Manchester City struck two early goals before seeing off a heavy snow storm to open up a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Adam Johnson had been tripped by Chris Baird.

City's lead was then doubled when Baird turned Johnson's cross-shot beyond his own goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Play had to be halted twice to allow groundstaff to clear snow from the lines before Edin Dzeko added a third.

Mancini praises 'important' win

At one point midway through the second half, the heavy snowfall posed a real threat to the fixture as referee Mike Dean twice stopped play to allow the lines around both penalty areas to be cleared with shovels.

City's title rivals - and Fulham - would certainly have been pleased with a postponement but, shortly after Dzeko's third goal, the weather improved and the game was able to conclude with Roberto Mancini's men maintaining their 100% home record.

After defeat to Everton last time out  , City were in need of a strong performance and victory was never in doubt from the moment Aguero broke the deadlock after 10 minutes.

Referee Dean was quick to award a spot-kick when Johnson was sandwiched between Baird and Brede Hangeland, although replays suggested that the England winger initiated contact by flicking out his leg as he went down.

Aguero thumped in his 18th goal of the season from the spot, smashing the ball high to Mark Schwarzer's left.

DID YOU KNOW?

This was Roberto Mancini's 50th league victory in his reign at Manchester City

In-form Fulham forward Clint Dempsey sent a speculative effort wide from 30 yards before Dzeko failed to make proper contact as he looked to get on the end of a shot from Aleksandar Kolarov.

Fulham belatedly began to pose a threat as fit-again Simon Davies hit a low shot at Joe Hart at the end of a flowing move before David Silva exchanged a sumptuous one-two with Aguero before dragging his low shot just wide from 15 yards.

That triggered an intense period of pressure from the home side, Johnson and Silva both going close from range before the hapless Baird bundled in the second.

Kolarov whipped in a cross from left which Aguero helped on with a deft flick, Johnson put the ball back across goal and Baird could only divert past Schwarzer from close range.

The hosts could have had another penalty when Silva went down under a challenge from Dickson Etuhu before Senderos almost added to the own goal tally when he turned Micah Richards' cross goalwards, but Schwarzer saved.

Jol admits Fulham were second best

Fulham had their share of possession but City looked lethal on the break.

Twice they sprang clear from Fulham corners at pace as first Aguero and then Dzeko should have added to the scoreline after being played in.

The snowfall intensified during half-time and there was a notable dip in action when play resumed.

Danny Murphy tested Joe Hart with a 20-yard shot before referee Dean brought play to a halt on the hour mark to allow staff to come on and clear the lines.

Baird hit a low free-kick which Hart saved before play again stopped to allow the snow to be cleared.

But any City concerns over the result were quickly eased as the snow eased off, and Dzeko fired in the third.

Aguero showed great balance to keep his feet and skip past the injured Philippe Senderos and tee up Dzeko to drive in from close range.

Dzeko then hit his own post when he diverted Bryan Ruiz's corner past Joe Hart and there was time for City to hand a debut to new loan signing David Pizzaro as Mancini saw his side record a 17th straight league win at home to put the pressure on city rivals Manchester United ahead of their Sunday trip to Chelsea.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Manchester City

  • 25 Hart
  • 02 Richards
  • 06 Lescott
  • 13 Kolarov Booked
  • 15 Savic
  • 11 Johnson (Pizarro - 90' )
  • 18 Barry
  • 19 Nasri (Milner - 54' )
  • 21 Silva
  • 10 Dzeko
  • 16 Aguero (De Jong - 80' )

Substitutes

  • 30 Pantilimon
  • 05 Zabaleta
  • 22 Clichy
  • 44 Rekik
  • 07 Milner
  • 08 Pizarro
  • 34 De Jong

Fulham

  • 01 Schwarzer
  • 02 Kelly
  • 05 Hangeland
  • 06 Baird Booked
  • 14 Senderos Booked (JA Riise - 73' )
  • 13 Murphy
  • 16 Duff
  • 20 Etuhu (Ruiz - 68' )
  • 23 Dempsey
  • 29 Davies
  • 30 Dembele Booked (Gecov - 85' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Stockdale
  • 03 JA Riise
  • 18 Hughes
  • 10 Kasami
  • 15 Gecov
  • 21 Frei
  • 11 Ruiz
Ref: Dean
Att: 46,963

Match Stats

Shots

16 11

On target

10 8

Corners

4 6

Fouls

8 7

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:03 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +2:06

Corner taken by Bryan Ruiz, Clint Dempsey has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the target.

89:15 Substitution

Substitution Adam Johnson goes off and David Pizarro comes on.

88:25

John Arne Riise takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.

87:32

John Arne Riise takes the outswinging corner, Stefan Savic makes a clearance.

84:27

Joleon Lescott takes the free kick.

84:27 Substitution

Substitution Marcel Gecov joins the action as a substitute, replacing Moussa Dembele.

84:27 Booking

Booking Chris Baird is booked.

84:06

Chris Baird concedes a free kick for a foul on Edin Dzeko.

83:58

Stephen Kelly produces a cross.

83:19

Foul by Adam Johnson on Stephen Kelly, free kick awarded. Stephen Kelly takes the free kick.

80:41

Micah Richards has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.

79:16 Substitution

Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with Nigel De Jong coming on for Sergio Aguero.

77:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Clint Dempsey on Stefan Savic. Joleon Lescott takes the free kick.

76:45

Clint Dempsey takes a shot. Blocked by Gareth Barry. Bryan Ruiz takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post.

74:01

Free kick taken by Stephen Kelly.

74:01 Booking

Booking Moussa Dembele goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

74:01 Booking

Booking Aleksandar Kolarov is shown a yellow card.

73:12

Moussa Dembele fouled by Aleksandar Kolarov, the ref awards a free kick.

71:49 Substitution

Substitution Philippe Senderos leaves the field to be replaced by John Arne Riise.

71:49

Assist by Sergio Aguero.

71:49 Goal scored

Goal! - Edin Dzeko - Man City 3 - 0 Fulham Edin Dzeko grabs a goal from deep inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Man City 3-0 Fulham.

70:56

David Silva takes a shot. Philippe Senderos gets a block in.

70:00

Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Brede Hangeland gets a block in. Corner taken by David Silva played to the near post, clearance by Clint Dempsey.

67:17 Substitution

Substitution (Fulham) makes a substitution, with Bryan Ruiz coming on for Dickson Etuhu.

65:46

Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Aleksandar Kolarov.

65:46 Booking

Booking Caution for Philippe Senderos.

64:33

Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Kelly. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aleksandar Kolarov by Philippe Senderos.

62:32

Clint Dempsey fouled by Gareth Barry, the ref awards a free kick. Stephen Kelly restarts play with the free kick. Chris Baird has an effort at goal from 25 yards. Save by Joe Hart.

61:39

Free kick awarded for a foul by Edin Dzeko on Stephen Kelly. Direct free kick taken by Philippe Senderos.

61:21

Stephen Kelly takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.

58:09

Corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Philippe Senderos.

54:31

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.

53:43

Outswinging corner taken by Danny Murphy, clearance by Edin Dzeko.

53:43 Substitution

Substitution Samir Nasri leaves the field to be replaced by James Milner.

49:39

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey by Joleon Lescott. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.

49:19

Danny Murphy takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.

49:04

Clint Dempsey takes a shot. Joleon Lescott gets a block in.

48:16

Aleksandar Kolarov takes a shot. Stephen Kelly gets a block in.

47:04

Unfair challenge on Dickson Etuhu by Edin Dzeko results in a free kick. Philippe Senderos takes the direct free kick.

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:00 +1:06 Half time

Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.

42:53

Foul by Aleksandar Kolarov on Damien Duff, free kick awarded. Stephen Kelly restarts play with the free kick.

42:01

Damien Duff takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Gareth Barry.

37:34

Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Blocked by Brede Hangeland. Inswinging corner taken by Adam Johnson, save by Mark Schwarzer.

37:02

Damien Duff takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Edin Dzeko.

36:54

Damien Duff takes a shot. Joleon Lescott gets a block in.

36:00

Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer. The offside flag is raised against David Silva. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.

34:19

Aleksandar Kolarov challenges Stephen Kelly unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stephen Kelly takes the direct free kick.

31:15

The ball is delivered by Adam Johnson, Dickson Etuhu manages to make a clearance.

29:24

Assist by Adam Johnson.

28:36

Damien Duff has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.

29:24 Goal scored

Goal! - Chris Baird - Man City 2 - 0 Fulham Chris Baird scores an own goal. Man City 2-0 Fulham.

29:24

Adam Johnson takes a shot. Blocked by Chris Baird.

27:51

The ball is delivered by Simon Davies.

26:31

Adam Johnson takes a shot from a long way out which goes wide of the right-hand post.

24:42

David Silva produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

23:34

Effort on goal by Simon Davies from 20 yards. Save by Joe Hart.

21:44

Damien Duff concedes a free kick for a foul on David Silva. David Silva restarts play with the free kick.

21:00

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Edin Dzeko by Philippe Senderos. Direct free kick taken by Gareth Barry.

18:45

The ball is crossed by Aleksandar Kolarov.

18:02

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Micah Richards by Dickson Etuhu. Adam Johnson takes the direct free kick.

16:11

Shot by Aleksandar Kolarov. Blocked by Edin Dzeko.

15:35

Samir Nasri decides to take a short corner.

13:36

Shot from a long way out by Clint Dempsey goes wide of the left-hand post.

13:12

The referee penalises Edin Dzeko for handball. Chris Baird restarts play with the free kick.

11:45

Micah Richards is penalised for a handball. Direct free kick taken by Chris Baird.

9:56

Adam Johnson provided the assist for the goal.

9:56 Goal scored

Goal! - Sergio Aguero - Man City 1 - 0 Fulham Sergio Aguero scores a placed penalty. Man City 1-0 Fulham.

9:08

Chris Baird challenges Adam Johnson unfairly and gives away a Penalty.

5:01

Gareth Barry produces a cross, Edin Dzeko takes a shot from inside the six-yard box clearing the crossbar.

4:36

Gareth Barry takes a shot. Philippe Senderos gets a block in.

1:40

Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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