Manchester City 3-0 Fulham: Sane inspires hosts to a comfortable win

Leroy Sane took only 98 seconds to mark his Manchester City return with a goal as Pep Guardiola's side emphatically maintained their 100 per cent record at The Etihad this season.
Sane had the simple job of tapping home Fernandinho's cross from four yards as normal service was resumed for the reigning PFA Young Player of the Year who had begun the season with significant highs and lows.
The 22-year-old was dropped from City's last game after being lacklustre in training and was then criticised by Germany team-mate Toni Kroos for showing the same body language 'if he wins or loses'. 
But after leaving the Germany squad early to become a father to a baby girl last week, Sane was welcomed back into the fold by Guardiola and made the instant impact City needed to break Fulham down.
Victory was then confirmed with further goals from David Silva on his 350th City appearance and Raheem Sterling.
The Londoners have not beaten City since 2009 and gifted the champions in the second minute when Jean Seri's ball to Denis Odoi midway inside his own half was easily intercepted by Fernandinho.
The Brazilian chugged energetically towards the penalty area and then produced a marvellous curved low cross that bypassed Marcus Bettinelli in no-man's land and left Sane alone in front of an open goal. 
Encouraged, City were at their rampant best in the opening 20 minutes with Fulham rueing the absence of skipper Tom Cairney.
Raheem Sterling should have made it 2-0 when he was left one-on-one by a pass from Bernardo Silva. Sterling showed initial good control but his finish between Marcus Bettinelli's legs caught the inside of the goalkeeper's thigh and freakishly ricocheted up and hit the crossbar.
It only delayed the inevitable. Sterling fed Bernardo Silva after 21 minutes who in turn squared to Sergio Aguero. When the Argentine's shot was blocked by Odoi, the ball reared up onto David Silva's chest before he tucked it home off the underside of the crossbar.
Fulham claimed it had hit the Spaniard's forearm but referee Stuart Attwell was unmoved as Silva ran away to celebrate on his 350th City appearance. It was proving a tough test for the visitor's much-hyped teenager Ryan Sessegnon who found Sterling and Bernardo a real handful to deal with at left-back. 

Manchester City: Ederson 7, Walker 6, Otamendi 6, Laporte 6.5, Delph 6 (Gundogan 67, 6), Bernardo Silva 6.5, Fernandinho 7, Silva 8, Sterling 7 (Mahrez 74, 6), Aguero 7.5 (Gabriel Jesus 54, 6), Sane 7.
Subs not used: Stones, Zinchenko, Foden, Muric.
Goals: Sane (2), Silva (21), Sterling (47)
Fulham: Bettinelli 6, Christie 7, Odoi 5.5, Mawson 5, Ryan Sessegnon 5.5, Seri 5 (Zambo Anguissa 56, 6), McDonald 5.5, Johansen 6, Schurrle 7, Mitrovic 5.5, Vietto 6 (Ayite 69, 6). 
Subs not used:  Chambers, Le Marchand, Fosu-Mensah, Bryan, Ramirez.
Goals : NONE
Attendance : 53,307
Referee : Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 6
Raheem Sterling has Sergio Aguero to thank as the Argentine striker got the ball and burst into the area before putting it on a plate for the winger. CLICK HERE for more from Sportsmail's Match Zone.
Sane looked in the mood and was aggrieved his pass to Aguero was adjudged offside after a clever one-two with David Silva. Ederson, a spectator in City's goal for the first 29 minutes, will have been grateful to be called into action when he punched away a shot from Andre Schurrle.
He needed to be even more alert to tip another Schurrle strike over the crossbar approaching the interval.
Remarkably, Guardiola hasn't lost a game in September since 2010 and he was certain of preserving the record early in the second half.
Aguero easily outstripped Alfie Mawson down the right edge of the penalty area and his clip across the box was sidefooted in by Sterling. 
It gave City the breathing space for Guardiola to withdraw Aguero after 53 minutes with a Champions League game against Lyon coming up in midweek and the striker looking in mild discomfort.
Replacement Gabriel Jesus fired over at full stretch soon after coming on and the pace gradually dropped as Guardiola's men contemplated future hurdles.
Fabian Delph was replaced midway through the half with Ilkay Gundogan coming on and Kyle Walker reshuffling to left-back. Riyad Mahrez was given a brief run-out as the final change in place of Sterling – meaning no action for teenager Phil Foden - but the game was reduced to walking place for the final 15 minutes.
Guardiola's side are two points behind leaders Liverpool and Chelsea - and have scored 19 goals in their last six home league games - but a first Champions League crown will be at least as big a priority this season.

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