribution on the pitch-0 assists,0 goals. A rare feat for someone who has been in scintillating form this season.
Just like Cancelo, Walker, too, found himself with no major statistical contribution. However, the solidarity at the back was well maintained by the Englishman. Throughout 90 minutes, he did not put a foot wrong in his game. Good game overall.