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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 November 2006, 14:43 GMT
Man City 3-1 Fulham
By Phil McNulty

Bernardo Corradi
Bernardo Corradi celebrates ending his Man City goal drought
Bernardo Corradi ended his Manchester City goal drought as Stuart Pearce's side struck three first-half goals to cruise past disappointing Fulham.

Corradi volleyed home strike partner Georgios Samaras' header for his first goal of the season after 12 minutes.

He then turned home Joey Barton's pass before the Merseysider slid in the third seconds before the break.

Substitute Collins John lobbed home a neat finish for Fulham after 62 minutes, but City were worthy winners.

It was the first goal City have conceded in more than 10 hours of football at Eastlands this season, but hardly took the gloss off an impressive display.

City boss Pearce's decision to recall Corradi and Samaras paid rich dividends during a rampant first 45 minutes in which Fulham were swept aside.

The pair were back in the starting line-up instead of Trevor Sinclair and Paul Dickov after the goalless stalemate against Newcastle.

And they combined to provide City with the opener in the 12th minute, Samaras flicking on for Corradi to score his first goal since his summer arrival with a right-foot volley.

The Italian was clearly delighted to end his drought - and delivered an elaborate celebration which involved removing the corner flag and bestowing a "knighthood" on team-mate Barton.

Corradi had more cause to be grateful to Barton after 32 minutes when the Merseyside-born midfield man set him for his second.

Fulham complained that Carlos Bocanegra had been fouled by Claudio Reyna in the build up, but City were not complaining as Barton rolled the ball into the path of Corradi to score with ease.

And Fulham, who had been wretched, then conceded a suicidal third goal in first-half injury time.

They were caught with only one defender back from a corner, and once Hatem Trabelsi picked up Sylvain Distin's long clearance they were in serious trouble.

Trabelsi found the unmarked Barton, who rolled a composed finish past Antti Niemi.

Fulham boss Chris Coleman needed to take desperate measures, and he did so by removing Brian McBride and Bocanegra and sending on attacking duo John and Heidar Helguson.

They at least provided Fulham with a glimmer of hope after 62 minutes when Helguson headed on for John to lob the advancing Nicky Weaver.

Micah Richards, outstanding on his England debut in Holland, led the City response with rampaging runs down the right wing.

He narrowly failed to set Corradi up for a hat-trick, then drove wastefully into the side-netting with 13 minutes left as the striker waited unmarked in the middle.


  • Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce:
    "Bernardo wants to work hard and he cannot understand why he gets a day off in the week.

    "When I give him a day off he comes in and works. I am pleased he has got his reward for working hard.

    "We have created a lot of chances over the last few weeks and not put them away and today we could have had five or six. It's a shame we conceded one."

  • Fulham boss Chris Coleman:
    "It was not that we lost but the manner in which we lost.

    "We are better than how we played today but we have got to play to our maximum if we are to get results.

    "It was never going to be pretty (at half-time) but fair play to them, they were in among each other and that's the only positive I can take out of that."




    SEE ALSO
    Saturday's football photos
    18 Nov 06 |  Football
    Get club news on your mobile
    22 Feb 05 |  Sport Homepage


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