Why Josko Gvardiol did not take Man City penalty vs Fulham | Football

Josko Gvardiol scored twice in Man City’s 4-0 win over Fulham (Picture: Getty)

Manchester City are closing in on the Premier League title after a crushing 4-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

In-form left-back Josko Gvardio carried on his fine form with two goals, while PFA Footballer of the Year candidate Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez, from the penalty spot, also got on the scoresheet.

Gvardiol’s form over the the course of the run-in has played a major role in City’s bid to overhaul Arsenal and the summer signing from RB Leipzig got the ball rolling in west London.

It took only 12 minutes for the champions to take the lead with the Crotia international showing superb composure to make the most of Kevin De Bruyne’s clever pass.

Foden doubled the lead shortly after the re-start to extinguish any hope of a comeback and Gvardiol poked home a third with 20 minutes remaining.

With Fulham deflated, City sensed a chance to eat further into Arsenal’s goal difference advantage and the opportunity to reduce the defecit to just two came in injury time when Alvarez was fouled in the box by Issa Diop.

Gvardiol was offered the chance to take the spot kick and become the first defender in Premier League history to score a hat-trick.

Josko Gvardiol's superb finish go the ball rolling for Man City against Fulham

Josko Gvardiol’s superb finish go the ball rolling for Man City against Fulham (Picture: Getty)

Josko Gvardiol scrambled home Man City's third goal against Fulham

Josko Gvardiol scrambled home Man City’s third goal against Fulham (Picture: Getty)

Julian Alvarez scored Man City's fourth from the penalty spot

Julian Alvarez scored Man City’s fourth from the penalty spot (Picture: Getty)

The 22-year-old declined the chance, however, and allowed Alvarez to step and stroke home City’s fourth goal of a one-sided encounter.

‘Another two goals for me and of course another clean sheet,’ he told TNT after the game. ‘Really happy.

‘We discussed about me taking the penalty, and of course I would have liked to, but we have a taker and he takes them. At the end Julian came on and he took it to score the goal.’

Arsenal now travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United on Sunday, knowing that winning the title on goal difference cannot be taken for granted should they end the campaign level on points with City.

Gvardiol added: ‘We just need to be focused on ourselves and keep going that way. Of course we talk about it [goal difference] and as you can see we are trying to get there. But it is not easy, Arsenal have quality as well and they are doing quite well as well.’

On what has sparked his recent purple patch, meanwhile, he said: ‘Nothing different, I think that is normal in sport. Currently I am in good form and end of the season is coming, three more finals and we’ve got to be ready.

‘Another final. (now against Tottenham) I played only once there and it was difficult. Hopefully it is going to be another good game and another good day for us.”

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