Manchester City brought more drama than Elon’s Twitter take over again on Saturday as they were joined by Fulham at the Etihad in a gripping 2-1 last minute victory.
Starting XI: Ederson, Stones, Akanji, Ake, Cancelo, Rodri, Gundogan (C), De Bruyne, Bernardo, Grealish and Alvarez.
In a game that had everything from an early goal, a red card, dodgy ref decisions, the City crowd on fire, Pep memes, incredible togetherness and performance, a last-minute winner, and a pulled muscle for me during the celebration to seal the deal.
The boys in blue put in a shift worthy of their millions today, and one we can all be proud of. Their champion mentality shone through once more. Will it ever get better than this era we’re currently in?
City opened the scoring on the 16th minute as Gundogan won the ball back in midfield and cleared from danger to Akanji, who gave it back to the skipper. Silky Ilkay lived up to his name as he slid a silky ball through to meet the run of Alvarez to smashed it into the top of the net in a stunning goal – it really is like watching our legend, Aguero.
The blues continued to dominate whilst Fulham sat back for the counter, which was successful after a blunder from Joao Cancelo in the 26th minute. He was subsequently shown a red, and Pereira converted from the spot.
City continued to have chances, and we could argue that Bernardo was fouled after a corner. He certainly believed so as he purposefully called for the ball so that he could stop play to shout at the referee – “you little dancer”.
The Portuguese was booked as a result, and City fans were off their seats. Every show needs a pantomime villain, and that was certainly Darren England, as fans chanted “you’re not fit to referee” – I will shamelessly admit that I was fully involved in that bit of fun.
A phenomenal performance by all, whilst the strikers often found themselves isolated, they were more than willing to put in a shift defensively and dropping deep to hold up play for others to get forward.
Gundogan and Rodri helped to maintain control of the game, Stones controlled the whole of the right side singlehandedly, whilst being involved in moving the ball forward. Akanji and Ake very much involved in the build-up play and controlling the majority of counterattacking moments.
ALL were involved in defending when needed, seeing players such as Foden and Bernardo in the box blocking shots.
A special mention for De Bruyne and Bernardo who both played multiple positions and worked their socks off to not only prevent conceding a goal, but to search for the winner for the blues – Bernie was actually playing at centre-back at various times during the game.
The 64th minute saw Haaland and Foden brought on for Grealish and Alvarez. Bringing on two City fans in front of a hyped-up crowd was a genius move from the main man, Pep Guardiola – Zlatan could never.
These substitutions only rallied the crowd even more. City had a goal harshly disallowed by VAR (Very Annoying Refs) in the 74th minute, but this did not deflate the fans or the boys in blue, it pushed them even harder.
As time was ticking down, the visitors remained passive, and City continued to be patient whilst probing Fulham like they were an alien experiment for the winner, until a certain Belgian was brought down in the box by Robinson.
And the aliens finally descended; that big one, Haaland, stepped up to the spot. There was only going to be one outcome, and Fulham came off well and truly panned.
There were limbs, there was a 93:20 moment replica, there was a Pep meme born, there was an Eddie knee slide, and it was stuff of champions.
Fulham claim that the result was “cruel”. However, with 29.3% possession compared to our 70.7%, their 2 shots on target to our 5, and 4 shots to our 16, despite having an additional man for over an hour of the game, there was only one worthy winner at the Etihad today.
Next up: Manchester City vs. Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday 9th November.