After four games without a win Roberto Mancini declared that his side would successfully defend their Premier League title this season but his side will have to perform much better than they did at Craven Cottage if they are to achieve that objective. It was yet another case of City lacking fluidity in attack and failing to take their chances as they were frustrated by the well drilled Cottagers.
Martin Jol’s men have enjoyed a promising start to the campaign and were gifted the lead after referee Mark Halsey awarded them a dubious ninth minute penalty after John Arne Riise went down in the area despite minimal contact from Pablo Zabaleta. Mladen Petric made no mistake from 12-yards, giving visiting goalkeeper Joe Hart no chance.
City stepped up their search for an equaliser in the wake of going behind but barely tested the Fulham back four, while Mark Schwarzer enjoyed a relatively trouble free half hour. The home side looked dangerous on the break but Petric blazed over the from the edge of the area after neat work by Hugo Rodallega.
It wasn’t until the 28th minute that the away side went close to scoring with Sergio Aguero nodded David Silva’s corner wide from close range. The Argentinian wouldn’t be denied three minutes before the break as he tapped home from close range despite Schwarzer doing brilliantly to keep out Carlos Tevez’s strike.
Aguero then glanced a header wide just after half time while Zabaleta and substitute Mario Balotelli curled wide. It was left to Dzeko to save the day four minutes from time as he slammed Clichy’s low cross into the roof of the net to seal a priceless victory.