The third placed team in the Championship traveled to take on the second placed team in the Premier League and the result was as expected. The difference in quality was overwhelming all over, even if Manchester City used a rotated lineup and Fulham dug themselves quite a hole going down a man in only six minutes.
Even without Tim Ream’s early sending-off, there never was a question of the better side. Manchester City is eager to add some silverware to their cabinet this season and after Liverpool’s utter domination in the EPL, one of the targets is likely the FA Cup. Maybe still not a priority, but starting the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo and David Silva showed that City means business. Fulham went to the game with slightly rotated side as well, but their game plan came undone only six minutes in with Tim Ream getting tossed out after pulling down Gabriel Jesus in the penalty area. With ten men, the already unlikely mission turned to impossible.
There were not too many lessons to be learnt from the game either. Manchester City took the possession and command of the game from the start and gave Fulham only scraps to feed on, if that. The visitors only managed one shot in the 90 minutes and only a handful of counter-attacks kept them in the game. On the positive note, City was held to overall six shots on goal and aside from Ream’s red card, there were no major errors in the defensive end – City was simply overwhelming and scored four goals, one of them from the penalty. On the other hand, Fulham couldn’t produce even a mentionable chase after going down early, as Manchester City rendered the visitors offense completely toothless.
Success in the FA Cup was never in the books for Fulham and being mauled by Manchester City might prove to be a necessary reminder for the team to keep on working and concentrating on winning the promotion – their primary goal for the season. In Championship, Fulham will be hosting Huddersfield next, on Saturday the first of February.
Fulham vs Huddersfield (1×2): 1.66 – 3.65 – 4.95