City hammer Palace to boost top-four hopes

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce was far from impressed with his defence after "gifting" Manchester City a 5-0 Premier League victory at the Etihad Stadium.

And De Bruyne says it was important City kept their foot on the pedal and scored four second half goals, two of them coming in the last eight minutes.

More chances followed and third goal City had been threatening arrived shortly before the hour mark when the influential De Bruyne steered a shot under Hennessey and just inside the post after Sterling had held off Schlupp to reach Silva's header and set up the chance.

Nevertheless, the positives for City included a healthy scoreline, a clean sheet and all-round impressive display to get the job done and with that win, they temporarily move above Liverpool into third place and open up a four-point gap over fifth-placed Manchester United.

The Citizens can achieve Champions League football for next season with wins in their final three games against Leicester, West Brom and Watford.

"We are the best team in the league when it comes to creating chances - there is no competition".

"But we have dominated games, have been organised and tried to play in a certain way". "It couldn't have gone any better". Going ahead in the first minutes of the game helped us a lot but we still needed a second and Vincent scored an wonderful goal.

City are now fourth in the league, a point and a place behind Liverpool with a game in hand.

"I said that at half-time to the players: score a goal or forget about it, we are not able to win".

"When the young, very talented players that we have in the team start running past me in training then I'll get anxious but so far (there's) no reason to panic", Kompany was quoted before City's 5-0 thumping of Palace. "Our strength has been our defensive unit and it was in tatters by the end".

"Defensively we made too many mistakes and they punished us heavily", Allardyce said. "The guys who score goals score goals, and we don't have enough".

"Of course we missed him a lot".

Silva was not fully fit on Saturday and had to be withdrawn in the 68th minute, which was just as well for Palace.

Silva's chipped pass sought out the clever run of Sterling and when his lob was headed weakly away by Martin Kelly the lurking Silva drove a volley past Wayne Hennessey. It was Silva's 50th goal for the club. What he does to keep the ball means there is nearly no chance to get the ball from him.

Sane deserved a goal for his performance but miscued a decent opening shortly afterwards, and it was the winger on the opposite flank who got City's fourth as Sterling fired a bobbling ball into the bottom corner after being found by Pablo Zabaleta's knockdown.

  • Julie Sanders