City Ease Past Fulham In Race For Fourth

Ieuan BeynonCorrespondent IIIMarch 21, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 21:  Carlos Tevez of Manchester City celebrates with teammate Craig Bellamy after scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Manchester City at Craven Cottage on March 21, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Roberto Mancini's men won again away from home as they kept the pressure on Tottenham in the race for the Champions League position.

Fulham looked jaded after their Europa League exploits against on Thursday, and City took full advantage with a 2-1 victory.

Again missing Emmanuel Adebayor through suspension, Roque Santa Cruz had another chance to impress the boss upfront.

He got off to the perfect start tapping from six yards after a Craig Bellamy shot came back off the post.

The visitors dominated the first half and were always in control.

Carlos Tevez looked in good form and he and Bellamy linked well to make 2-0. Bellamy playing in the Argentine in, he stepped inside the defender and slotted past Mark Schwarzer.

That was the score at the break, a half in which City had established a healthy lead and never really looked troubled by Fulham.

The story stayed the same for much of the second half, City were content to keep the ball at the back and in midfield.

Adam Johnson came close to making it three, but his shot just clipped the outside of the post.

With 15 minutes remaining the referee awarded the home side a very soft penalty. The ball striking Gareth Barry on the arm, but there wasn't much he could have to prevent it.

Danny Murphy stepped up and sent Shay Given the wrong way. 2-1 and game on.

Then Mancini's men do what they so often do allowed their opponents back into the game. They switched off at the back and could have been punished further if not for an off-target Stefano Okaka.

Fulham had claims for another penalty late on when the ball struck Vincent Kompany on the arm, this time though appeals were waved away by the official.

So another three points for the City, but are we confident of a Top Four finish?

Well I think we should be. We play Tottenham again so we can take three points off of them. 

We face Manchester United at home, this is the derby of all derbies though, after the semi-final loss in the Carling Cup. You can bet Mancini will have the team fired up for that one.

Then the only really tough game we have is Arsenal away. A point from such a fixture would gratefully received by the City faithful.

Also take a look at the players.

Carlos Tevez has scored in seven of his last eight, and it looks like he is repaying the club for letting him return to Argentina for the birth of his child.

Gareth Barry is starting to play really well, he has taken the reins in midfield over the last month, and is becoming, the catalyst he was for so many years at Aston Villa.

The likes or Bellamy and Nigel de Jong have been superb all season and continue to drive the team forward.

But the most improved player over the last five games has been Joleon Lescott, the big defender was injured during the warm against Fulham, but he has really settled in recent weeks and is starting to show why City broke the bank for him.

So City fans everywhere, we have plenty to be excited about in the coming weeks, and who knows maybe we'll be starting the season early for a Champions League qualifier.

It is City though so lets be prepared for a rough ride.