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City v Palace: Fans' Favourite



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City 3 Crystal Palace 0, 20 December 2014

City made it eight consecutive victories in all competitions 13 months ago with an emphatic win over Crystal Palace.

Although Manuel Pellegrini's side would produce more fluent displays over the course of the campaign, there was no question that the home side deserved to win by three clear goals.

Pellegrini was without the services of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic, and so he opted to deploy a false nine in the shape of James Milner, with EDS youngster Thierry Ambrose named on the bench for the first time.

However, it was David Silva who finally broke the Palace resistance five minutes into the second period, when sharp passing led to a Pablo Zabaleta cut-back which was met by El Mago who found the net via a Scott Dan deflection.

12 minutes later, it was two - Silva sweeping home from a cut-back from the opposite flank by Aleksandar Kolarov and Yaya Toure added the gloss with ten minutes remaining courtesy of a trademark thumping finish, capping a memorable day and a Merry Christmas for the majority inside the Etihad.

Match Highlights

Starting XIs

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Mangala, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Navas, Silva (Lampard 68), Nasri (Sinclair 88), Milner (Fernando 81)

Unused subs: Caballero, Boyata, Sagna, Ambrose

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Dann, Hangeland, Ward, Bolasie, Jedinak, Ledley (Bannan 88), McArthur, Puncheon (Thomas 83), Campbell (Zaha 66)

Unused subs: Hennessey, Mariappa, Delaney, Gayle

Key Moments

2' - Zabaleta tees up Nasri with a cut-back but the Frenchman strikes just wide.

42' - Zabaleta has the best chance of the first half but his dink over Speroni lands the wrong side of the post.

48' - Silva breaks the deadlock with a deflected effort.

60' - David makes it 2-0, finishing off a good cross from Kolarov.

80' - Yaya Toure makes sure of the points with a shot which flies in off the post.

Man of the Match

David Silva



"False start! False nine! False hope? Sorry but there is nothing fake about Manchester City’s title credentials. This eighth win in succession in all competitions was as authentic as it gets.

"Admittedly the 3-0 success over Crystal Palace wasn’t always the most aesthetic ninety plus minutes of a season that continues to get better by the week, but after being written off in October it was the perfect way to enter the helter-skelter, quick-fire games of the holiday season” Chris Bailey, Manchester City


“So delicate were the passes threaded routinely by David Silva between the Crystal Palace defenders positioned at centre half and full back, it seemed as though a specialist doctor was at work, delivering surgery.

“It was perhaps a surprise when Silva emerged statistically as Manchester City’s match-winner; providing the concluding touches to moves rather than the regularly overlooked first, as City scored three times in the second half to secure what ended up being a reasonably straightforward victory." Si Hughes, Daily Telegraph


“Of course another diminutive Spanish speaking magician is often cited as City's saviour, but time and again David Silva shows why he, not Sergio Aguero, is the real ace in the pack. Silva is a magician when in full flow, probing and prodding between the lines, he is the true heartbeat of the side.

“A constant threat all afternoon it was fitting that it was Silva who gave City their all-important lead and and the second which sealed it. The first goal itself had its fair share of luck attached but it was no accident the Spaniard was there to take it. With Aguero slated to be away from the limelight for some time Silva looks ready to take centre stage once again.” Ben Burrows, Mirror


“In terms of consistency, his performances are hard to match. He doesn’t cause any problems, he looks like he trains hard and he is a fantastic, technical player. He must be a manager’s dream.

“City are so much better with him in the side, and he is the kind of player you are happy to pay to watch. With West Brom, Burnley and Sunderland to come over Christmas, Silva could be just the man to help City get through their striker crisis.” Jamie Redknapp, Daily Mail


"Yesterday City didn’t have a striker and it didn’t matter. They had something far better: the ball. Three-nil was a goal short of what was needed to wrest outright Premier League leadership from Chelsea but there was no disappointment at the Etihad stadium, only merriment and chants of “one James Milner” — in recognition of that faithful Swiss Army knife of a footballer who had improvised at centre-forward in an hour of need." Jonathan Northcroft, Sunday Times

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