There’s some real praise for battling Fulham in today’s papers.
Whilst drawing attention to the Manchester City shortcomings we exposed yesterday, Ian Ladyman in the Daily Mail reckons we are progressing nicely:
For all the improvements in Manchester City’s play and prospects over the past few months, a fundamental problem threatens to undermine Mark Hughes’ team.
If City do not improve their defending, they will not qualify for the Champions League.
Having started the season with four clean sheets, they are without one in seven. Yesterday, against a fast improving Fulham side, they conceded two more goals in a match that they did not really deserve to win.
The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor reckons Fulham could have won:
Typical City, you could say, and for the first time this season it would not have been misplaced. They have come to hate that tag, but a side with genuine top-four aspirations should not allow a two-goal lead to slip at home, even if Fulham do have a belligerent streak. The mind flashed back to the faltering last few weeks of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s tenure when Fulham came here and won 3-2 from 2-0 down, and it could have been the same again if Roy Hodgson’s side had accepted one of several late chances. Unfortunately for them, their best opportunity fell to the wrong man and, having got past Lescott, Zamora turned his shot narrowly wide.
In The Times, James Ducker felt Fulham were worthy of their point.
Take nothing away from Fulham, who thoroughly deserved their point and, but for one of the misses of the season from an otherwise praiseworthy Bobby Zamora, might have taken more from this absorbing encounter. But as formidable as City can be going forward, they have a distinctly fragile look at the back.