Premier League
Man City4Crystal Palace0

Manchester City 4-0 Crystal Palace

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero finished off a brilliant team move for Manchester City's third goal

Sergio Aguero scored twice as Manchester City closed the gap at the top of the Premier League by thrashing a lacklustre Crystal Palace side.

After a slow start from the hosts, midfielder Fabian Delph gave them the lead with a long-range drive.

Striker Aguero doubled the advantage with an effort that deflected in off the head of defender Scott Dann.

Aguero finished off a sublime team move and David Silva added a fourth, with Palace winless in five league games.

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Pellegrini 'very happy' with Delph

The Eagles could have gone ahead in the first couple of minutes but defender Damien Delaney headed straight at Joe Hart when free inside the area.

Yohan Cabaye went close late on with an effort that flew narrowly wide, but Palace have now failed to score in their past five league games.

Having started the day in third place, City were briefly top after victory over Palace, but were later overtaken by surprise title challengers Leicester who drew 1-1 against Aston Villa.

Clinical City signal intent

Sergio Aguero goal
The £141m goal. Sergio Aguero (10) started the move for the fourth goal and finished it too, with David Silva (21), Yaya Toure (42) and Kevin de Bruyne (17) also getting involved

Manuel Pellegrini's side failed to score against Everton in their last league game, and there were concerns over the form of Aguero going into the game.

But the Argentine - who had scored just once in his past five league games - showed his class at a snowy Etihad Stadium, scoring twice and setting up the impressive Silva for another, as the hosts found the net with all four shots on target.

City's third was particularly special, as four players with a value of £141m combined to score - Aguero starting and finishing a move that also involved Silva, Yaya Toure and Kevin de Bruyne.

The Blues have not been beaten in the league since their 2-1 defeat at Arsenal before Christmas and, with Aguero and Silva hitting their stride after injury, are finding form at just the right time.

Eagles falling rapidly

As recently as 19 December - when Palace beat Stoke - there was talk of Alan Pardew's side challenging for a place in Europe, perhaps even in the Champions League.

Then, they had the same number of points as fourth-placed Tottenham, but an alarming slump has seem them drop to eighth in the table.

This was another game in which they failed to score or take a point. Having made a mistake in their defeat by bottom side Aston Villa in midweek, goalkeeper Hennessey was again at fault for City's opener.

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Loss 'tough to take' for Eagles

Manager Pardew was unhappy with the Welshman's performance - but he has problems at both ends of the field.

Pardew has admitted he needs to bring in a striker in the transfer window, and neither the hard-working Connor Wickham nor the ineffectual Marouane Chamakh forced Hart into a save.

Palace's best chance came in the second minute. Had skipper Delaney scored with his header, it could have been a different story, but their wait for a goal and a point continues.

Man of the match - David Silva

David Silva
More passes (67) and more touches on the ball (96) than any other player on the pitch, Silva ran the show for City. The Spaniard scored one goal and set one up.

What they said

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: "Was it comfortable? No, because you never know in this game. The first half, the two goals gave us more space as they've had to go for the draw. That allowed us to use that space and score two more."

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew on the performance of goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey: "Wayne is going to have to show me this week in training. A mistake at Villa, he needed to respond today and made another mistake.

"The ball is in his court to keep out the other two goalkeepers but I need to see it in training. I need to see a reaction from him."

Sergio Aguero

What next?

Manchester City travel to West Ham next Saturday (17:30 GMT), while Crystal Palace host fellow Londoners Tottenham (15:00 GMT) on the same day.

The stats you need to know

  • Manchester City have netted a league-high 11 goals from outside the box this season, four more than any other side
  • Since coming to the Premier League in the summer of 2011, Sergio Aguero has bagged 88 goals, 10 more than any other player
  • Kevin de Bruyne has registered 11 goals and 11 assists in 29 appearances in all competitions for Manchester City this season
  • Crystal Palace have failed to score in five successive top-flight matches for the first time since February 1998

Line-ups

Man City

  • 1Hart
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 30Otamendi
  • 26Demichelis
  • 11KolarovSubstituted forClichyat 52'minutes
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 6Fernando
  • 18Delph
  • 21Silva
  • 72IheanachoSubstituted forY Touréat 57'minutes
  • 10AgüeroSubstituted forJesús Navasat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Sagna
  • 7Sterling
  • 13Caballero
  • 15Jesús Navas
  • 22Clichy
  • 42Y Touré
  • 77Humphreys-Grant

Crystal Palace

  • 13Hennessey
  • 2Ward
  • 6Dann
  • 27Delaney
  • 23Souaré
  • 11ZahaSubstituted forLee Chung-yongat 85'minutes
  • 18McArthurSubstituted forMutchat 80'minutes
  • 7CabayeBooked at 90mins
  • 28Ledley
  • 42Puncheon
  • 21WickhamSubstituted forChamakhat 66'minutesBooked at 71mins

Substitutes

  • 1Speroni
  • 9Campbell
  • 14Lee Chung-yong
  • 15Jedinak
  • 22Mutch
  • 29Chamakh
  • 34Kelly
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
53,983

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home17
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 4, Crystal Palace 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 4, Crystal Palace 0.

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace).

Booking

Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace).

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Jesús Navas replaces Sergio Agüero.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Lee Chung-yong replaces Wilfried Zaha.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 4, Crystal Palace 0. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Sergio Agüero following a fast break.

Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace).

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jordon Mutch replaces James McArthur.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Joel Ward.

Foul by Gaël Clichy (Manchester City).

Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by James McArthur.

Foul by Fabian Delph (Manchester City).

Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.

Booking

Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card.

Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 3, Crystal Palace 0. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Marouane Chamakh replaces Connor Wickham.

Attempt missed. Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.

Hand ball by David Silva (Manchester City).

Offside, Crystal Palace. Yohan Cabaye tries a through ball, but Scott Dann is caught offside.

Foul by Fernando (Manchester City).

Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Martín Demichelis (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace).

Attempt blocked. Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Connor Wickham.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Yaya Touré replaces Kelechi Iheanacho.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester22128239261344
2Man City22134543212243
3Arsenal21134437211643
4Tottenham22109338182039
5West Ham229853426835
6Man Utd219752720734
7Stoke219572422232
8Crystal Palace229492324-131
9Liverpool218762527-231
10Southampton228683124730
11Everton2261153932729
12Watford218582524129
13West Brom227692230-827
14Chelsea226793134-325
15Bournemouth2266102637-1124
16Norwich2265112438-1423
17Newcastle2256112439-1521
18Swansea2147101930-1119
19Sunderland2253142745-1818
20Aston Villa2226141838-2012
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