City closer to Champs League after Palace raid

Manchester City's Argentinian defender Nicolas Otamendi (centre) celebrates scoring his team's fifth goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, UK, on May 6, 2
Manchester City's Argentinian defender Nicolas Otamendi (centre) celebrates scoring his team's fifth goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, UK, on May 6, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Manchester City 5

Crystal Palace 0

LONDON • Manchester City moved into third place on goal difference in the Premier League yesterday as Pep Guardiola's commitment to attack paid dividends against Crystal Palace, who have claimed some impressive scalps over the last month but were always on the back foot as they lost 0-5 at the Etihad Stadium.

Given the number of times the home side's fleet-footed front-runners gave the visitors' patched-up defence a chasing, the margin of victory could have been even more emphatic.

Otherwise, City made light of Sergio Aguero's absence with their biggest league win of the season to leave Palace looking elsewhere for confirmation of their safety.

City never looked back after David Silva's 50th goal for the club in the second minute, although it was not until the second half that the floodgates opened with Vincent Kompany, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Otamendi all on target.

HOME COMFORTS

We wanted to set this chain of home games right and it couldn't have gone better. We need to repeat the performance in the next games.

VINCENT KOMPANY, Man City captain, on the need to replicate their performance for their next two home matches against Leicester and West Brom.

Captain Vincent Kompany told Sky Sports: "It was only 1-0 after the first half, so it wasn't easy. We kept shooting and kept trying and we forced it to go our way. We needed that.

"I was pleased with the second half. We scored a lot and got the clean sheet."

City's next two games are at home against Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion.

Victory moved them into third place with 69 points, above Liverpool on goal difference. Fifth-placed Manchester United, who play Arsenal today, have 65.

"Our performance was high level," City manager Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports. "I'm pleased for our people, we can finally enjoy a lot of goals... (Champions League qualification) in our hands."

Palace's third consecutive defeat means they are still anxiously looking over their shoulders at the teams below them although they remain six points above third-bottom Swansea City.

Manager Sam Allardyce told Sky Sports: "All five goals were avoidable. We didn't make them produce their brilliant talent, we gifted them five goals. They punished us heavily."

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 07, 2017, with the headline 'City closer to Champs League after Palace raid'. Print Edition | Subscribe