I didnt dive for penalty - Johnson
Updated Sunday, 5th February 2012
Adam Johnson insists he did not take a dive to set up Manchester City's latest Barclays Premier League triumph.
Radio pundit Stan Collymore was among those who felt Johnson had gone to ground far too easily when Fulham defender Chris Baird made his ninth-minute challenge. However, Johnson did win some support from others, including Cottagers boss Martin Jol, who admitted he had managed players who would have done exactly the same thing.
But, after being an integral figure in Saturday's 3-0 win, Johnson claimed he did nothing wrong and the England winger told the BBC: "I felt the contact. Sometimes in normal time, when you are in the moment, you anticipate contact. There is a fine line between diving and anticipating contact but I felt it and went down. These things happen."
City had good reason to be thankful for Johnson's actions. With just three wins in their last nine games, facing opposition that had lost just once in eight visits to the Etihad Stadium and in conditions so bad referee Mike Dean had to stop the game twice after half-time so the lines could be cleared of snow, the Blues might have been ripe for a shock.
Instead, they strolled to a 17th consecutive Premier League home win, just two behind the record held by Manchester United. Nevertheless, not everyone was entirely happy.
"It was an horrendous game," said City keeper Joe Hart. "It was cold. We weren't great and they weren't great and the standard was horrendous.
"It is what you expect in conditions like that. But we have got it out of the way now and hopefully it won't happen again."
Hart might have been feeling grumpy due to the long periods of time he spent with nothing to do on a bitterly cold evening when even the supporters were amusingly begging Dean to call time before schedule.
Fulham offered little as an attacking threat until John-Arne Riise drilled a shot wide, by which time they were already three goals down. Sergio Aguero bagged the first when he converted that early spot-kick, then set-up Edin Dzeko later in a eye-catching moment of unselfishness.
Johnson's contribution cannot be understated either. So often the subject of critical comments from his manager, the £7million former Middlesbrough winger was a constant menace, forcing Baird into conceding an own goal that effectively wrapped up the points after just half an hour.