LONDON (AP) – Substitute Edin Dzeko grabbed a late winner as Manchester City came from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 and revive its challenge for the Premier League title.
The Bosnia striker slammed a powerful finish into the roof of the net in the 87th minute - moments after coming on - to end a run of two straight draws that had dropped the defending champions off the fierce pace set by early leader Chelsea.
Mladen Petric had put Fulham ahead in the 10th with a disputed penalty after John Arne Riise fell under the challenge of Pablo Zabaleta, but Sergio Aguero's first goal of the season had brought City level just before halftime.
The victory keeps Roberto Mancini's unbeaten team four points behind Chelsea, which won 2-1 at Arsenal earlier Saturday, but will help quieten the critics who say City isn't the same force as last season.
''I think that we played a good game,'' City manager Roberto Mancini said. ''I was worried because we continued to play well and continued to create chances, but didn't score (the winner) for 87 minutes.''
City remains without a clean sheet, however, after falling behind following a decision to award a penalty for a trip by Zabaleta.
Petric made no mistake with his spot-kick, sending goalkeeper Joe Hart the wrong way, and then wasted a decent chance to double Fulham's advantage five minutes later as he scooped over after fine link-up play with Hugo Rodallega.
Sergio Aguero headed a close-range effort into the side netting but the Argentina striker - playing alongside international teammate Carlos Tevez up front - made amends when he tapped in after David Silva's flick was saved by Mark Schwarzer.
First Mario Balotelli and then Dzeko was thrown on as City sought a winner and the latter provided it, pouncing on Riise's failure to clear Gael Clichy's cross and rifling home an unstoppable shot.
''They are a very good team but there is always a possibility against them to play your football like, for example, Arsenal did last week (in the 1-1 draw with City),'' Fulham manager Martin Jol said.
''We couldn't play our style, especially in the second half. We couldn't keep the ball, they were stronger than us and more eager to score.''