Mark Hughes hailed Carlos Tevez after the Argentina international opened his goal account for the Blues in the Carling Cup win over Palace.
The striker’s second half effort from close range put the tie to bed and led to wild scenes as he celebrated with the 1758 City fans huddled around the half way line at Selhurst Park.
Boss Hughes now hopes it will be the first of many for the player who is still to reach peak fitness after a disrupted pre-season.
“I was hoping that by playing Carlos that it would be an opportunity for him to get off the mark and was delighted that he did so,” declared the manager.
“He is working nicely with Emmanuel Adebayor. Carlos is a quality player with great intelligence. He makes the right runs time and time again. The other thing that is impressive is his protection of the ball. At times against Palace that aspect of his game was great.
“He draws people to him and then knows exactly when to release people into space. He has proved in a short space of time what we already knew; that he is an outstanding player.
“Even at his level though confidence is an important thing and the goal will have helped that and the ninety minutes will have enabled him to get up to speed.”
Hughes was pleased too with new central defender Joleon Lescott who made his debut in the 2-0 win. The Boss said:
“Joleon did well on his debut. It was only late yesterday that it was confirmed that he could play tonight and he only had one light training session with the group.
“It was important for him to get a taste of it as soon as possible and he came through with flying colours.
“Palace are a young and energetic side and they made things difficult for us in the first half but we always created chances and we were a bit a aggrieved at one or two of the offside decisions that went against.
“Once we got our noses in front we could have scored three or four more. On the night it was important to get the job done and that is what we did in a professional manner.
“There are plenty of examples in this Cup where teams try and rest players and go into ties with weakened sides but I was never going to do that. I was conscious that we have made a good start and wanted to keep that momentum going and allow the new guys to gel and we got that out of the game too.”