Pep half­way

Man City ........ 3 Ful­ham ........ 0

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - By Richard Tan­ner

SHEIKH MAN­SOUR has sent an omi­nous warn­ing to the rest of the Premier League by say­ing Manch­ester City are ‘only half­way up their Ever­est’.

The Abi Dhabi bil­lion­aire who has bankrolled City’s trans­for­ma­tion says he will carry on in­vest­ing in star qual­ity in the pur­suit of more tro­phies – with the Cham­pi­ons League pre­sum­ably at the sum­mit of his am­bi­tions.

In an open let­ter to City sup­port­ers in the match­day pro­gramme, the sheikh – who has just cel­e­brated 10 years in con­trol but has only at­tended one game at The Eti­had – talked of his am­bi­tions for the next decade.

He wrote: “It feels we are only half­way up our Ever­est. There is much more to do and there is much more to win. That is why you will con­tinue to see us strive to re­cruit the very best tal­ent into this club.”

But on the ev­i­dence of this com­fort­able vic­tory – the cham­pi­ons scored 98 sec­onds into the first half and 97 sec­onds into the sec­ond pe­riod – boss Pep Guardi­ola does not re­ally need any re­in­force­ments with City look­ing in fine fet­tle as they launch their eighth at­tempt to win

Europe’s big­gest club prize against Lyon on Wed­nes­day.

They net­ted three goals but as Guardi­ola said it “could and should have been five, six or seven” such were the chances they cre­ated.

Ful­ham boss Slav­isa

Jokanovic said: “The re­sult is com­pletely fair. They showed they are one of the best teams in the world. They showed great pos­ses­sion of the ball and great at­tack­ing weapons.

“They were fast and strong and we didn’t find our per­fect level. But we didn’t make it easy for our­selves with the way we started the game and how we started the sec­ond half.”

There were al­ways likely to be goals in this match con­sid­er­ing that Ful­ham’s four pre­vi­ous fix­tures had fea­tured 16 goals, one more than in City’s four games.

But it was al­ways go­ing to be more a case of how many City would score.

The Cot­tagers faced the dilemma most teams face when play­ing the reign­ing cham­pi­ons. If you try to sit back and frus­trate as New­cas­tle at­tempted in the game be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break, Guardi­ola’s men have the qual­ity to even­tu­ally open a team up.

But if you have a go like Ful­ham did yes­ter­day, City will ex­ploit the spa­ces and rip you apart.

The Lon­don club did not help their cause by gift­ing their op­po­nents the lead af­ter try­ing to build from the back and falling prey to City’s high press. Jean Michael

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