Man City player ratings vs Fulham: Julian Alvarez superb as Pep Guardiola's side go top of the Premier League

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Julian Alvarez Manchester City 2022-23
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The Argentina striker scored a stunner and won a penalty at Craven Cottage as City held on for a battling 2-1 win in west London

On another record-equalling day for Erling Haaland, it was his understudy who stole all the headlines for Manchester City as Julian Alvarez scored the goal that sent the defending champions back to the top of the Premier League.

Alvarez was only in the City team after Kevin De Bruyne was ruled out through injury, but wasted little in time in making an impact, as he won a penalty inside 90 seconds after a foul by Tim Ream.

Haaland converted from the spot for his 34th Premier League goal of the season - the joint-most in a single campaign - but Carlos Vinicius pulled Fulham level after 15 minutes with a fine finish.

Alvarez, though, produced a moment of individual brilliance to fire a 25-yard strike past the otherwise impressive Bernd Leno for what proved to be the winner midway through the first half.

GOAL rates City's players from Craven Cottage...

  1. Goalkeeper & Defence
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    Goalkeeper & Defence

    Ederson (6/10):

    Had no chance with the goal. Crucial hand denied Vincius after Dias mix-up.

    Kyle Walker (6/10):

    Pace got him out of trouble defensively. Some impressive cross-field passes to release Grealish.

    John Stones (7/10):

    Able to step into midfield from centre-back. Always assured in possession.

    Ruben Dias (5/10):

    Had some shaky moments both in and out of possession, most notably when bumping into Ederson in the second half.

    Manuel Akanji (6/10):

    Caught out by Wilson's movement for Fulham's goal but otherwise solid.

  2. Midfield
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    Rodri (8/10):

    Won possession back constantly in midfield and used the ball intelligently.

    Ilkay Gundogan (7/10):

    Constantly on the move in midfield. City will miss him if he leaves this summer.

  3. Attack
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    Riyad Mahrez (6/10):

    Gave the ball away a little too often, though did work hard to win it back.

    Julian Alvarez (8/10):

    Won the early penalty before scoring the winner with a sublime long-range strike.

    Jack Grealish (6/10):

    Should have scored twice in the first half but denied by Leno. Tete will be glad to see the back of him.

    Erling Haaland (7/10):

    Nerveless penalty and some excellent link-up play, most notably to set up chances for Grealish.

  4. Subs & Manager
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    Subs & Manager

    Phil Foden (6/10):

    Made little impact after coming on for the final 10 minutes.

    Bernardo Silva (6/10):

    Ensured City controlled the closing stages.

    Pep Guardiola (7/10):

    Playing Alvarez just off Haaland, as he had done with De Bruyne against Arsenal, worked well.