Premier League - Toure hat-trick helps City thrash Fulham

Premier League, Etihad Stadium – Manchester City 5 (Toure 26 pen, 54 pen, 65 Fernandinho 84 Demichelis 88) Fulham 0

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Yaya Toure reacts after scoring a penalty for Manchester City against Fulham (Reuters)

Yaya Toure scored two penalties and curled home a delightful third as Manchester City beat ten-man Fulham 5-0 to keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea.

The Ivorian midfielder opened the scoring from the spot after a crazy kick from Fernando Amorebieta sent Alvaro Negredo sprawling to the turf.

But City struggled for tempo and creativity in a dire first half, although David Silva did see an effort headed off the line and Aleksandar Kolarov crashed a shot against the crossbar.

Another reckless challenge from Amorebieta killed the contest after the restart when he sent Silva tumbling inside the penalty area – the Fulham defender receiving a red card for his efforts – with Toure again doing the honours from the spot.

Toure capped a fine display by curling a magnificent effort beyond David Stockdale for his hat-trick as City mounted attack after attack against their beleaguered opponents.

Fernandinho crashed home a fourth at the near post and Martin Demichelis scored his first goal in City colours as the hosts sealed a comprehensive victory without ever fully hitting full-stride.

City remain six points off pacesetters Chelsea with three games in hand.

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KEY MOMENTS

23’ - RICHARDSON BLASTS WIDE! The ball bounces kindly to Richardson who lashes narrowly wide, almost atoning for an appalling free-kick just moments earlier.

26’ - GOAL (PEN)! City 1-0 Fulham! Negredo hits the deck inside the penalty area. Looks like Amorebieta boots him in the bottom. Crazy challenge. Jonathan Moss, after consulting with his linesman, points to the spot. Toure waits for Stockdale to move, then rolls it into the opposite corner.

36’ - HEADED OFF THE LINE! Silva takes the ball perfectly in his stride and dinks the ball over the keeper. Will it find the net? No! Headed off the line by early villain Amorebieta.

44’ - KOLAROV HITS THE BAR! Kolarov unleashes a fierce shot which smacks against the woodwork. Fulham lucky to be behind by just the solitary goal.

54’ - GOAL (PEN)! City 2-0 Fulham. Silva is clattered by Amorebieta (yep, him again) inside the box. Clear penalty. The defender is shown a straight red. Toure vs. Stockdale from 12 yards. Toure wins.

66’ - TOURE HAT-TRICK! City 3-0 Fulham. Nasri rolls the free-kick across to Toure. The Ivorian glances up, sets his sights on Stockdale's goal and unleashes an unstoppable curling shot into the corner. Wonderful finish from distance.

85’ - GOAL! City 4-0 Fulham. Fernandinho's drifts around William Kvist with ease before lashing past Stockdale at his front post. Cracking strike, but could the keeper have kept that out?

88’ - GOAL! City 5-0 Fulham. The ball richochets across the box and lands perfectly at the feet of Demichelis who scores with the tamest effort in Premier League history.

90+2’ - MISS OF THE SEASON? Sidwell slumps to his knees and attempts to head back to Stockdale. His nod lacks the required power and Negredo is in... Must be six... No! What. A. Miss.

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KEY STATS

Man City become the sixth team to score 3,200 top flight home goals. (Infostrada)

Patrick Roberts is the 37th different player to play in the PL for Fulham this season, equalling Middlesbrough in 2005/06 for most different players to play in the PL for a team in an entire campaign. (Infostrada)

Yaya Toure has scored the first PL hat-trick by a Man City player since Carlos Tevez in their 6-1 win at Norwich in April 2012. (Infostrada)

Fulham have conceded two penalties in the same PL match for only the second time – after their 1-1 home draw v Aston Villa in Feb 2005 (both were missed that day). (Infostrada)

TALKING POINT

Is it game over for Fulham? Despite lots of neat and intricate passing, the visitors never looked like scoring and were torn apart after Amorebieta’s dismissal. It’s all looking rather ominous for the Craven Cottage faithful.

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MAN OF THE MATCH

Yaya Toure (Manchester City): Easy decision. Scored a hat-trick and bossed the midfield.

PLAYER RATINGS

Manchester City: Hart 6, Zabaleta 6, Lescott 6, Demichelis 6, Kolarov 6 Fernandinho 6, Toure 8, Milner 7, Nasri 6, Silva 6, Negredo 6… Subs: Navas 6, Rodwell 6, Jovetic 6.

Fulham: Stockdale 6, Heitinga 5, Hangeland 5, Amorebieta 4, Riise 5, Kacaniklic 6, Riether 6, Kvist 6, Sidwell 5, Richardson 6, Woodrow 5… Subs: Holtby 6, Roberts 6, Kasami 6.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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