March 28, 2023

Erling Haaland helped Manchester City back to the top of the table with a stoppage-time penalty as they edged out Fulham 2-1 despite being reduced to 10 men.

Julian Alvarez scored for City before they were pegged back by an Andreas Pereira penalty after Joao Cancelo was sent off for a foul on Harry Wilson.

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But Haaland had the last laugh from the penalty spot, calling it “one of the most nervous moments of my life” afterwards.

“I was nervous,” Haaland told Sky Sports. “It was one of the most nervous moments of my life, but fantastic.

“A penalty in the last minute, of course I would be nervous. But amazing feeling. I love it. I have been injured for a week and it is really important to win.”

City started with Haaland on the bench as Pep Guardiola eased him back into action after a recent knock, but that did not seem to matter at first as his stand-in Alvarez opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a sweet strike off the underside of the bar.

Guardiola’s side had the ball in the net again when John Stones turned home from close range following a save from Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno, but it was ruled offside.

Fulham made City regret that moments later in the 26th minute when they were awarded a penalty which Pereira slotted home after Cancelo was shown a red card for bringing down Wilson.

Haaland came on for Alvarez and looked to have restored City’s lead with a header from Kevin de Bruyne‘s cross in the 74th minute, but the striker was judged to be offside.

He made sure of City’s win from the penalty spot in the fifth minute of injury time, however, after De Bruyne was tripped by Antonee Robinson.

“It was tough on us,” Fulham coach Marco Silva said. “We have to understand that some mistakes can happen and we have to learn and grow from them.

“The commitment and attitude were there. We know the reality of the team we are playing against, but we have to look at ourselves and try to improve.”

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

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