The first half in south London proved to be a tough assignment for Brian Barry-Murphy’s side, but Carlos Borges unlocked the Crystal Palace defence just before half-time, with a tap-in from close range, latching onto Oscar Bobb’s inviting cross.
City then produced four goals in a fine second half, with Tom Galvez scoring his first goal for the EDS.
Dire Mebude, Kian Breckin and Bobb added their names to the scoresheet later, to ensure we came back up to Manchester with all three points.
Before kick-off, both teams held a minute’s silence for National Holocaust Memorial Day.
When the ball got rolling, it was Barry-Murphy’s side who started on the front foot.
Borges sped down the left wing, before he drove in a low cross-come-shot, which Mebude was inches away from connecting with.
The hosts were well organised as we tried to play fine passing sequences to fire shots on goal and it was the Palace keeper, Whitworth, who had the first save to make.
Bobb laid off the ball to Alex Robertson on the edge of the penalty area, but his exquisite curling attempt was met by the keeper and pushed away.
The Eagles responded with an effort of their own, as David Omilabu tried to squeeze a shot in from a tight angle, but Mikki van Sas reacted smartly to his left to divert the effort out for a corner.
But down at the other end, we made the breakthrough.
Bobb leaped over a challenge on the right, drove into the box and squared the ball across to Borges, who had an empty net to tap into, to give City the lead just before the interval.
After the break City stepped up the intensity. Robertson was played in, and his half volley stung the palms of Whitworth to deny City a two-goal cushion.
Moments later, a direct ball reached Bobb, but Whitworth closed down the angle for the no.7 as the ball was pushed away.
City were not to be denied though and after neat build up play by the forward line, Borges held the ball up before playing through Tom Galvez who fired at goal to register his first goal the EDS.
Palace responded instantly as Ozoh stepped over to evade a cluster of City defenders before his thunderous effort was blocked on the line by a brave Lakyle Samuel header.
Borges, who was menacing down Palace’s left all afternoon, picked out his opposite winger Mebude down the right, and his half volley bounced into the back of net, to give us a comfortable lead.
The hosts didn’t drop their spirit however, as Balmer swung his right foot at a ball, but it went wide of the target, to the relief of van Sas whose clean sheet was still intact.
Borges and Mebude were linking up superbly all match, and they nearly joined up again to secure our fourth, with the Portuguese winger striking straight at the Palace keeper.
And City were still in the mood for more, as Breckin found himself in acres of space on the edge of the box and hit a beautiful left-footed effort that nestled into the bottom corner.
With just under five minutes to play, Bobb added his name to the scoresheet, as Mebude pulled it back for the young Norwegian, who coolly slotted it home in the six-yard box to seal a superb all-round display.
HOW WE LINED UP
Crystal Palace U21s
XI: Whitworth, Kporha (81' Cadogan), Rodney, Adaramola, Grehan, Balmer, Omilabu, Akinwale, Wells-Morrison, Mooney (76' Raymond), Ozoh
Subs: Izquierdo, Vigor, Watson
Manchester City EDS
XI: van Sas, Samuel, Burns, Katongo, Galvez, Breckin (84' Agyemang), Charles (C), Roberston (76' Adam), Bobb, Mebude, Borges (81' Dickson)
WHAT IT MEANS
A victory for the EDS sees us return to the top of the Premier League 2 table, two points ahead of second placed Chelsea, and with a game in hand over the London outfit.
Our unbeaten run in the league was also stretched to five games.
City have a break from action next week before welcoming Liverpool to the Academy Stadium.
Kick off is scheduled for Sunday, February 12 at 2pm (UK).
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