Man City recovers to win 4-2 at Fulham in EPL

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm •  Published: December 21, 2013

LONDON (AP) — Manchester City substitutes Jesus Navas and James Milner recovered a 4-2 victory at Fulham on Saturday after the visitors threw away a two-goal lead in a rain-lashed English Premier League encounter.

Yaya Toure put City in front with his fourth goal from a free kick this season and captain Vincent Kompany fired in City's second just before halftime.

But five minutes after the break City conceded possession near the Fulham penalty area, and Kieran Richardson completed a rapid counterattack to begin the hosts' fightback.

In wild, windy conditions on the banks of the River Thames, Fulham was gifted an equalizer in the 69th. Kompany inexplicably sliced the ball past his own goalkeeper Joe Hart, who was recalled after being dropped in league games since October.

But Navas restored City's lead in the 78th when he slotted through goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg's legs.

And City ripped through the Fulham defense again five minutes later as Milner scored to condemn Fulham to an eighth loss in nine league games.

While Fulham is next from bottom, City rose provisionally into second place, a point behind Liverpool.

"It was a really difficult match because the pitch wasn't good and it was very windy," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said.

City can be overtaken by either Arsenal or Chelsea, who play on Monday, but the team's status as the league's most formidable attack was reinforced here against the most porous defense.

While City has a leading-leading 55 goals, Fulham has conceded a high of 32.

But away from the Etihad Stadium, City has averaged only a point a game this season, and the intensity from the hosts was greater from the outset.

The City defense was easily beaten after 13 minutes, as Adel Taarabt forced Hart into making a fine diving save — one of several that convinced Pellegrini to retain the goalkeeper for Thursday's match against Liverpool.

"At the moment he deserved to play today and he also deserves to continue," Pellegrini said. "When I put (Costel) Pantilimon in the starting XI I spoke with Joe and he understood that he was not in a good moment.

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