Premier League
Man CityManchester City4Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace0

Manchester City 4-0 Crystal Palace

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
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.

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.

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


Man City

Formation 4-4-2

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


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

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-5-1

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


  • 1Speroni
  • 9Campbell
  • 14Lee
  • 15Jedinak
  • 22Mutch
  • 29Chamakh
  • 34Kelly
Jonathan Moss

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamCrystal Palace
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester City 4, Crystal Palace 0.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Foul by Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace).

  5. Booking

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

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

    Foul by Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace).

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Foul by Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Jesús Navas replaces Sergio Agüero.

  11. Substitution

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

  12. 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.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

    Foul by Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jordon Mutch replaces James McArthur.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Joel Ward.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Gaël Clichy (Manchester City).