By William Wood | In Match Reports - Away Games
A Fulham fight-back denied Manchester City a win at Craven Cottage and ended the side’s 100% start to the Premier League season.
With Micah occupying the right flank, City marched into a two-goal lead only for Martin Jol’s men to claw their way back into it and seize a point.
A sluggish start from both sides saw chances few and far between in the opening 10 minutes, with a tame David Silva shot being the only Opta qualifying effort of note.
A Schwarzer punch minutes later was then fired back in by Silva again, but the Australian was equal to the effort, but Roberto Mancini’s men did eventually find a way through. Sergio Aguero it was, continuing his fine start to life in England, Silva again involved as he picked out the Argentina international who in turn tapped home to make it 1-0.
Aguero almost added a second immediately only for Schwarzer to get his hand to it, quickly followed by a Gael Clichy drive which also forced Fulham’s stopper into action.
In a one-sided first-half, Joe Hart was sparsely involved other than to hold on to a low drive by Clint Dempsey, and as the teams went in at half-time Fulham had Schwarzer thank for the fact they were just one goal down.
However, weren’t to be denied a minute after the restart after a route one approach saw Edin Dzeko lay the ball off to Aguero, with the forward adding the finishing touch to make it 2-0 and seemingly send City on their way to the three points.
Just as things seemed to be going according to script for Mancini, though, Fulham pegged them back. Dempsey picked out Bobby Zamora and the striker smashed the ball home from 25 yards, with Hart helpless on his goal-line.
The hosts could have grabbed a leveller immediately after, too, as Dempsey charged through only for Micah to make a last ditch tackle to deny his opponent, whilst Moussa Dembele’s low drive was turned away only by a world class save from City’s stopper moments later.
Hart was once again called on with 67 minutes on the clock as Dempsey’s close-range header seemed goal-bound, and the England goalkeeper was certainly making up for his quiet opening 45 minutes.
Micah sent a header a yard wide from Nasri’s corner and Fulham launched an attack of their which garnered an equaliser for Jol’s side. Zamora it was that turned provider, teeing up Danny Murphy who saw his shot deflected in by Vincent Kompany to make it 2-2.
Even the introduction of Carlos Tevez didn’t help City find a way through for their third, and Mancini had to settle for a point as his side dropped their first Premier League points of the season.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Kelly, Baird, Hangeland, John Arne Riise, Duff, Murphy, Sidwell, Dempsey, Zamora, Dembele. Subs: Etheridge, Orlando Sa, Kasami, Ruiz, Senderos, Gecov, Grygera.
Man City: Hart, Micah, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Toure Yaya, Nasri, Aguero, Silva, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Johnson, Kolarov, Toure, Tevez, Balotelli.