English Premiership

Silva service sees City win

2013-01-19 19:33
David Silva (AP Photo)
Manchester - David Silva trebled his goal output for the season by scoring twice as defending Premier League champions Manchester City beat Fulham 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The victory cut the lead currently held by first-place Manchester United to four points, although City's neighbours and chief rivals hold a game in hand with a visit to Tottenham Hotspur scheduled to take place on Sunday.

City manager Roberto Mancini will nonetheless draw great satisfaction from the victory, which saw Silva return to the sort of form that has made him one of the league's most feared forward players over the past two seasons.

The Spanish international's only other league goal from his 17 starts this season had come in a 5-0 victory over Aston Villa in November, but the confidence with which he claimed his goals against Fulham suggests he is back to his best.

Given City's record in games in which they have taken the lead this season -- 11 wins, one draw -- the outcome of the match was effectively settled, thanks to Silva, within two minutes of kick-off.

The goal stemmed from a poor pass by Fulham's Ashkan Dejagah, which was intercepted by James Milner, who, in turn, found Edin Dzeko.

The Bosnian's thunderous drive from the edge of the area was parried by Mark Schwarzer directly into the path of Silva for a simple conversion from eight yards.

City, however, soon discovered that killing off the game was not going to be a straightforward task.

Pablo Zabaleta might have snatched a second goal soon after but could not control Gael Clichy's far-post cross and Dzeko headed into Schwarzer's arms from six yards after meeting Silva's centre.

Fulham, having weathered the early City storm, gradually began to gain a foothold in the game, mostly thanks to the hosts allowing them to pepper their penalty area with crosses.

One of them, from Damien Duff just after the half hour, was met by Steve Sidwell, who out-jumped Zabaleta but failed to get solid contact on his effort, heading against the outside of the City post.

Dzeko had one more attempt to extend City's cushion, in first-half injury time, swinging at a pull-back from Carlos Tevez and sending his shot curling over the goal.

Tevez continued to cause problems for Fulham upon the restart and Sidwell was required to make an impressive covering tackle to stop a long, powerful run from the Argentinian.

Dzeko wasted another decent opportunity, after Vincent Kompany had headed on a Silva corner, steering his shot directly at Schwarzer from only six yards.

Silva gave his team-mate a small lesson in the art of finishing after 68 minutes, however, with a goal that put the game's outcome beyond any lingering doubt.

It was a well-crafted goal as Clichy's pass from the left wing was helped into Silva's path by a neat Tevez back-heel and the Spaniard surged towards goal before lifting his shot over the onrushing Schwarzer.

Silva might have claimed a hat-trick just a minute later when he was played through by a pass from substitute Samir Nasri but, on this occasion, he showed a rare miscalculation and rolled a shot inches wide of the far post.

Dzeko was profligate yet again, shooting way over at the end of good play from substitute Sergio Aguero and Silva, while Aguero, back from a hamstring injury, went close on at least two occasions as City coasted.

A forgettable performance from Dzeko was summed up in injury time when he somehow missed the target altogether from six yards from a Nasri through ball.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Mashaba's mandate outlined

2014-07-28 17:10

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS7
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
  • SS5
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
Sport Talk

Fixtures
16 August 2014
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 13:45
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Stoke City v Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Everton, King Power Stadium 16:00
Queens Park Rangers v Hull City, Loftus Road Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland, The Hawthorns 16:00
Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium 18:30
17 August 2014
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 14:30
Newcastle United v Manchester City, St. James' Park 17:00
18 August 2014
Burnley v Chelsea, Turf Moor 21:00
Vote

How will Manchester United fare in next season's English Premiership under Louis van Gaal?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.