Erling Haaland,came as a substitute and netted the game-winning penalty in stoppage time to lift 10-man Manchester City past Fulham and put the defending champions atop the standings. When Haaland was welcomed by his manager Pep Guardiola at the final whistle and joined his teammates on a lap of honour, the significance of his 95th-minute goal was further highlighted.
Haaland's 18th league goal of his impressive debut season at Etihad Stadium turned what seemed to be a frustrating and perhaps costly afternoon in City's chase of a third consecutive title into a memorable victory. Early on, everything appeared to be going according to plan for Guardiola's team, who seized the lead thanks to a spectacular finish from Julian Alvarez and pushed forward in search of more goals.
But the expected march to a seventh straight home victory this campaign did not happen. Instead, just before the halfway point, Fulham forward Harry Wilson was forced off the ball in the box by Joao Cancelo, which caused an unexpected change in the game. To the shock of Guardiola and his team, referee Darren England pointed to the spot and flashed Cancelo the red card. Andreas Pereira then sent Ederson the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Even when Haaland came off the bench in the second half after missing the previous two games due to injury, it originally seemed like they would be successful. With 15 minutes left, Haaland thought he had scored the game-winning goal when he headed in a cross from Kevin de Bruyne, but VAR determined that he was offside, ending the home team's celebrations. Haaland came no closer to scoring until Antonee Robinson tripped De Bruyne in stoppage time as City's assaults became more frenetic toward the conclusion.