Manchester City took a giant step towards a place in next season's Champions League thanks to a sensational 5-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday's early kickoff. Pep Guardiola's men dominated the entire match and scored some great goals to pick up three big points.
Here are three takeaways from what we saw at the Etihad:
1 - David Silva is sensational
The Spaniard put on a clinic in the first half. Silva's passing is simply absurd, and showed ridiculous vision to see his teammates' runs and make accurate and smart passes, short and long. He also got a goal in the second minute that made the team calm and set the standard for a dominant collective performance. Silva really shines in the central midfield position he played on Saturday, and his ability to see the play develop before it happens is crucial for City's success.
Oh, and another thing: Silva was not 100% fit to face Palace because of a knee injury. Doesn't matter.
2 - When City play well, they are unstoppable
This season has been very inconsistent and the lack of goals in crucial moments combined with poor defense have caused City to miss out on the title race. But the game against Palace was just another example of how spectacular this team can be on its best day. The passing, the movement, the beauty of the goals scored, the intensity to press high up the pitch and suffocate opponents and the ability of world-class attacking players of making amazing moments happen shows that this team can dominate even in the toughest league on Earth.
The key for Pep Guardiola in the future is to sign great defenders that give the team more stability, and be more consistent going forward. But one thing's clear: the tools are there for City to become a dominant force in the Premier League.
3 - Nicolas Otamendi is actually a good defender
The Argentine was criticized a lot since joining City, and he's deserved such criticism most times. He's quite prone of making some reckless challenges and can be caught out of position in key moments, but one thing has helped Otamendi perform very well in recent weeks: Vincent Kompany. The return of the captain brought organization to the back line, and Otamendi has an experienced defender alongside him who can help him stay focused on his job and not use his crazy instincts too much. He also scored a goal to cap off a fantastic afternoon.
It's hard to bet on Kompany staying healthy next season, so City probably need another Kompany-type center-back, like Leonard Bonucci from Juventus. If Otamendi plays with a world-class defender, he can play like one.