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 Saturday, 28 December, 2002, 16:51 GMT
Anelka earns City win
Man City's Nicolas Anelka is tackled by Fulham defender Alain Goma
Anelka is foiled by a tackle from Goma
Fulham 0-1 Manchester City

Kevin Keegan enjoyed a victory over former club Fulham at Loftus Road, thanks to Nicolas Anelka.

Anelka struck after 84 minutes of an entertaining game which swung from end-to-end for the most part.

Both sides had the chances to win the game but Anelka had the decisive say when he slotted a left-foot shot into the corner of the Fulham goal.

Key moments
39 mins: Marlet's shot is cleared off the line by Dunne
40: Fulham keeper Taylor pulls off a superb save to deny Benarbia
84: Anelka scores City's winner

Early on the game lacked fluency because of the number of offsides and a lack of quality in attack.

But once the sides had sized each other up they began to trade blows with plenty of goalmouth action leaving little time to draw breath.

Fulham midfielder Sean Davis delivered the first real blow of the match when he sent a left-foot volley just wide of City keeper Peter Schmeichel's post.

It was a decent, old-fashioned game of football with some long balls and a lot of duels on the pitch

Man City manager Kevin Keegan

Almost immediately, home striker Steve Marlet found himself one-on-one with Schmeichel but the Danish keeper spread his large frame and pulled off a good save.

Marlet will have been disappointed he did not score while Steed Malbranque could not convert the follow-up effort.

The home team should have taken the lead through Marlet after 39 minutes when he had a clear sight of goal from 12 yards.

But Marlet failed to get enough purchase on his shot and Richard Dunne cleared off the City goal-line.

Fulham almost paid the price straight away at the other end, but Maik Taylor pulled off a superb save to stop a Benarbia free-kick which Martin Djetou cleared off the line.

We keep saying we were unlucky - but our problem is that we have to score to get our confidence back

Fulham boss Jean Tigana

Huckerby squandered two chances to break the deadlock and Anelka was guilty of an embarrassing miss.

With the goal at his mercy, the Frenchman headed wide from two yards.

But he made up for his error late on when he latched onto a ball from Shaun Wright-Phillips and shot into the corner of Taylor's goal.

Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Knight, Goma, Brevett, Goldbaek, Davis, Djetou (Legwinski 64), Malbranque (Hammond 77), Marlet, Sava.
Subs Not Used: Melville, Herrera, Wome.

Man City: Schmeichel, Dunne, Howey, Distin, Jensen, Huckerby (Wright-Phillips 69), Foe, Benarbia (Wiekens 87), Horlock, Berkovic (Jihai 36), Anelka.
Subs Not Used: Goater, Nash.

Booked: Jensen.

Attendance: 17,937

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset).

 BBC Five Live's David Oates
"Defeat was a bit rough on Fulham"
 Man City boss Kevin Keegan
"A really gritty performance"
 Man City defender Niclas Jensen
"We are happy to come away with the points"
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