1 - An early goal is always good for the nerves
One of the main concerns for Pep Guardiola after the Crystal Palace game would have been a slide in form. Negative results after a big winning streak can lead to more negative results in the short term, which is why the 38-second goal scored by Raheem Sterling was so crucial. It set Manchester City on their way and basically eliminated any chance of more points dropped.
2 - Kevin De Bruyne is one tough player
Just two days after receiving a horror tackle from Jason Puncheon, Kevin De Bruyne was not expected to play any part in this game. However, when the teamsheet came out, there he was starting alongside David Silva in midfield. Bearing in mind that De Bruyne left Selhurst Park on a stretcher with a lot of attention from the City medical team, this is an amazing turnaround and is a signal of just how tough the Belgian is.
3 - Tradition is nice, but the festive fixture list is just too much
Pep Guardiola said after the game that the fixture list will “kill” the players and he’s absolutely right. The idea that the festive fixture list in England adds to entertainment is simply incorrect. The reality is that it takes away from it as managers are forced into constant rotation.
More often than not that results in slower games without the standard we have come to expect of the Premier League. Every single fixture on New Year’s Day that kicked off at 3PM GMT was 0-0 at half-time and as much as we all love football, there would not have been huge uproar if there were no New Year’s Day fixtures.