Tevez scores as Manchester City increase the pressure on title holders Chelsea [AFP]

Manchester City moved three points behind joint leaders Chelsea and Manchester United in the English Premier League with a 4-1 thrashing of a Fulham side managed by former boss Mark Hughes.

Tevez opened the scoring on Sunday in the sixth minute and set up Yaya Toure for City's third after just 35 minutes.

In between, another Argentine, Pablo Zabaleta, made it two with a swerving 20-yard shot, before Tevez provided the flourish on 56 minutes with an improvised flick from close range.

Title hopes

The win moved City on to 25 points, three behind joint leaders Chelsea and Manchester United, and relieved some of the pressure on manager Roberto Mancini.

"I think that's probably the best we've played all year," City midfielder Gareth Barry told Sky Sports.

"We knew it was a good chance to move up the league and make an impression."

Barry admitted the stylish nature of the win should silence critics who have branded City "boring" this season.

"We try not to worry about that too much - it's more about the three points," Barry said.

"But if you can score goals along the way it's even better."

Earlier on Sunday, Blackburn Rovers gave their new Indian owners an immediate return with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa that lifted them five places to 11th.

Stylish

The match was all but decided by half-time as City turned on the style to race into a 3-0 lead with goals from Tevez, Zabaleta and Toure.

Tevez opened the scoring on six minutes, turning away from Fulham defender Carlos Salcido to rifle in a low shot past Mark Schwarzer.

EPL results

Saturday November 20

 Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham
 Birmingham 1-0 Chelsea
 Blackpool 2-1 Wolves
 Bolton 5-1 Newcastle
 Man Utd 2-0 Wigan
 West Brom 0-3 Stoke
 Liverpool 3-0 West Ham

Sunday November 21

 
Blackburn 2-0 Aston Villa
 Fulham 1-4 Man City

Zabaleta made it 2-0 on 32 minutes, driving in a swerving shot from the edge of the area which took a minor deflection from Damien Duff.

Toure made it 3-0 three minutes later, rounding off a superb 24-pass move with a firm low shot, prompting boos from the disgusted Fulham fans.

The Cottagers flickered briefly into life early in the second half with Gera testing Joe Hart. But instead City extended their lead when Tevez flicked on a Zabaleta shot for 4-0 on 56 minutes.

Gera finally netted for Fulham on 70 minutes, sidefooting home after a poor clearance by Jo, but there was never any chance of a miraculous fightback.

On Saturday Chelsea lost 1-0 to Birmingham City and United beat Wigan Athletic 2-0 at Old Trafford. Arsenal, in third on 26 points, lost 3-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

Fulham are fourth from bottom, clear of the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Source: Agencies