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Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Sunday, 27 February 2011

Man City   1 - 1   Fulham

Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring
Balotelli is mobbed after his superb first-half strike at Eastlands

By Jonathan Stevenson

Manchester City's slim Premier League title hopes suffered another setback as they were held to a draw by Fulham.

City, badly missing the creativity of the injured David Silva, went ahead when Mario Balotelli rifled in a superb right-foot shot from outside the area.

Aleksandar Kolarov wasted a fine chance before Fulham, managed by former City boss Mark Hughes, levelled when Damien Duff converted Andrew Johnson's cross.

Carlos Tevez and Kolarov went close, but City could not find a winner.

The draw leaves City 10 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United having played a game more than their local rivals.

And it was a result that will mean a lot to Hughes, who was sacked as City manager in December 2009 as the club appointed Roberto Mancini as his replacement.

Mancini's hand shake lacked respect - Hughes

It appeared as though there is little love lost between Hughes and Mancini, who came together in angry fashion after the final whistle. They walked towards each other without looking and barely shook hands, both men withdrawing their grasp and disappearing down the tunnel.

But Hughes will be by far the happier of the two bosses having seen his side accumulate another crucial point in their battle to stay in the top flight and they thoroughly deserved it for another determined display.

City, fresh from easing into the last 16 of the Europa League by beating Aris Salonika 3-0 on Thursday, were never at their best and they must now focus on gathering enough points to ensure they stay in the top four and qualify for next season's Champions League.

Balotelli, Tevez and Edin Dzeko once again formed a three-man attack but they were impressively shackled by the visitors' rearguard and missed the prompting and probing of Silva, who was sidelined by an ankle injury.

Mark Hughes and Roberto Mancini shake hands
Hughes and Mancini come together at the final whistle at Eastlands

Fulham had not lost in their three previous league trips to Eastlands and they more than matched City from the outset, breaking up the hosts' flow and starving them of possession in areas where they could do real damage.

City's best early chance was a Balotelli volley from a corner that flew over but the visitors quickly replied with two of their own as they began to enjoy themselves. First Danny Murphy fired narrowly over and then Moussa Dembele forced the home side's goalkeeper Joe Hart into action, both shots coming from outside the area.

Just as Mancini's men seemed to be struggling, a moment of magic broke the deadlock in their favour. Balotelli played a one-two with Tevez outside the Fulham box on the left and after holding off Murphy, he bulleted a right-foot shot into the bottom corner of Schwarzer's net.

The Londoners' heads briefly went down and the visitors could have been 2-0 behind when their defenders inexplicably let the ball run into their penalty area to Kolarov on the left, the Serb selfishly shooting into the side-netting instead of squaring to Tevez or Dzeko.

Players are feeling the strain - Mancini

But gradually the Cottagers worked their way back into it and, after Dembele had an effort bravely blocked, they got the reward their endeavour deserved soon after the restart.

It was a beautifully worked goal too. Brede Hangeland fed a pass to Johnson down the right and he fizzed over a cross to the back post where Duff, hurtling forward, met the ball eight yards out and directed it past a flat-footed Hart.

Fulham were suitably buoyed and striker Johnson fired low at Hart as the Eastlands crowd began to show signs of their frustration with City struggling.

Slowly but surely City did begin to create some chances of their own and Balotelli mis-kicked eight yards out after great work down the right from Pablo Zabaleta, before Patrick Vieira came on for the ineffective Dzeko and gave Mancini's side a lift.

Balotelli played Tevez through and his left-foot shot was superbly tipped around his post by Cottagers keeper Mark Schwarzer, before Kolarov's awkwardly dipping volley from fully 30 yards was pushed over the bar.

But the home side continued to labour and in the end they can have few complaints about Fulham heading back to London with a point.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Man City 1-1 Fulham FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Balotelli 26
  • Duff 48

Man City

Substitutes

Fulham

Substitutes

Ref: WaltonAtt: 43,077
MAN CITY
FULHAM

Possession

  • Man City 49%
  • Fulham 51%

Attempts on target

  • Man City 4
  • Fulham 5

Attempts off target

  • Man City 10
  • Fulham 6

Corners

  • Man City 10
  • Fulham 1

Fouls

  • Man City 17
  • Fulham 13
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:09 The match has reached full-time.
  • 89:09 The assistant referee signals for offside against Mario Balotelli. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
  • 88:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta by Chris Baird. Free kick taken by Gareth Barry.
  • 87:11 Mario Balotelli has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.
  • 86:40 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Damien Duff by Pablo Zabaleta. Indirect free kick taken by Chris Baird.
  • 85:29 Carlos Tevez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey. Danny Murphy takes the indirect free kick.
  • 84:45 Shot by Jerome Boateng went wide right of the post.
  • 84:05 Unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by Danny Murphy results in a free kick. Mario Balotelli crosses the ball in from the free kick, Eidur Gudjohnsen makes a clearance.
  • 84:05 Booking Danny Murphy goes into the referee's book.
  • 82:40 Moussa Dembele takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart. Free kick awarded for a foul by Patrick Vieira on Danny Murphy. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick. Damien Duff is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Pablo Zabaleta.
  • 81:23 Damien Duff crosses the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Clint Dempsey misses to the right of the target.
  • 80:45 Shot from deep inside the area by Carlos Tevez clears the bar.
  • 78:23 Substitution Andrew Johnson goes off and Eidur Gudjohnsen comes on.
  • 76:04 Substitution James Milner replaces Aleksandar Kolarov.
  • 73:36 The ball is crossed by Damien Duff, Headed effort from inside the area by Moussa Dembele misses to the left of the goal.
  • 72:49 Damien Duff fouled by Gareth Barry, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Damien Duff, Aleksandar Kolarov makes a clearance.
  • 69:52 Mario Balotelli challenges Damien Duff unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
  • 69:52 Booking Mario Balotelli receives a caution.
  • 67:36 Mario Balotelli takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.
  • 66:37 Mario Balotelli takes the inswinging corner, save by Mark Schwarzer.
  • 66:04 Aleksandar Kolarov takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer. Corner taken by Aleksandar Kolarov played to the near post, Danny Murphy manages to make a clearance.
  • 65:45 Mario Balotelli takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Chris Baird.
  • 65:25 The ball is sent over by Carlos Tevez, Damien Duff manages to make a clearance. Mario Balotelli takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Moussa Dembele.
  • 64:02 Unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey by Kolo Toure results in a free kick. Danny Murphy crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel.
  • 63:01 Kolo Toure concedes a free kick for a foul on Dickson Etuhu. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
  • 62:00 Foul by Jerome Boateng on Moussa Dembele, free kick awarded. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
  • 60:57 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Mark Schwarzer makes a save. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov played to the near post, clearance by Moussa Dembele.
  • 59:22 Effort from range distance by Pablo Zabaleta goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 59:22 Substitution Patrick Vieira on for Edin Dzeko.
  • 57:04 The ball is sent over by Joe Hart, save by Mark Schwarzer.
  • 55:54 Aleksandar Kolarov challenges Damien Duff unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick. Effort from inside the area by Moussa Dembele misses to the left of the target.
  • 55:08 Aleksandar Kolarov challenges Damien Duff unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick. Moussa Dembele produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target.
  • 54:17 Close range shot by Mario Balotelli goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 52:02 Foul by Brede Hangeland on Mario Balotelli, free kick awarded. Shot comes in from Carlos Tevez from the free kick.
  • 51:40 Joleon Lescott fouled by Danny Murphy, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.
  • 51:06 A cross is delivered by Pablo Zabaleta, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Mario Balotelli misses to the left of the goal.
  • 50:37 Andrew Johnson takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
  • 49:13 Carlos Tevez fouled by Danny Murphy, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gareth Barry.
  • 49:03 Unfair challenge on Gnegneri Toure Yaya by Clint Dempsey results in a free kick. Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the direct free kick.
  • 47:10 Assist by Andrew Johnson.
  • 47:10 GOAL - Damien DuffMan City 1 - 1 Fulham Goal scored by Damien Duff from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 1-1 Fulham.
  • 46:27 Corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff.
  • 46:22 Carlos Salcido sends in a cross, Aleksandar Kolarov makes a clearance.
  • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+1:32 The first half comes to an end.
  • 45:00+1:02 Corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov, clearance made by Aaron Hughes.
  • 43:08 The ball is delivered by Moussa Dembele, clearance by Gareth Barry.
  • 41:14 Damien Duff challenges Gareth Barry unfairly and gives away a free kick. Joleon Lescott takes the free kick.
  • 39:34 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey by Gnegneri Toure Yaya. Brede Hangeland takes the direct free kick.
  • 37:56 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gareth Barry on Clint Dempsey. Danny Murphy takes the free kick. Moussa Dembele takes a shot. Blocked by Mario Balotelli.
  • 36:59 Unfair challenge on Aaron Hughes by Mario Balotelli results in a free kick. Chris Baird takes the free kick.
  • 36:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gnegneri Toure Yaya on Danny Murphy. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
  • 33:50 Unfair challenge on Gnegneri Toure Yaya by Andrew Johnson results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.
  • 33:50 Booking The referee books Andrew Johnson for unsporting behaviour.
  • 33:29 Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.
  • 32:57 Brede Hangeland gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mario Balotelli. Pablo Zabaleta restarts play with the free kick.
  • 31:48 Dickson Etuhu challenges Mario Balotelli unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
  • 31:05 Damien Duff produces a cross, Joleon Lescott manages to make a clearance. Unfair challenge on Moussa Dembele by Mario Balotelli results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
  • 29:47 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Brede Hangeland by Edin Dzeko. Brede Hangeland restarts play with the free kick.
  • 28:28 Clint Dempsey fouled by Jerome Boateng, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy crosses the ball in from the free kick.
  • 27:31 Shot by Aleksandar Kolarov from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
  • 25:15 The assist for the goal came from Carlos Tevez.
  • 25:15 GOAL - Mario BalotelliMan City 1 - 0 Fulham Mario Balotelli scores a goal from outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 1-0 Fulham.
  • 23:22 Moussa Dembele takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.
  • 21:45 Shot from just outside the box by Danny Murphy goes over the target.
  • 21:20 Carlos Salcido crosses the ball. Damien Duff produces a cross.
  • 19:51 Corner taken by Aleksandar Kolarov from the left by-line, Effort from deep inside the area by Mario Balotelli misses to the left of the goal.
  • 19:08 Free kick awarded for a foul by Carlos Salcido on Jerome Boateng. Aleksandar Kolarov crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Carlos Salcido makes a clearance.
  • 17:31 The referee blows for offside against Mario Balotelli. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
  • 17:01 Foul by Carlos Salcido on Pablo Zabaleta, free kick awarded. Gnegneri Toure Yaya restarts play with the free kick.
  • 15:54 The ball is sent over by Jerome Boateng, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.
  • 14:23 Carlos Salcido produces a cross, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.
  • 13:08 Clint Dempsey has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.
  • 11:11 Chris Baird sends in a cross, save by Joe Hart.
  • 10:16 A cross is delivered by Chris Baird, clearance by Kolo Toure.
  • 8:44 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Mario Balotelli played to the near post, clearance by Brede Hangeland.
  • 7:27 Outswinging corner taken by Aleksandar Kolarov, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Mario Balotelli misses to the right of the target.
  • 7:05 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta by Dickson Etuhu. Free kick taken by Pablo Zabaleta.
  • 5:52 Centre by Aleksandar Kolarov, Carlos Salcido makes a clearance.
  • 3:57 The ball is delivered by Jerome Boateng, save by Mark Schwarzer.
  • 2:51 Mario Balotelli crosses the ball, clearance made by Clint Dempsey.
  • 0:00 The match gets underway.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



Print Sponsor




Barclays Premier League results

27 Feb 2011 23:59 UK


Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 27 Feb 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 27 36 60
2 Arsenal 27 30 56
3 Man City 28 19 50
4 Tottenham 27 7 47
5 Chelsea 26 24 45
6 Liverpool 28 1 39
7 Bolton 28 1 37
8 Sunderland 28 -2 37
9 Newcastle 28 4 36
10 Everton 27 -1 33
11 Stoke 27 -3 33
12 Aston Villa 28 -12 33
13 Fulham 28 0 32
14 Blackburn 28 -11 32
15 Blackpool 28 -13 32
16 Birmingham 26 -10 30
17 Wolves 28 -15 28
18 West Ham 28 -16 28
19 West Brom 27 -17 28
20 Wigan 28 -22 27

see also
Mancini's handshake lacked respect - Hughes
27 Feb 11 |  Premier League
Players are feeling the strain - Mancini
27 Feb 11 |  Premier League
Sunday football as it happened
27 Feb 11 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
27 Feb 11 |  Football



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