Manchester City 3-0 Fulham: Leroy Sane takes just 90 seconds to score on comeback
Sane, Silva and Sterling net as City close gap on Liverpool and Chelsea
Last Updated: 16/09/18 7:47pm
Leroy Sane scored on his return as Manchester City maintained their imperious Premier League home record in a 3-0 victory over Fulham.
Sane (2) took just 90 seconds to bag on his first start of the season as City were in a slick mood and had too much for the naive Londoners, who tried to go toe to toe with the champions in the early stages.
David Silva (21) scored on his 350th appearance for the club and Raheem Sterling (47) completed the scoring in a game where City were scintillating to watch but wasteful in front of goal.
City have now won 18 of their last 20 Premier League home games and move to within two points of Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the table.
Man City: Ederson (7), Walker (6), Otamendi (7), Laporte (7), Delph (8), Fernandinho (8), D. Silva (8), B.Silva (8), Sterling (7), Sane (7), Aguero (6)
Subs: Jesus (6), Mahrez (6), Gundogan (6)
Fulham: Bettinelli (7), Christie (5), Odoi (6), Mawson (5), Johansen (5), Seri (4), McDonald (5), Schurrle (6), Mitrovic (5), Vietto (5), Sessegnon (4)
Subs: Ayite (7), Anguissa (6)
Man of the match: David Silva
Fulham set up with a high line and tried to play out from the back which allowed City to counter whenever they upped the tempo.
Fernandinho robbed Jean Michael Seri in midfield with just two minutes gone and surged down the left before crossing for Sane, who tapped home from two yards.
Sterling, who gave Fulham youngster Ryan Sessegnon a torrid time at left-back, had an effort pushed onto the crossbar on 15 minutes but Silva doubled the lead shortly after.
Leroy Sane was handed his first start of the season as Pep Guardiola made four changes with Fabian Delph, Bernando Silva and Nicholas Otamendi coming in. Benjamin Mendy was left out the squad. Meanwhile, Fulham made three changes from the 2-2 with Brighton. Cyrus Christie, Stefan Johansen and Ryan Sessegnon returned to the side.
He was on hand to thump home from close range for his 50th Premier League goal after Sergio Aguero's shot was blocked into Silva's path.
A couple of long-range efforts from Andre Schurrle were all Fulham could muster in response as City continued to break forward down the wings at will.
The third goal came via that route as Aguero stole a march down the right and flashed in a low cross which Sterling prodded home for his third of season.
Aguero limped off with what seemed a knee injury midway through the half and his replacement Gabriel Jesus wasted multiple chances in the final quarter.
Bernardo Silva also somehow fired over from 10 yards - it mattered little for this game but City will need to sharpen up their finishing as the season progresses.
Raheem Sterling was straight back into first-team action after pulling out of the England squad with a back injury. He looked full of energy as he gave the Fulham back four a torrid time but will have been disappointed only to have scored one having had five presentable chances in front of goal. Fabian Delph was impressive at left-back but Kyle Walker was subdued, maybe affected by sustaining an early eye injury. For Fulham, Ryan Sessegnon was given the run-around by Sterling at full-back and looked out of his depth in that position against high-class opposition.
- Courtesy of their victory over Fulham, Manchester City have won six consecutive Premier League matches against a single London team for the first time ever.
- Fulham have registered their second worst-ever start to a Premier League campaign after five games (4pts, -5 goal difference); only bettering 2011/12 (3 pts, -3 goal difference).
- City are unbeaten in the Premier League against newly promoted sides in their last 34 home meetings (W30 D4), since losing to Reading 0-2 in 2007.
- Sane has had a hand in 18 goals in his last 16 Premier League games at the Etihad Stadium (6 goals, 12 assists).
- Aguero (68) has scored more goals in all competitions for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola than Sterling (36).
Man of the match: David Silva
The 32-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down as once again he turned in a mesmerising performance of passing and moving. Everything City conjured up down the left flank was through Silva, who linked with Fabian Delph and Sane impeccably. Nobody made more passes (62) in the opposition half than the Spaniard and he showed his ruthlessness in front of goal by firing home his only shot of the game.
Pundit reaction - Paul Merson
"Sane gives City real width. That's what they want as he opens the game up for them. When he stays out wide, the two Silvas can get on the ball and do their stuff.
"Sane's attitude was good, he scored a goal. He must have been devastated by not going to the World Cup, he looked a shoo-in and was on all the billboards in Germany. That would have affected him, but fair play to him.
"City played the whole of the second half in third gear. That's why I think they have the edge over Liverpool, who were taken to the wire against Brighton. I think that takes its toll later in the season."
City open their quest for Champions League glory on Wednesday against Lyon before travelling to Cardiff next weekend. Meanwhile, Fulham host Watford in the Saturday lunchtime game next weekend, which is live on Sky Sports.