Sergio Aguero inspired Manchester City to a thumping win over Fulham to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League.
The Argentine forward swept home an early penalty after Chris Baird’s trip on Adam Johnson, before the defender put through his own net, following Johnson’s cross.
Edin Dzeko capped a solid City showing with 18 minutes left, tapping home after Aguero slalomed past Philippe Senderos, pilling the pressure on rivals Manchester United who travel to Chelsea on Sunday.
City had the opportunity to put some breathing space between themselves and their near neighbors, and bounce back following defeat to Everton against a Fulham side who were again forced to start without a recognized centre forward, with top scorer Clint Dempsey leading the line once again.
The Premier League’s top scorers had netted just seven goals in their last six games and began with an attack minded line-up, with Johnson starting in a cavalier looking front four, and the England winger played a major role in the league leaders hitting the front.
The former-Middlesbrough man’s tricky footwork seduced a challenge from Baird, leaving referee Mike Dean with little choice than to award a penalty.
Top scorer Aguero did the business for the hosts, curling beyond Marc Schwarzer for his 15th league goal of the season.
After Simon Davies and Damien Duff came close at the other end, Johnon and Baird came together again as City doubled their lead.
Aleksander Kolarov’s cross wasn’t cleared, and Johnson’s pullback ricocheted off Baird and beyond Schwarzer.
Having recovered from going two-goals down to grab a point during their league meeting in September, The Whites were entitled to be optimistic they could mount a second half comeback.
The arctic conditions did little to assist the flow of the second half, with the game having to be regularly stopped to allow ground staff to scrap away snow from both penalty areas.
But the conditions subsided in time for City to put the contest to bed, as Aguero’s run allowed him to set up Dzeko, who made no mistake.
The Bosnian hit his own post in the closing stages as Fulham searched for a consolation, but City were ruthless at the back, retaining their 100% win record at the Etihad Stadium as they went clear at the top of the Premier League