MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) -A 95th-minute penalty from substitute Erling Haaland earned 10-man Manchester City a dramatic 2-1 win over Fulham on Saturday, a victory that sent the champions back to the top of the Premier League.

Haaland was deemed fit enough only for the bench after missing City’s two previous matches through injury, but there is no stopping the Norwegian goalscoring phenomenon, and he stepped off the bench to drag his depleted side to victory.

He had one goal ruled offside before converting the last-gasp penalty, his 23rd goal of the season in all competitions sending City a point clear of Arsenal at the top of the standings just as his side seemed to have run out of ideas.

“I was nervous (for the penalty),” Haaland told Sky Sports. “It was one of the most nervous moments of my life, but fantastic.

“A penalty in the last minute, of course I would be nervous. But amazing feeling. I love it. I have been injured for a week and it is really important to win.”

Things started well for a City side who had beaten the two other newly-promoted teams, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest, by an aggregate score of 10-0 at home this season before Fulham’s visit, with Argentinean forward Julian Alvarez firing the hosts into a 17th-minute lead.

The champions thought they had quickly doubled their lead through John Stones but Rodri was offside in the build-up, and Fulham capitalised on that reprieve, going straight down the other end and winning a 28th-minute penalty.

City defender Joao Cancelo was given a straight red card for bundling Harry Wilson to the floor, with former Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira making no mistake from the spot as Fulham went into the interval level.

Haaland was brought on in the 63rd minute and quickly thought he had restored his side’s lead after glancing a header home from a pinpoint Kevin De Bruyne cross, but the VAR stepped in to rule that the Norwegian had been offside.

Even with their numerical disadvantage, it was City who kept coming, with Fulham looking like the team who had 10 men as the hosts hung on with some last-ditch blocks and put every player behind the ball.

It seemed City had done all they could until De Bruyne was brought down in the penalty area, giving Haaland the chance to continue his incredible debut season in England.

It was not the most convincing spot kick but it found the net regardless to send the Etihad Stadium, and the City bench, into delirium.

Haaland has now scored 16 goals in his last 10 Premier League appearances. It is the joint-most goals a player has scored across a 10-game period in the competition, matching Luis Suarez’s 16 goals ending in December 2013.

Arsenal have the chance to take back the league lead when they travel to Chelsea on Sunday.

(Reporting by Peter HallEditing by Toby Davis and Clare Fallon)



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