Erling Haaland rescued Manchester City with a last-gasp winner as Manchester City rose to the summit with a majestic 2-1 win over Fulham.

City didn’t have the easiest way as Fulham came to the Etihad Stadium to grab their bragging rights and they almost had run away with a solitary point. Ilkay Gundogan poked Julian Alvarez with a defence-splitting pass through the Cottagers’ defence and the Argentine netted his third Premier League goal.

A moment of madness from Joao Cancelo disrupted City’s juggernaut as the fullback nudged Harry Wilson inside the penalty box who was on his way towards the City goal.

The referee didn’t waste his time as he pointed towards the spot and former Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira restored parity to open his account in the top flight.

City were on the course of registering another dull draw but Antonee Robinson’s untimed tackle brought Kevin De Bruyne down and Erling Haaland’s sluggish penalty saved the day for the hosts.

The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Pep Guardiola’s men

Ederson: 6/10

Fulham very rarely troubled the Brazilian keeper but he didn’t manage a clean sheet this time as City cheaply gave away a penalty.

John Stones: 7/10

Started at right back and put up a fairly good display as City tucked in with continuous efforts towards Fulham’s goal. Had a goal ruled out for offside and was easily the best defender for the home side.

Nathan Ake: 5/10

Ake was particularly at fault as Palhinha got past his challenge pretty easily and it led to Cancelo being exposed pretty badly. The fullback tried to cover up which led to the penalty. Ake also was pretty loose in some positions throughout the game.

Manuel Akanji: 6/10

Tried to advance forward and could have scored a couple as he missed two easy headers.

Joao Cancelo: 4/10

There would be very few complaints about the penalty as the player deliberately tried to shoulder Wilson out of his path and the match official was right to give him the marching order. A poor afternoon for the defender.

Rodri: 7/10

Took authority in the midfield as City pushed for the winner with 10 men in their ranks. The Spaniard sat between the defence and midfield and controlled proceedings as he intervened on a number of occasions to break up play.

Ilkay Gundogan: 7 /10

Brilliant vision for him as he laid off Alvarez for the opener. Didn’t really look positive on the ball as he huffed and puffed for any openings.

Kevin De Bruyne: 9/10

Another masterclass from the Belgian midfielder. He was practically everywhere on the pitch as most of City’s attacks came through him. The Belgian was denied an assist as Haaland’s earlier goal was judged offside. But the midfielder always found a way to breach the opponent’s half and this time too he won the penalty for the winning goal.

Bernardo Silva: 7/10

Tirelessly worked on the ball but couldn’t find that incisive final pass. Was shown a yellow card for venting his frustration at the referee.

Jack Grealish: 5/10

Continued to struggle on the left as he wasn’t able to combine with his fellow attackers at all.

Julian Alvarez: 7/10

Capped a fine evening with a well-taken goal as he took Gundogan’s well-judged pass in his stride and shot it past a hapless Bernd Leno.

Substitutes

Erling Haaland: 8/10

Fulham didn’t offer him much room but the mighty Norwegian once again showcased his skill at the dying moment. Leno almost parried his spot kick and the striker was very lucky to have scored his 18th Premier League goal.

Phil Foden: 7/10

Tried to inject some pace and intent.

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