Pep Guardiola’s Man City cruise past Fulham and take over top of the table

LONDON — Manchester City hit the top of the Premier League with one week of the season remaining as two goals by Josko Gvardiol and one each for Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez sealed a 4-0 demolition of Fulham on Saturday.

City's stroll in the London sunshine, their seventh successive league win and 16th consecutive victory over Fulham in all competitions, moved Pep Guardiola's a step closer an unprecedented fourth English title in a row.

They have 85 points from 36 games, with Arsenal on 83 from 36. Arsenal can regain top spot by beating Manchester United on Sunday but City, who play their game in hand at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, are now two wins away from history.

Croatian defender Gvardiol slotted them in front in the 13th minute after a neat one-two with Kevin De Bruyne and Foden gave them breathing space in the 59th minute.

Man City goals vs Fulham

Gvardiol made sure of the points when he slid in to touch home Bernardo Silva's cross at the back post and City's fans, with former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher in their ranks, were in party mode when Alvarez tucked away a stoppage-time penalty after being fouled by Issa Diop who was sent off.

It was the type of ruthless performance City inevitably produce down the stretch in title race and they now look likely to wrap up it up at home to West Ham United next week.

"The great players enjoy playing with great pressure," Guardiola said. "These players in the last few years have been able to do it and we are again in the latter stages.

"Our dream is as we said a few weeks ago when they (Arsenal) lost against Aston Villa was to arrive in the last games with it in our hands, to play West Ham at home with the destiny belonging to us. We did a really good job today."

City established a new English record for consecutive wins by one club over another as they beat Fulham yet again, but it is a landmark fourth successive title they crave.


They took a huge step towards that goal by stretching their unbeaten league run to 21 games, piling the pressure on Arsenal ahead of their trip to Old Trafford.

Guardiola's side have had to play catch-up recently with their last three victories all coming after Arsenal had won, but this time they were given the chance to test the London club's resolve in the weekend's opening game.

Mid-table Fulham began their final home match of the season in positive fashion with early forays forward but City quickly found their slick passing rhythm to take the lead.

Left back Gvardiol displayed his recent appetite for goals when he played a one-two with De Bruyne, side-stepped a Fulham defender and dispatched a shot past a static Bernd Leno.

For all City's domination they were unable to extend their lead before the interval as Manuel Akanji missed a sitter and with Arsenal's form giving City no margin for error there were a few jitters early in the second half as keeper Ederson was forced to scramble away a deflected cross.

But any nerves were soothed in the 59th minute as Silva's run was blocked and the ball fell to Foden who swept a right-footed shot past Leno.

Erling Haaland should have made it 3-0 when the Norwegian blazed over, his second bad miss of the game, but such is City's depth of attacking riches that goals can come from anywhere as Gvardiol ably demonstrated to take his tally to four goals in his last five league games.

"Absolutely unexpected. He is unbelievable with both feet," Guardiola said of the 22-year-old.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

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