x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Mark Hughes outclassed by former side

Gareth Barry hailed Manchester City¿s performance in their 4-1 win over Fulham as their best of the season.

Fulham Gera 69’

Man City Tevez 05’, 55’ Zabaleta 32’, Y Toure 35’

Man of the match: Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)

Gareth Barry has hailed Manchester City's performance in their 4-1 win over Fulham as their best of the season.

Carlos Tevez scored twice as City ensured that Fulham manager Mark Hughes's first meeting with his former employers ended on a sour note.

"Especially in the first half, it was the best we've played," Barry, the City midfielder, told Sky Sports 1. "It was a good chance to make an impression and move up the league."

A number of the City players made a point of going over to Hughes prior to the kick-off, and Barry admitted that a respect still existed for him.

"The players that Mark brought here, maybe there's five or six of us, have respect and we showed it, but once the game started it was all about City and the three points."

A delighted Roberto Mancini, the City manager, said: "I think we had a fantastic performance, the guys were fantastic because we played very well."

City were widely criticised for their performance in their 0-0 draw at home to Birmingham City last weekend, but Mancini felt that game could have ended up the same as this one.

"I don't think there is a lot of difference, because when we played Birmingham they had 10 men behind the ball," he said. "In football, if you score one, the result can change and you can score two or three. Teams playing at home play to win, that is the difference. It is difficult to win here, Fulham are strong at home."

Hughes admitted his side had failed to perform, especially in the first half.

He said: "Man City were excellent in the first half, probably the best I've seen them play this season. In fairness, we allowed it to happen, we were too passive.

"We needed to close down quicker than we did. We lost a bit of belief after the first goal. The one thing you don't want to do is concede early. We needed to be more aggressive. I know the [Man City] guys and their quality. They played exceptionally well. Credit to them and Roberto."

Hughes also tipped the Eastlands club to be in title contention come the end of the season if they adopt a more attacking philosophy.

"If they have belief and there's forward-thinking, and maybe they can be more attack-minded - as they were today - on more occasions, there is no reason why they shouldn't be contenders," he said. "They were excellent today."

* Press Association