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Premier League

City move to within five points of Liverpool with win over Palace

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Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City

Image credit: Getty Images

ByNadeem Badshah
19/10/2019 at 17:31 | Updated 19/10/2019 at 18:41

Premier League, Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace 0 Manchester City 2 (Jesus 39, D Silva 41)

Gabriel Jesus scored his 50th goal for Manchester City as they strolled to a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace.

Pep Guardiola surprised everyone with his team selection, choosing Rodri and Fernandinho in central defence.

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His side had up to 80 per cent possession at times as they bossed the game. The home side held out until the 39th minute when Bernardo Silva's cross was glanced in by Jesus off his shoulder.

Ninety one seconds later, the reigning champions doubled their lead in style when David Silva volleyed home Raheem Sterling's scooped pass.

Palace tried to replicate the counter-attacking tactics that brought Wolves success against City a fortnight ago but were unable to have enough of the ball and were chasing shadows for the entire game.

City could have extended their lead with Sterling hitting the post and Jesus twice being denied by brilliant saves from Wayne Hennessey.

Palace almost halved the lead when substitute Benteke's header, with his first touch, was brilliantly tipped onto the bar by Ederson but overall Fernandinho and Rodri handled their defensive duties well as City cantered to a victory that moves them five points behind leaders Liverpool, who face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

TALKING POINT

Guardiola's gamble pays off but will he do it again?

Following the shock 2-0 loss to Wolves a fortnight ago, the City boss dropped his centre backs for today's game and went with two defensive midfielders. And it worked largely because Palace did not have much of the ball although teams who play more positively may get some joy.

Rodri and Fernandinho looked comfortable against the Eagles which would have sounded a warning for John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

MAN OF THE MATCH

David Silva (Man City): The veteran Spaniard scored though a well-taken volley after a slick passing move. He was at the centre of City's attacks and also showed his defensive qualities with a crunching tackle before setting up Sterling who hit the post.

PLAYER RATINGS

CRYSTAL PALACE: Hennessey 7, Ward 5, Tomkins 5, Milivojevic 5, Cahill 6, van Aanholt 5, Kouyate 6, Schlupp 5, McArthur 5, Zaha 5, Ayew 4. Subs: Townsend 5, Benteke n/a, Dann n/a.

MAN CITY: Ederson 7, Cancelo 5, Fernandinho 7, Rodri 6, Mendy 6, Gundogan 7, Silva 8, De Bruyne 6, Bernardo 7, Sterling 7, Jesus 8. Subs: Stones n/a, Foden n/a.

KEY MOMENTS

39'- GOAL FOR CITY! From Bernardo Silva's cross, Jesus' glancing header hits the post and goes in.

41' - GOAL FOR CITY! Lovely move. Mendy to Sterling, whose lofted ball is fired in on the volley by David Silva from close range. 2 goals in 2 minutes.

51' - CLOSE! Lovely jinking run from Jesus, it falls to Sterling in the box whose low shot at the near post flashes wide.

55' - CHANCE! D Silva tees up Sterling after making a crunching challenge and the England forward's drive clips the post.

76'- GREAT SAVE! Zaha's cross is blocked for a corner. Its a good delivery and Benteke, who has just come on for Milivojevic, hits the bar with a header after a great save from Ederson.

81' - WOODWORK! Gundogan whips a cross in front of goal but De Bruyne can only send his shot onto the crossbar with Hennessey beaten.

88' - GREAT SAVE! Zaha with a good run, he gets into the box and fires in a drive which Ederson parries. Top stop.

KEY STATS

In 64 starts for City, Jesus has bagged 45 goals.

Raheem Sterling has 13 goals and seven assists in 16 games for Manchester City and England in 2019-20.

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Related Topics
FootballPremier LeagueManchester CityCrystal Palace
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