Kevin De Bruyne notched up 100 goals for the Blues as his beautiful brace helped City to a 4-2 victory at Crystal Palace.

KDB produced a rocket to cancel out Jean-Philippe Mateta’s early opener for the hosts as we went in level at the break.

Rico Lewis put us ahead shortly after the restart before Erling Haaland marked his return to the team with a close-range finish following a clever cut-back by De Bruyne.

The brilliant Belgian notched up his century with a stunning left-foot drive to spark joyous scenes among the visitors.

Substitute Odsonne Edouard pulled one back at the death but it was too little, too late for the hosts as City returned to Manchester with a very welcome maximum haul.

The result kept up the pressure on Liverpool and Arsenal in the Premier League title race.

It moved Pep Guardiola’s Treble winners into joint top spot in the table for now, with Arsenal heading to Brighton this evening and Liverpool taking on Manchester United tomorrow afternoon.

WHAT HAPPENED

Palace fans belted out their anthem ‘Glad All Over’ as the teams emerged from the tunnel ahead of the 12:30 (UK) kick-off.

But come the end of the 90 minutes, it was Pep Guardiola’s men who were buzzing after a comprehensive 4-2 victory.

It didn’t start well for the visitors, though.

After dominating the early stages, City conceded on four minutes.

Adam Wharton played a pinpoint pass through to Jean-Philippe Mateta, who made no mistake as his shot evaded Stefan Ortega Moreno before going in after ricocheting off the keeper’s right-hand post.

It was a setback but only served to fire up the visitors as they looked to restore parity.

Josko Gvardiol headed over a precision cross from Kevin De Bruyne three minutes later as City looked to hit back quickly.

Julian Alvarez was played in beautifully down the right channel by Rico Lewis on 10 minutes but La Arana’s shot was kept out by a combination of Dean Henderson and Joel Ward on the Eagles line.

Rodrigo must surely have felt he had equalised moments later as he produced an incredible effort with his left foot, stretching and slipping before unleashing a shot that looked to be heading into the corner before the agile Dean Henderson dived to keep it out.

It wasn’t long before the leveller arrived though – and what a scorcher it was as KDB did KDB things.

De Bruyne produced a moment of magic on 13 minutes – unlucky for some but not for the Belgian – as he cut inside before crashing a right foot piledriver into the top corner, leaving former Manchester United stopper Henderson with absolutely no chance of keeping it out.

The camera had panned to Guardiola when Mateta opened the scoring and he was gesticulating angrily in the dugout. It was a different matter as KDB equalised with the boss blowing kisses to his playmaking forward as he notched up his 99th goal in City colours.

Erling Haaland had a golden chance to give us the lead on 19 minutes but, after being found by a meticulous pass through the centre, his effort was saved by Henderson.

Oscar Bobb, making his first start since February’s 1-0 home win over Brentford, impressed on the right wing and none more so than when he expertly picked out Lewis on the half hour mark but the Muay Thai boxing fan couldn’t land the killer punch as his ball across the box eluded everyone in a white and gold shirt.

Alvarez fired wide on 34 minutes and Lewis shot straight at Henderson on 39 minutes while inbetween times, the dangerous Jordan Ayew crashed a shot against the bar after he’d dispossessed Rodrigo.

Stefan Ortega Moreno, keeping his place despite the return from injury of Ederson, more than justified that decision with a cool-as-you-like clearance on 43 minutes.

Rodrigo’s pass back was a tad short, giving Ayew an opportunity to get on the end of it but Ortega Moreno produced a Cruyff Turn before calmly clearing the danger.

If Palace had started like a house on fire in the first half, it was City who came charging out after the break.

Lewis, whose only goal so far this campaign before today came against Palace in the 2-2 Etihad draw, scored against the Eagles once again to give us the lead, finishing calmly after Jack Grealish‘s cross from the left flicked off Joachim Andersen and into his path on 47 minutes.

Alvarez went close to making it three for the visitors on 54 minutes but his aggressive shot was kept out by Anderson, defending stoutly for the hosts, who were looking to regroup after a shaky start to the second period.

Haaland did extend our lead on 66 minutes, bagging his 82nd goal in 89 games during his time at City.

De Bruyne, supplier-in-chief for the star forward throughout their time together, showcased his vision once again, laying the ball on a plate for the Golden Boot winner to finish past Henderson.

KDB brought up his century with another cracker on 70 minutes, Rodrigo cushioning the ball to the Belgian who made no mistake with a lashing left-footer.

Substitute Odsonne Edouard pulled one back on 86 minutes with a clever flicked finish via Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross from the left.

But it was too little, too late as City played out seven minutes of injury time to collect a very welcome three points.

100-up for KDB

It was an important team victory for City at Crystal Palace as we fight for the Premier League title.

But the game also proved to be a milestone moment for Kevin De Bruyne, as he notched up a century of City goals.

His right-foot rocket in the first half brought up 99 while his lovely left-foot drive after the break helped clock up 100.

The landmark comes in his 372nd appearance for City, where he has established himself as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.

The 32-year-old has already won 14 major honours with City – and he will be hoping to add more to the cabinet this season if his performance at Selhurst Park is anything to go by.

MAN OF THE MATCH: KEVIN DE BRUYNE

Pep Guardiola was spotted blowing kisses to KDB from the dugout after the first of his brilliant brace in the win at Crystal Palace.

That summed up the huge admiration the manager has for the all-time Premier League great.

He’s done it for so many years in blue now but the positive performances just keep on coming and this was no exception.

The 32-year-old was central to everything we did here at Selhurst Park, showcasing his talent, tenacity and technicality.

TNT summariser Joe Cole insisted post-match that KDB sits above every midfielder in the Premier League era, calling him ‘The Godfather’.

Enough said!

TEAMS

PALACE XI: Henderson, Ward, Mitchell (Clyne 75’), Lerma, Ayew (Olise 74’), Eze (Schlupp 64’), Munoz, Mateta (Edouard 74’), Anderson, Hughes (Ahamada 82’), Wharton

Subs: Matthews, Tomkins, Ozoh, Umeh-Chibueze

CITY XI: Ortega Moreno, Lewis, Stones, Dias, Gvardiol (Akanji 46’), Rodrigo (Kovacic 74’), De Bruyne (c) (Bernardo 90’), Bobb, Alvarez (Nunes 74’), Grealish, Haaland

Subs: Ederson, Doku, Gomez, Foden, Susoho

PEP GUARDIOLA REACTION

On KDB: “Kevin is like everyone, if I hear him laugh on the bus, in the locker room then that is good. The body language dictates a lot how he is.

“All the players, especially Kevin, hopefully they can sustain it.

“To sustain this for nine years at City, and have that consistency is amazing.

“He has been one of the best players in the history of City. 100 goals is a lot and a lot of assists too.

“First goal is unbelievable. The assist is unbelievable. Really good.”

KDB REACTION

“It was good.

“It’s a very untypical season after being out for six months then coming back.

“I feel good and sometimes I need a bit of time for my body. I’ve tried to prepare myself as best as possible.

“It’s something that’s never happened to me before in my life. I just try to do the job as good as possible.

“Today it went really well.”

WHAT IT MEANS

Today’s win puts us joint top in the Premier League table.

We leapfrog Arsenal and are now level on points with leaders, Liverpool.

The Blues are on 70 along with the Reds, with the Gunners two points back on 68.

However, that could change, Arsenal travelling to Brighton in tonight’s 17:30 (UK) kick-off and Liverpool taking on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, that thunderous encounter starting at 15:30 (UK).

City have done our job, let’s see how our two title rivals get on.

WHAT’S NEXT

Very few of City persuasion will need reminding what our next assignment is.

It’s Real Madrid on Tuesday, with a 20:00 (UK) kick-off at the Bernabeu in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.

We’ve had some epic encounters with Los Blancos these past few years, some too painful to recall fully.

But it’s not hard to remember our triumph over the 14-time winners in our Treble campaign.

Kevin De Bruyne fired us to a 1-1 draw away in the first leg of our semi-final before a 4-0 victory at the Etihad, one of the greatest nights in our history, saw us through to the showpiece in Istanbul – and we all know what happened there! 

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