Premier League Etihad Stadium Saturday, May 6, 2017 2:00:00 PM
De Bruyne 60'
- Michael Oliver
- Luiz Rosa
- Sané Navas 84’
- Silva Zabaleta 68’
- De Bruyne
- de Jesus Iheanacho 84’
- Unused subs
- Gunn, Sagna, Kolarov, Reges
- Kelly Delaney 67’
- van Aanholt
- Milivojevic Flamini 67’
- Townsend Lee 57’
- Unused subs
- Remy, Speroni, Campbell, Sako
City moved up to third in the Premier League following a thumping 5-0 win over Crystal Palace.
|As it stands Full League Table|
The Blues were at the breathless best throughout, striking early through David Silva and adding further goals after the breakthrough Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Otamendi.
City couldn’t have wished for a better start with Silva drilling home a low shot with less than two minutes on the clock.
Sterling’s cross saw defender Martin Kelly weakly head clear, but only as far as Silva and the Spaniard made no mistake to score his 50th goal for the Blues from 10 yards out.
It was the beginning of a half that City would dominate and should have ended with a far greater margin that the one goal advantage they took into the break.
Gabriel Jesus was denied by a near post clearance as he was about to turn home Fernandinho’s cross and then Sterling had a shot scrambled off the line after Leroy Sane’s shot had been saved - it was one-way traffic and Palace were on the ropes.
Some of the football the Blues played was a delight, with De Bruyne, Sane and Silva hugely impressive as Palace were picked apart with a series of breath-taking moves.
But the failure to capitalise on several half-chances almost cost City dear when Christian Benteke’s header denied by an excellent Willy Caballero save during a rare Palace sortie.
It was a reminder that, while the score was only 1-0, the visitors were still capable of snatching a goal and perhaps more, as they had been behind in the games against Chelsea and Liverpool that they eventually went on to win.
However, any hopes Sam Allardyce's men had of repeating those successes were all-but snuffed out by a stunning second goal by the Blues just three minutes after the re-start.
De Bruyne shaped up for what looked as though would be a trademark whipped cross from the right, but instead he picked out Kompany just inside the box and the skipper lashed home a thunderous shot into the top corner, giving keeper Wayne Hennessey no chance.
It was his second goal in five appearances since returning from injury and after the frustrating campaign he’s endured, who couldn’t be happy for the Belgian?
The Blues were now slicing a despondent Palace apart at will, with De Bruyne striking the bar with a 20-yard free-kick, Fernandinho denied by Hennessey and Sane going also close.
But the home fans didn’t have to wait long for another goal as De Bruyne capped a superb display with a precision finish from the edge of the box that squeezed past Hennessey with just an hour played.
It was no more than the Blues deserved, though it is worth adding Palace were a shadow of the side that has performed so well over the past few months.
There was still time for City to add another couple of goals to their tally towards the end as first sub Pablo Zabaleta’s header picked out Sterling who volleyed a low shot home from close range and then Otamendi spectacularly headed home a De Bruyne free-kick in added time to complete the rout.
That was about that for one of the best performances by the Blues at home this season and major boost in the bid to secure Champions League football next term.
After so many games this season where the Blues dominated but couldn’t put the game to bed, scoring so early in the game – the earliest since February 2015 – set the tone for the afternoon and eased any tension.
City Matchday App star man: David Silva
What can you say about a player who is consistently excellent? Not much! Another mesmerising display by a quite sublime footballer who quite rightly was given a standing ovation as he was subbed on 68 minutes.
What it means…
City move up to third in the Premier League table for at least 24 hours, improving the goal difference significantly in the process.
It could be a goal shoot-out between the Blues and Liverpool if both sides end in top form.
City play the second of three successive home games against Leicester City next Saturday.
The Blues will further look to cement a top four berth against the soon-to-be-deposed Premier League champions who guaranteed their own top flight status with a 3-0 win over Watford.