Substitute Erling Haaland scored an injury-time winner from the penalty spot to give 10-man Manchester City victory over Fulham and send the defending champions top of the table.
The importance of his 95th-minute strike was underlined moments later when Haaland was embraced by his manager Pep Guardiola at the final whistle, and joined his team-mates on a lap of honour.
What appeared as though it would be a frustrating and potentially costly afternoon in City’s pursuit of a third-successive title, instead ended with a memorable victory thanks to Haaland’s 18th league goal of his dazzling start to his career at Etihad Stadium. All seemed to be going according to plan for Guardiola’s side early on, as they took the lead through Julian Alvarez’s powerful finish and pressed forward looking for more goals.
But the anticipated march to a seventh successive home win this season did not transpire. Instead the game took an unexpected turn just before the half-hour mark when Joao Cancelo muscled Fulham forward Harry Wilson off the ball in the box. Referee Darren England pointed to the spot and showed Cancelo the red card, to the disbelief of Guardiola and his players, before Andreas Pereira sent Ederson the wrong way from the spot. That was Fulham’s first effort at goal and they rarely threatened afterwards either, even with the extra man, instead being content to sit deep and frustrate their hosts.
It initially appeared they would be successful, even when Haaland came off the bench in the second half after two games out injured.
Haaland thought he had scored the winner when he headed home a Kevin de Bruyne cross with 15 minutes to go, but the home side’s celebrations were cut short when VAR showed he was offside. City’s attacks grew increasingly frantic towards the end and Haaland got no closer to finding the net, until Antonee Robinson tripped De Bruyne inside the area in injury time. Haaland – who else? – stepped up to fire his penalty into the bottom corner and spark wild celebrations from his team-mates, manager and in the stands.
Leeds fight back to beat Bournemouth
Leeds United fought back from 3-1 down to beat Bournemouth in a remarkable game played out in an electric atmosphere at Elland Road. Leeds were looking to build on last week’s victory at Liverpool and they got off to the perfect start when Rodrigo scored from the penalty spot after Marcos Senesi brought down Crysencio Summerville after just 51 seconds. But their dream start quickly turned sour as Bournemouth equalised from their first serious attack through Marcus Tavernier’s volley before Philip Billing lashed past Illan Meslier to give the Cherries the lead.
In a breathless encounter, Dominic Solanke made it 3-1 early in the second half with a delicious finish, only for Leeds, who were booed off the pitch by their own fans at half-time, to hit back with two goals in eight minutes. Twenty-year-old substitute Sam Greenwood lifted spirits with a spectacular finish from 20 yards before captain Liam Cooper made it 3-3 with a powerful header from a corner. The winner, in a game dripping with entertainment, came from Summerville, with the 21-year-old keeping his composure to beat Mark Travers following a great pass by substitute Wilfried Gnonto for his third goal in as many games.