City level point with Chelsea with win Over bottom half

Spanish magician Silva struck twice and Yaya Toure added another as Manuel Pellegrini’s striker-less formation proved too tricky for Neil Warnock’s Eagles

David Silva’s first goals at the Etihad Stadium for a year clinched victory for Manchester City and saw them draw level on points with Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Spain star Silva, who had missed eight games with a knee ligament injury, last scored at home in a 6-3 win over Arsenal in December 2013, but solved City’s striker crisis with two vital strikes.

With Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic all injured, City boss Manuel Pellegrini deployed midfielder James Milner as an emergency striker, with Silva just off him.

But it was playmaker Silva who came up with the goals that set City on their way to victory, before he made way for Frank Lampard with 20 minutes remaining.

Yaya Toure made it 3-0 with 10 minutes left, on his 150th appearance for City, as Pellegrini’s side ran amok in the second-half to seal an ultimately comfortable triumph.

Yet City were unable to plunder a fourth goal, that would have seen them replace Chelsea at the top on goal scored, at least until Monday, when Jose Mourinho’s men go to Stoke.

Such was City’s dominance even forgotten man Scott Sinclair – remember him – got a late run-out, coming on as a sub in the 87 minute for Samir Nasri to round out an eighth straight win.

Silva’s second-half goals ultimately secured the platform for victory for City, who had looked anything but convincing in the first-half, wasting a succession of goalscoring opportunities.

David Silva performance;
68 Minutes 2 Goals 86 Touches

As well as missing chances, City looked vulnerable at the back in the first-half, never more so than in the 20th minute, when Frazier Campbell went close with an audacious angled overhead kick.

With City’s defence pushing up Campbell peeled off and was picked out by fine header from Yannick Bolasie, the acrobatic effort beating Joe Hart but going just wide.

Prior to that, City had fashioned several opportunities, Nasri twice missing the target, while Fernandinho and Yaya Toure were also guilty of wayward finishing in front of goal.

Toure missed a more glaring chance in the 27 minute, after some fine build-up play with Aleksandar Kolarov, the former eventually scooping his effort over the bar.

The missed opportunities led to an air of frustration among the home crowd, with City paying for for the lack of a focal point in attack with the number of chances they squandered.

Palace sensed City’s potential vulnerability in the first-half and caused them moments of anxiety on the break, although Bolasie and Campbell were unable to turn their openings into the hard currency of a goal.

Against that backdrop it was City who continued to look the likelier to sore, yet they were denied yet again, three minutes before half-time, when Toure put Pablo Zabaleta through with an exquisite pass.

Total Shots;
Zabaleta rode one challenge but was too cute with his effort, dinking the ball over Speroni, but agonisingly wide of the far post, when power, rather than guile, might have yielded a goal.

But City eventually took the lead in the 49 minute, Zabaleta cutting the ball back for Silva, whose shot took a significant deflection off Scott Dann, sending it spinning over Speroni and into the net.

Silva grabbed his second goal a minute after the hour, sweeping in a clinical left-foot first-time finish from Kolarov’s low delivery, before Toure added further gloss to the scoreline with the third.

Crystal Palace last 9 away games;
1 Won, 5 Drawn, 3 Lost

Post from Funsho Fagbure