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PREMIER LEAGUE: Man City in cruise control against Fulham

Manchester City have gone three points clear on top of the Premier League table with a comfortable 3-0 win over Fulham at the Etihad Stadium.

A Sergio Aguero penalty, a Chris Baird own-goal and a late finish from Edin Dzeko did the damage for Roberto Mancini's men who bounced back sharply from their midweek loss at Everton to go clear of neighbours Manchester United who are away at Chelsea tomorrow.

City got an early lead when Adam Johnson was brought down in the area by Baird in the ninth minute with referee Mike Dean taking a little while to point to the spot but finally did for the very first time against Fulham all season. Aguero took honours and although Mark Schwarzer guessed the right way, the Argentine forced his shot past the Australian for goal number 15 of the campaign.

Just on the half-hour mark, City were two to the good when Aleksandar Kolarov sent a ball in from the left which was flicked to the back post by Aguero for a waiting Johnson who screwed it back across goal to see it take a deflection off Baird and into the back of the net.

Just under 20 minutes from time, City had wrapped up proceedings when Aguero made a forced run into the left side of the area before squaring it for Edin Dzeko who was able to slot home with ease for his 12th of the campaign.

In the 24th minute, Simon Davies had Fulham's first real chance when he made a nice run on the edge of the area before forcing Joe Hart into a save whilst David Silva wasn't far away with an angled attempt which flashed across goal.

Just prior to the half-hour mark, Damien Duff was just wide before Schwarzer came up with a very strong save when Aguero struck goalward around his body.

The snow began to tumble in the second half and besides Dzeko's goal and Stephen Kelly forcing Hart to make a low save when he struck firmly from a short free-kick, there were few other chances as City made it 18 victories for the season to remain top with Martin Jol's Cottagers falling to 14th on the back of seven away matches without a win.

TRIBAL ASKS: City back in form with a very comfortable win. When the Toures are back, will they return to outright favouritism for the title after Man Utd bridged the gap at the top?

Manchester City: 3 (Sergio Aguero (p) 10', Chris Baird (og) 30', Edin Dzeko 72') Fulham: 0

Etihad Stadium, Manchester - 46,963

Yellow cards:MANC - Aleksandar Kolarov 74' FUL - Philippe Senderos 66', Moussa Dembele 75', Chris Baird 85'

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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