Player ratings: Fulham v Manchester City

Hart – A bizarre crossfield free-kick in the first half suggested Joe’s mind wasn’t fully on the job. In contrast to others he had a better second period with a couple of excellent saves. No chance with either goal. 7

Richards – Not able to get tight enough on Zamora for Fulham’s opener, but pulled off a superb last ditch tackle on Dembele. 7

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Preview: Fulham v Manchester City

After the thrill of the Champions League it’s back to the even more important job of qualifying for it next season. After pulling out a few surprises in his midweek team selection, it will be interesting to see who Roberto Mancini rotates in on Sunday.

Thanks to Fulham playing in the Europa League there’s an extra days rest for City’s players. That won’t be enough for Milner and de Jong who are still injured. Worryingly it’s now debatable whether the Dutch international will be back in time for the Bayern Munich game.

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Verdict: Manchester City 1 Fulham 1

A disappointing draw with Mark Hughes in the dugout at Eastlands is hardly a new feeling, rather an unwelcome reminder of how we are yet to fully evolve into a top side. Mario Balotelli provided the one moment of real quality with a superb strike, while Fulham warranted their draw as City put in a jaded performance.

Mancini paid the price for playing strong sides against Notts County and Aris. The eight goals scored without reply in those two games now looks like overkill after we failed to get a second against Fulham.

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Player ratings: Manchester City v Fulham

Hart – No chance with the goal and rarely called upon elsewhere as Fulham failed to produce shots on target. 6

Boateng – Neither attacked or defended with enough menace. Hard to recall Jerome stopping a cross and it looks increasingly like centre-back is his only position of real strength. 5

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