Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola hails ‘fantastic’ team performance at Fulham

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Pep Guardiola insisted all 11 players, including goalscorer Sergio Aguero, were fantastic as Manchester City moved 17 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Sergio Aguero scored his first Premier League goal in 14 months from the penalty spot to cap off City’s 3-0 win at Craven Cottage.

John Stones opened the scoring after tapping home a Joao Cancelo free-kick before Gabriel Jesus benefited from a lucky ricochet when Fulham tried to clear for City’s second.

Aguero stepped up and calmly drove the ball into the corner of the net and past Alphonse Areola from the penalty spot after former City defender Tosin Adarabioyo fouled Ferran Torres to seal the three points.

“In general, the game was really good in a tough, tough stadium, they came here and they won in Anfield last week and they always create chances,” Guardiola said.

“We controlled really well and we played in the first half really good and we cannot deny we scored the first goal in the first minute (of the second half) with John (Stones) and after much later, the second and the third and it was an important and brilliant victory.

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“We knew it was important this week with three games in three different competitions, we started with one (win). But eight games left in the Premier League, now we focus on the Champions League.”

On Aguero, the Manchester City boss added: “Of course, everyone wants to jump in sight of the bus (on the scoresheet), so more than welcome.

“Of course, it’s so important his goal and he played 90 minutes (for the first time) for a long time and moved really well against a tough, tough side, so physicality, they were almost man to man.

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“That was not easy for the guys, but we were incredibly solid behind and defending really well, and (did) not concede in the set-pieces and all 11 players were fantastic.”

Fulham continued their momentum from last Sunday’s win at Liverpool in the early stages but were quickly punished after a slow start to the second half, despite having conceded just two goals in their previous seven league matches.

“I thought first half we took the game to Man City and played very well, were very solid out of possession,” Fulham boss Scott Parker said.

Aguero scored his first Premier League goal since January 2020 to wrap up victory
Aguero scored his first Premier League goal since January 2020 to wrap up victory (Justin Setterfield/PA)

“I asked the team to be very brave in terms of how we set it up and building from midfield and I thought we did it very well.

“It’s fair to say there were some sloppy goals really in the second half. Something we’ve not been accustomed to seeing really.

Fulham manager Scott Parker was disappointed with the goals conceded against Manchester City
Fulham manager Scott Parker was disappointed with the goals conceded against Manchester City (Catherine Ivill/PA)

“Set-play goal which was poor and two individual errors that Man City pounced on and the game was over at that point really so I think that’s the residing factor from tonight’s game.

“I asked the team to be brave, I asked the team to show courage because that’s what you have to do when you’re playing a top side like Man City and try and leave a mark or at least try and have some impact on the game and I thought we did that, but there’s no denying that we made mistakes and the goals we conceded tonight were poor goals.”

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