It looked like Manchester City would be Typical City against Crystal Palace after a poor first half, but the Blues got another big Premier League win at home thanks to a sensational performance in the second half. Leroy Sané, Raheem Sterling (2), Sergio Agüero and Fabian Delph scored the goals for a City team that remains unbeaten in the league and is now alone at the top thanks to a superior goal difference over Manchester United.
The first half was very difficult for the Blues thanks to Palace’s excellent strategy. The Eagles came to the Etihad to absorb pressure and hit City on the counter, and Roy Hodgson’s men executed the gameplan to near perfection, frustrating City’s attack and constantly worrying the Blues’ defense, and if it wasn’t for Ruben Loftus-Cheek missing two very good chances, Palace could have gotten a goal.
Instead, City finally found a way to break down the visitors’ defense thanks to a magical piece of skill from Leroy Sané, who made a one-two with David Silva, flicked the ball over Scott Dann’s head and nutmegged goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to give City the lead.
At halftime, the Blues were far away from their best, but their superior quality gave them a precious advantage. They needed to improve and finish the job in the second half.
Pep Guardiola must have said something really good at halftime, because the Blues came out of the interval completely transformed. The sloppy, inaccurate play of the first half turned into the same amazing performance we saw at Watford last week. City destroyed Palace, occupying the Eagles’ half and creating chance after chance through clever passing and movement.
Raheem Sterling got two goals in 10 minutes, both of them tap-ins after assists from Sané and Sergio Agüero. The Blues guaranteed the victory with 30 minutes to go, which was a big help and allowed City to rest with the ball in the final stretch of the game. But City still wanted more goals and Sergio Agüero and Fabian Delph joined the scoring part late in the game to make the win a big one.
City now have another match at home, their first of the Champions League at the Etihad against Shakhtar Donetsk. If the Blues play like they did in the second half today, look out.
Man City: Éderson; Walker, Stones (Delph), Otamendi, Mendy (Danilo); De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Sané, Agüero, Sterling (Bernardo)
Goals: Sané (44’), Sterling (51’, 59’), Agüero (79’), Delph (89’)
Crystal Palace: Hennessey; Fosu-Mensah, Dann, Sakho, Van Aanholt; Cabaye (Puncheon), Milivojevic; Townsend, Loftus-Cheek, Schlupp; Benteke (Sako)