Yaya hits the Top 20 – MAN CITY 5 FULHAM 0

Yaya Toure – arguably the most complete midfield player in the Premier League – delivered a virtuoso performance in an overwhelmingly one-sided affair between what could be the best and the worst of top flight English football.

Manchester City’s Ivorian colossus cast a giant shadow of doom over hopeless Fulham with his first ever hat-trick, comprising two penalties and a now familiar Yaya wonder-strike from 30 yards.

Yaya acclaim - Toure hit his first hat-trick for City.  Courtesy @MCFC

Yaya acclaim – Toure hit his first hat-trick for City. Courtesy @MCFC

In doing so he struck goals 49,50 & 51 of his City career spanning 175 appearances, his 20th of this season and 16th in the league, surpassing Sergio Aguero’s 15, a truly prolific showing from a player labelled a ‘liability’ by TV pundit dotty, dippy Didi Hamann!

If Yaya is a liability please show me an asset.

City’s Toure de Force is quite rightly the headline grabber, but this was a very competent all-round showing from a side focused on the job in hand, ignoring Chelsea’s annihilation of Arsenal and the pending Manchester derby.

Spot on - Yaya dispatched two penalties with great aplomb. Courtesy @MCFC

Spot on – Yaya dispatched two penalties with great aplomb. Courtesy @MCFC

Shorn of Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero, City could not have hoped for a more lacklustre opponent than Felix Magath’s Fulham.

Pathetic and unrecognisable from Fulham sides who have generally faired well on the blue side of Manchester, the Cottagers were awful…and to think they grabbed a point at Old Trafford only last month.

City’s supremacy was obvious and it was surprising they took as long as 26 minutes to score and, even more so, the best part of another half-an-hour before doubling their lead.

But by the time pudgy, and questionably unfit to officiate, referee Jon Moss, blew the final whistle on 95 minutes the 5-0 deficit flattered the west Londoners.

Zero to hero - Martin Demichelis has had two excellent performances for City in seven days. Courtesy @MCFC

Zero to hero – Martin Demichelis has had two excellent performances for City in seven days. Courtesy @MCFC

They failed to trouble City’s much maligned central defensive pairing of Martin Demichelis and Joleon Lescott, both of whom had suffered previously at the hands of ‘mighty’ Watford and Wigan.

In fairness both the ‘Thirty Somethings’ played well.

The veteran Argentine, making his 17th PL start has reinvented himself after last week’s stoical showing at Hull, and then scoring his first City goal in the 88th minute against Fulham’s futile ‘resistance’.

Lescott, who already knows he’s leaving the Etihad at the season’s end, guaranteed he will qualify for his second Premier League winner’s medal by appearing in his 10th league game, if of course, City see off the challenge of Chelsea, Liverpool and a flagging Arsenal.

All smiles - City players celebrate their 5-0 thumping of hapless Fulham. Courtesy @MCFC

All smiles – City players celebrate their 5-0 thumping of hapless Fulham. Courtesy @MCFC

David Silva was his now standard sublime self, although afforded very little protection by a referee who could hardly keep up with the play. A case of a rolling Moss gathers a stone – if you get my drift?

Mr Moss is not a popular figure with City fans, but very few officials are nowadays such is the paucity of their performances  – and that’s even when City are winning games on a regular basis!

Silva was scythed down by vicious Venezuelan, Amorebieta, for City’s second penalty, with the Fulham defender receiving a straight red card. This was in addition to him being booked for conceding City’s first penalty, when he literally gave Negredo a kick up the backside.

Unlucky Beast - Negredo won a penalty & went close to a sixth City goal. Courtesy @MCFC

Unlucky Beast – Negredo won a penalty & went close to a sixth City goal. Courtesy @MCFC

TV commentators spoke of minimal contact but The Beast’s left buttock might call that a bare faced cheek – but of course an arse can’t talk.

That said, Michael Owen – the monotone drone – is a pundit for BT Sport for some inexplicable reason this season, so I’ll take back that last statement.

Yaya dispatched both penalties with cool aplomb but saved the best until last in the 65th minute.

A beautifully worked free kick between Nasri and Fernandinho engineered the space for Yaya to take a nonchalant swipe at the ball, sending a carefully crafted 30 yard shot curving past Stockdale in Fulham’s goal.

French architect - Nasri kept up his run of impressive form. Courtesy @MCFC

French architect – Nasri kept up his run of impressive form. Courtesy @MCFC

It was the Capital One Cup Final cracker all over again and Yaya was quick to make the point in his post-match interview. He doesn’t do mishit crosses, he smashes in gorgeous goals!

City’s fourth of the match and Fernandinho’s fourth of the season, wasn’t too shabby either. The indefatigable Brazilian burst into the 18 yard box and with Fulham’s defending as wet as the soggy Manchester weather, slammed home a beauty.

Three is the best - Yaya's wonder strike about to be dispatched. Courtesy @MCFC

Three is the best – Yaya’s wonder strike about to be dispatched. Courtesy @MCFC

In an almost comedic end to proceedings, Demichelis was in the right place at the right time inside Fulham’s six yard box.

As a  loose ball ricocheted and squirmed through a crowded penalty area, the pony-tailed one instinctively stuck out a leg to guide it home from two yards out.

In style terms, it was the complete opposite of Yaya’s third, but nobody cared.

Fourth of the Five - Fernandinho takes the applause for his 4th goal of the season & City's 4th of the day. Courtesy @MCFC

Fourth of the Five – Fernandinho takes the applause for his 4th goal of the season & City’s 4th of the day. Courtesy @MCFC

The South Stand altered the lyrics of the Pellegrini-Lamborghini song in tribute to MDM to sing ‘Sheikh Mansour went to Spain went out on the p*ss, brought us back our centre half Martin Demichelis.’

Notwithstanding City’s owner doesn’t partake of alcohol and you won’t see any Sunday newspapers relaying the song via their column inches, it reflects the unique humour that has stood City in good stead over the past few decades.

Action man - Milner worked tirelessly throughout the match. Courtesy @MCFC

Action man – Milner worked tirelessly throughout the match. Courtesy @MCFC

A special mention in dispatches for a gut-busting effort from James Milner in midfield, whereas his England colleague, Joe Hart, deserved a sponsorship deal with Damart Thermal Underwear – just hanging around with nothing to do in the bitterly cold weather!

Things will undoubtedly hot up for Joe as City go into back-to-back away challenges at The Swamp and The Emirates in the next week.

Captain Kompany will be restored to the defence to try and combat the tactics and strategy of football genius David Moyes, and word is Sergio Aguero could return for Arsene Wenger’s game number 1001 in charge at Arsenal.

Battle won - Congratulations all round as City chalk up 13 PL wins out of 14 games at the Etihad. Courtesy @MCFC

Battle won – Congratulations all round as City chalk up 13 PL wins out of 14 games at the Etihad. Courtesy @MCFC

City are stacked with players with a ‘big game’ mentality and six points garnered in the next seven days would maintain the bragging rights in Manchester, end Arsenal’s faltering title hopes and galvanise City’s charge to the top.

Manure will be desperate to chuck a spanner in the works (no, that wasn’t a reference to David Moyes) so City will need to be on their guard that a wounded United could still cause incalculable damage.

Big week - Manuel Pellegrini wants to guide City to maximum points over Man United & Arsenal. Courtesy @MCFC

Big week – Manuel Pellegrini wants to guide City to maximum points over Man United & Arsenal. Courtesy @MCFC

It promises to be adrenaline overdrive all the way. One can only hope and trust that Manuel Pellegrini has the sky blues geared up for victory.


By David Walker



Footnote: I am indebted to Read But Never Read reader, Simon Dear, for sharing the Martin Demichelis musical nugget with me and, subsequently, the wider RBNR readership.

Also, apologies to those who sought to comment on the RBNR Fulham preview article. A technical glitch prevented comments being published. Hopefully the problem has now been rectified.


  1. March 23, 2014  1:01 pm by Eileen Fullen Reply

    A joy to read sums up our task ahead will be tough and hope our Boys in Blue won't falter and I believe that the desire is there so fingers crossed come the end of the Season we will be winners

    • March 23, 2014  1:20 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Eileen - not only for your comment but for demonstrating that the comments section is working after the technical hiccups of yesterday.

  2. March 23, 2014  1:43 pm by Ian Reply

    Great stuff Dave, interestingly Mr Moss has a good record in City games, not sure of stats but believe has given us regular penalties and we tend to win. Will check and let you know.

    • March 23, 2014  1:57 pm by David Walker Reply

      'Notwithstanding' ;-) that fact young Ian, in my not so humble opinion, he's not very good. In fact most of the PL referees are incredibly bad. I know it's a difficult job but they are well paid, working in a cracking environment, they have two - even three - assistants and yet are often massively incompetent. Football is a billion pound industry and the game deserves either better officials or enhanced technology to help hard pressed officials.

      The Marriner farce yesterday illustrates how pompous and self righteous these bloody halfwits are, and yet they can determine a club's destiny with one ill founded decision.

      I wonder sometimes if it's just ineptitude or corruption or a combination of both. How often do we hear that a referee 'hasn't intentionally made a wrong call...' If there's a six-figure payment at the end of it, a lot of people would be prepared to be 'embarrassed' albeit temporarily in public.

      In a similar way that it is beyond belief that there are no gay footballers in the upper reaches of English football, who could say with utter conviction that there are no dishonest match officials?

  3. March 23, 2014  1:43 pm by guy Burke Reply

    Routine win against woeful opposition. The fact only about 400 Fulham fans bothered to attend tells you all you need to know about their survival chances! 2 difficult away games coming up , 6 points and City deserve to win the league no doubt - 4 points would be more than decent , but failure to win both would mean some serious snookers required. It is Stretfords cup final on Tuesday , they may even have a lap of honour if they draw!!

    • March 23, 2014  1:59 pm by David Walker Reply

      LOL Guy - nice comment. Fulham were appalling, although it's quaint that you can name all their away fans in person. There's Nigel, Godfrey, Julian, Tim...

  4. March 23, 2014  1:55 pm by Graham Ward Reply

    Fulham look doomed to relegation to me on this performance. Once the second went in, and with a man less, it then seemed a case of how many.
    Given the early result, and the progress of Liverpool at the same time, it was an important point to consider.
    Good to see 3 of our best get some rest ahead of Tuesday, and Jovetic having a timely little cameo as well. A perfect day would've been a Negredo goal!

    • March 23, 2014  2:01 pm by David Walker Reply

      I agree Graham, I think all the City support really felt sorry for the Beast when he skewed that late opportunity the wrong side of the post. He needs a goal for his confidence levels. No better stage than The Swamp to get back on track. Nice to see your comment come through after yesterday's problems. Thanks fella.

  5. March 23, 2014  3:28 pm by DOUG HENSHAW Reply

    Excellent & accurate read Dave. Fulham were poor but we can only play who is in front of us slow start but we got the result despite poor officials again which at this part of the season is what matters . Next its the dark side & we need to come out of the blocks a lot faster we must put them back in there box quickly & in a very meaningful way . By the way last week i decided to get of Demis back & give him my full support & what happens he scores am i a genius or what ( think i heard you say its or what ). Big week ahead come the Blues.

    • March 23, 2014  4:15 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for taking the time Doug. If we end up winning the title this season it might rank as a bigger achievement than Mancini's. The reasons for saying this are the critical & sustained injury list we've incurred this year - way beyond the 'average' - with Sergio out for three significant periods, Kompany, Silva, Nastasic,Jovetic, Nasri & to a lesser degree Rodwell, Milner & Richards.
      Coupled to the Sky TV revenues making our rivals more financially competitive it will be a more meaningful & measurable achievement IF it happens.

      That said it could NEVER be more joyous than that AGUERRRRROOOOO moment.

  6. March 23, 2014  4:42 pm by John Evans7 TT Reply

    Rodwell and Jovetic both got a kick against Fulham. Which is good news, although in Rodwell's case it was probably the shop window.

    Having turned over high fliers Olympiakos and West Ham, Stretford (and their media lickspittles) will be bigging their chances for Tuesday. Moyes will doubtless instruct his team to ‘smarten up’ City 'Everton Style', a task for which Fellaini is well suited. I also expect them to be diving like flies.

    The pie man must have used up all his luck at Upton Park! If we show the same mental attitude as against Hull (and keep 11 on the pitch), I am convinced we will edge it.

    • March 23, 2014  4:49 pm by David Walker Reply

      i both hope and anticipate our third win on the bounce at The Swamp. but don't mistake that for arrogance or complacency. It'll be a battle and we'll have to earn the win. Just hope Gollum doesn't target Silva for rough stuff because he is so vital to our hopes on the night and the remainder of the season.

  7. March 23, 2014  5:43 pm by Simon Dear Reply

    Now for the acid test !! . I mean Arsenal & Liverpool away which will ultimately shape our title credentials , if its still in our hands after the later then the gold badges will be worn on the arms once again , however before we dream we have to well & truly rip them off the oppositions on Tues. I've no doubt that they will start like a train against us on Tues and go for the jugular, I hope that's the case because it will play right into our hands as will their recent false dawns against feeble opponents. I along with some other blues actually think a draw at the swamp won't be a bad result and I tend to agree, Liverpool will be a bigger game and hopefully we will have our big game player firing on all cylinders, I would like to see MP go with Negredo on Tues as he is due a couple of goals and terrorised them at home , its clear however that Dzeko is likely to start , I just hope he doesn't need 5 chances to score .
    Very entertaining accurate read as usual , though I think the 'went to Spain MD version ' actually started in the family stand loaf all places , lets hope we are singing it again come Tues.

  8. March 23, 2014  6:52 pm by David Walker Reply

    The Family Stand - some of those Under-8s sure know a mean lyric! We have the best squad in the PL and now is the time to prove it. Wins at Swamp & Emirates and it WOWSVILLE Arizona time. C'mon Manuel let's go get this job done.

  9. March 23, 2014  9:30 pm by Jim Land Reply

    I can understand the antipathy towards Moyes, but think we should remember a few things. When he started his managerial career at Preston he was frequently linked with City. And many people were prepared to welcome him and were disappointed when he went to Everton where very sadly he had a good record against us. I think he did a reasonable job of managing an under-funded mid-table club utilising older players near retirement and some new talent that was later sold on; I think this is what made him the ideal man for United. And you could almost feel sorry for him: he's compared to old red-nose, and can never do better, whereas whoever takes over at OT later this year has just got to do better than Moyes.

    • March 23, 2014  10:21 pm by David Walker Reply

      Fergie handed Moyes a crock of shyte & bailed out because he knew Manure were not sustainable. He did what was right for himself & sod Moyes & the Scum.

      • March 23, 2014  10:47 pm by Jim Land Reply

        Absolutely agree, and the old fart is lurking in the shadows just in case there's any chance of a "rescue" mission.

        • March 24, 2014  3:54 am by David Walker Reply

          God forbid - Baconface The Redeemer!

  10. March 23, 2014  9:32 pm by fifthcolumnblue Reply

    The footballing powers that be really need to invest in some technology and get Pierluigi Collina cloned, as he was the only referee I've ever seen that was truly up to the job.

    Bring on the rags!

    • March 23, 2014  10:24 pm by David Walker Reply

      Jack Taylor sadly departed - officiated WC Final 1974 West Germany v Netherlands in Munich & gave the Dutch a 1st minute penalty. Now there was a referee & a gentleman. Bloody refs these days - 99% pure unadulterated shyte!

      • March 24, 2014  9:08 am by John Evans7 TT Reply

        Presumably the other 1% is 'adulterated' sh1te. Why not a golden turd award, as voted by your readers? My three votes go to Jonas Eriksson, the 'mysteriously wealthy' Swedish match official.

        • March 24, 2014  10:59 am by GeorgeInIsrael Reply

          When will Sian Massey get promoted?

  11. March 24, 2014  2:42 pm by Guvnor Reply

    Mr Walker, even after 2 penalties you have to mention or insult a referee you just do not like Refs full stop, that's poor sir.

  12. March 27, 2014  11:03 am by Mark Jefferson Reply

    You start the article by stating that Yaya is arguably the best midfield player in the Premier League, but I would say he is definitely the best in the Prem and arguably the best in the world. He does everything and more than the proclaimed 'giants' Iniesta and Xavi and I can only think of Scweinsteiger who can give him a run for his money in terms of 'bossing' a game from midfield with excellent defending, long and short passing and an excellent return in terms of goals.

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