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Manchester City climbed to second in the Barclays Premier League with a hard-fought 4-2 victory over Fulham.
Yaya Toure opened the scoring with a sublime 20-yard free-kick and Vincent Kompany doubled the advantage from close range before the break.
Kieran Richardson then kick-started a Fulham fightback with his first Premier League goal since October 2012, before Kompany inadvertently levelled matters with a sliced attempted clearance in the 69th minute.
City would not be denied the three points as Jesus Navas scored with 12 minutes remaining, powering home from a tight angle after receiving the ball from David Silva, before James Milner rounded off the win.
The victory stretches City's unbeaten run to six and lifts them above Chelsea and Arsenal who play on Monday, while Fulham remain in the relegation zone.
Fulham made two changes to the side that lost 4-1 at Everton last Saturday, with Adel Taarabt and Richardson coming in for Alex Kacaniklic and the injured Dimitar Berbatov.
Manuel Pellegrini, meanwhile, made three alterations to the XI that started last weekend's 6-3 victory over Arsenal, with Joe Hart making his return in goal and Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Dzeko replacing injured duo Pablo Zabaleta and Sergio Aguero.
Two of the incoming players were in the thick of the action early on, as Hart got down well to his left to deny a well-struck Taarabt effort from the centre of the penalty area.
At the other end, Silva went even closer to giving City the lead in the 14th minute, rattling the crossbar from 12 yards.
And City broke the deadlock nine minutes later, as Toure sent a superb curling free-kick into the top right-hand corner of the net off the underside of the crossbar from 20 yards.
Fulham pushed for an equaliser, and Taarabt had Hart sprawling once again as the England goalkeeper tipped a driven effort around his right-hand post just after the half-hour mark.
Taarabt continued to look Fulham's biggest threat and had another long-range strike deflected wide by Kompany six minutes from the interval.
Kompany added the second in the 43rd minute, prodding home from close range after Maarten Stekelenburg had parried a Martin Demichelis header from a Silva free-kick.
Fulham made a dream start to the second half as Richardson powered home from six yards to reduce the deficit after some good work by Taarabt down the left wing.
City were further punished for their failure to put the match to bed 10 minutes later, as Fulham equalised in bizarre fashion. Kompany swiped at a clearance, only to see the ball loop over the head of goalkeeper Hart and into the back of the net.
The visitors soon recovered their composure as Jesus Navas found the net in the 78th minute, before Milner got on the end of a superb Alvaro Negredo pass to make certain of maximum points.
Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen: "I made it clear at the beginning of the week that against a quality side like this, we would not sit back and wait for them. We gave a good account of ourselves and we did extremely well to get back from 2-0 down to 2-2.
"But it is a shame we are again empty-handed. If you look at every performance in the last four games, we should not be in this position in the table. We have had some difficult opponents and we have to make sure we start turning the performances into points."
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: “We were very nervous at 2-2 but Navas and Milner played very well and they scored one goal each. At 2-0 we looked comfortable but at 2-2 I had to change something as we were not going to win in the way we were playing.
“Some of the players were tired, and some were not having a good day but with Navas and Milner we have another style of play and both were very important. It’s important for this team to not think that we can’t win away – we have won three away games in the Champions League, two in the Capital One Cup and in the last three away games we have won two and drawn one.
“I think when we were 2-0 and 2-1 up we had more chances to score, but we missed them. We had some really bad luck with their second goal, but that happens in football. It’s important that the team reacted and Navas and Milner were very important in this. I try to think in positive terms, but at 2-2 they were playing better than us but it’s important for a team to change and that’s what we did.”
|26 Dec 2013||v Norwich (A)|
|28 Dec 2013||v Hull (A)|
|01 Jan 2014||v West Ham (H)|
|11 Jan 2014||v Sunderland (H)|
|18 Jan 2014||v Arsenal (A)|
|28 Jan 2014||v Swansea (A)|