Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Football : Man City 2 - 1 Fulham

Kolo Toure's first goal for Manchester City put them in the last 16 of the Carling Cup after extra-time.
Fulham went ahead against the run of play thanks to a 25-yard screamer from the right foot of Zoltan Gera.
City had most of the play and they got back on level terms when Gareth Barry headed in from a corner after Fulham keeper David Stockdale missed the ball.
And in the second period of extra-time, Ivorian defender Toure headed in an inswinging Martin Petrov corner.
Toure's goal ensured City got back to winning ways after their controversial 4-3 defeat at Manchester United on Sunday.
City manager Hughes believes the Carling Cup is a good chance of them winning silverware this season and he went against the tide by picking a very strong team, with only Micah Richards dropping out.
Fulham, who made 11 changes from their 2-1 defeat at Wolves on Sunday, were content to sit back and try to hit City on the break, and after surviving some early City pressure, their gameplan spectacularly paid off just after the half-hour mark.
From their first real attack of the game the ball fell to Gera outside the City box, and the Hungarian proceeded to hit a quite sizzling volley that screamed into Shay Given's net.
The hosts were stunned, but they merely continued to dominate and created several more chances as Chris Smalling blocked a Carlos Tevez shot, with the Argentine then heading a Nigel de Jong cross wide, with Stockdale punching a Barry shot away from danger.
Eventually City's perseverance paid off as Stockdale got into a muddle from an inswinging corner and Barry nodded in at the far post.
It seemed as though City would canter home from then on, but the hosts struggled to take further advantage of their stark superiority as Barry headed at Stockdale and Bellamy fired a shot over the bar.
The 24,507 present at Eastlands could scarcely believe extra-time was needed and still City were frustrated as substitute Vladimir Weiss shot over and Stockdale saved well from Bellamy.
But with 111 minutes on the clock, City grabbed their winner as Toure rose high to head in a Petrov corner from almost underneath the crossbar.
Manchester City boss Mark Hughes:"They're well organised and got plenty behind the ball.
"It was difficult to break them down. We had to be patient. We stuck at it and are in the hat for the next round.
"That was the order of the day. We are pleased about that."
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson:"I was disappointed we could not take it to penalties.
"But I am not disappointed with the team as they gave me everything. I thought we could give Manchester City a game and make it difficult for them.
"We took it to an even better level. To find ourselves at 1-1 into extra time was more than we could have hoped for."

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