Boring, boring City bellowed Blues fans mocking the club’s myriad critics during this rout in West London.
Three goals in thirty-five breathtaking minutes were enough to silence all the doubters who reckoned this side under Roberto Mancini had forgotten how to score or, even worse, entertain.
Those who were disparaging over the Blues recent blanks against United and Birmingham were left drooling by the vivacity and skill set before them on the banks of the Thames.
Having sprung a surprise by selecting Jo for his first Premier League start for City in almost two years, Mancini sat back and watched his team demolish his predecessor Mark Hughes’ new charges.
City, all fluent movement, precision passing and attacking intent, dictated from the first whistle. At times it was exhilarating, exhibition football
And at the heart of it all, in front of Fulham’s guest for the afternoon Maradona was Argentine fire-ball Carlos Tevez. He slotted the opener from Gareth Barry’s pass in just the sixth minute and left a side not used to losing at home looking clueless.
It was 2-0 in the 32nd minute when David Silva’s cross was poorly cleared to Pablo Zabaleta who let fly from 30-yards and, with the help of a slight brush off Damien Duff’s trailing boot, found the top corner of the net. Maradona smiled some more!
Two became three just three minutes later when a 24-pass move ended with Tevez feeding Yaya Toure in the inside right channel and he took one touch before burying the ball in the far corner. Game, set and match by half-time.
So dominant were City that Nigel de Jong, the midfield enforcer, was nothing more than a spectator or conduit of short passes and Yaya Toure was roaming free in the opposition half causing all kinds of mayhem with one his best efforts of the season.
No wonder Mancini found time to smile and wave to City fans chanting his name with gusto as he crossed the pitch for what must have been the sweetest of half time cuppas
The second half was academic as far as the destination of the points but there was more fine stuff from the Blues as they toyed with Fulham in the manner of big cat giving one of its cubs a lesson before settling for four.
That fourth came in the 56th minute when Tevez flicked home his second of the game and ninth of the season.
Aleksandar Kolarov almost made it five a couple of minutes later before the foot came off the gas and City slipped on the cruise control.
The only bumps in the road were Gera’s deflected 69th minute effort that reduced the lead to three and a yellow card for Zabaleta that now means a suspension.
Victory moved City within three points of the summit and back into the top four, a place snatched away briefly by Bolton following their demolition of Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
It also means that the caravan of criticism will finally move away from the City of Manchester Stadium and park somewhere else for a while - possibly up the road from Fulham in another part of West London.