With Liverpool winning earlier in the day and moving to top spot at least until Monday night, it was important that an injury-riddled Manchester City would also hit form at this crucial time of the season. With Arsenal and Chelsea not playing until Monday a win at The Cottage against Fulham today would see the Citizens move to second, level on points with Arsenal.
The lineup was all change again for City who saw Joe Hart return to goal for a Premiership start in favor of Costel Pantilimon with two natural left backs — Gael Clichy and Aleksander Kolarov — starting the game, the former playing on the right. Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis started again together as the center back pairing with Yaya Toure and Fernandinho just in front of them and David Silva and Samir Nasri provided the attacking play from midfield. That said, try keeping Toure and Fernandinho back from the opposition penalty area. Up front were Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo, a partnership I have never really been impressed with before today.
Early goals from Yaya Toure and Captain fantastic, Vincent Kompany gave City the 2-0 lead at halftime. Toure’s goal in particular could be goal of the week and looked to set City off to an easy win. This is Manchester City, though, and ‘easy’ has never been part of their history. The 2-0 lead became 2-2 with only twenty minutes left with Kompany scoring in his own net after Richardson had started the comeback.
Manuel Pellegrini rang the changes with Jesus Navas coming on for the ineffective Dzeko and James Milner coming on for Nasri. Before the second change City was back in the lead thanks to the first man, Navas. 3-2 became 4-2 when the second man was found unmarked in the area. Only City could start with two left backs, finish with two right wingers and win 4-2. Typical City has returned.
Jason Bardwell is a Soccer writer for Rant Sports and The Sports Column. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy or on Facebook.