Heading into the Fulham match a lot of questions were being asked about a City side that had lost four of their eight matches in 2012, exiting the FA and League Cups and seeing Manchester United draw level with them on points at the top of the Premier League.
But in snowy conditions in Lancashire, City showed that why they are top of the table with an impressive performance. It took them only 10-minutes to go one-up via a Sergio Agüero penalty after Adam Johnson had been fouled, then Fulham defender Chris Baird doubled the lead when he turned Johnson’s low cross into his own goal, before Edin Dzeko wrapped up the win 18 minutes from time.
Arsenal is another side that has struggled in 2012, winless in the league this yer, but they rectified that Saturday with a 7-1 mauling of Blackburn Rovers at the Emitaes. Robin van Persie’s second hat-trick of the season and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s first league goals for the club set the Gunners on their way to fifth place in the table, with Mikel Arteta and Thierry Henry also on target.
Sunderland continued their impressive revival under Martin O’Neill as they went to Stoke and won 1-0, never an easy place to get a result. Sunderland have now taken 22 points from a possible 30 since O’Neill took over.
Elsewhere Swansea City and Wolves both picked up important away wins. Swansea won 2-1 away to West Brom, a side that continues to struggle at home, while Mick McCarthy’s side moved out of the bottom three with a come-from-behind victory at QPR, who had Djibril Cisse sent off in his home debut.
Finally a howler from Tim Howard appeared to have given Wigan a much needed win against Everton, but Wigan’s lead lasted only seven minutes when Everton substitute Victor Anichebe heading in the equaliser.