London: Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero sent Manchester City back to the top of the Premier League after being gifted goals by Fulham to seal a 2-0 victory on Saturday.
City moved a point ahead of Liverpool, who host Tottenham on Sunday but will have played a game more than Pep Guardiola’s defending champions.
It is little wonder Fulham are next-from-last and facing relegation given the sloppiness of the defending before both City goals.
A misplaced, casual clearance by Timothy Fosu-Mensah in the fifth minute was seized on by Kevin de Bruyne. Aguero received the ball from the Belgian before he teed up Bernardo Silva to strike low into the net.
Fulham were so ineffective on the ball that, when the hosts finally strung passes together in the 15th minute, there were ironic cheers around Craven Cottage.
It was a brief intermission from the City supremacy.
Fulham defender Joe Bryan even helped City with their second goal in the 27th minute.
Bryan’s slack attempt to pass the ball back to Calum Chambers was intercepted and Bernardo Silva squared to Aguero, who struck past goalkeeper Sergio Rico.
With a comfortable lead and little threat from Fulham, City could afford for their finishing being wayward after the break.
Midfielder Bernardo told Sky Sports: “We started the game very well, pressing high, creating chances.
“The second half we tried to control the ball. We’re very happy with three points and it’s on to next one.
“We press high, we try to make them make as many mistakes as possible. It’s important for us to create so many chances from mistakes for our openers.
“When you’re top of the league, it’s in your hands. If we win the seven games left, we will be champions.”
City defender Kyle Walker was also in a bullish mood and wants his side to score more goals and kill off games.
“We want to score more goals, but the most important thing is three points,” he said. “I’m more than happy.
“It’s a pleasure to play with these players, it’s a joy to go to training each and every day. We’ve got a busy month and a very important one.
“I think we’ve done well all season, we had a little blip but apart from that we’ve done remarkably well in all competitions.
“We need to take each game as it comes and pick up victories in all of them hopefully.”
Next up is another game against relegation-threatened opposition, with Cardiff going to City on Wednesday night.
Among their remaining seven games, City still have to play a resurgent Manchester United and third-placed Tottenham.
Fulham are 13 points from safety with 18 points to play for.