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Match Reports

Report: Manchester City 4-0 Crystal Palace

16 January 2016

Crystal Palace’s winless run in the Premier League extended to four games as Manchester City showed their superiority at the Etihad Stadium.

Goals from Fabian Delph and Sergio Aguero gave the hosts a cushion at half-time before Aguero completed his brace midway through the second 45 and David Silva added a fourth late on to complete a convincing win for Manuel Pellegrini’s men.

Just as they had done at Aston Villa five days earlier, the Eagles nearly took the lead with the game in its infancy. After a Yohan Cabaye corner was cleared, Palace worked the ball onto the other flank and a brilliant cross by Connor Wickham was met by the head of Damien Delaney, but he would be denied a second goal at the Etihad Stadium this season by a good save from Joe Hart.

Pardew’s side frustrated their hosts for the next 20 minutes as they confidently kept them at bay well away from their box, with their only shot coming when David Silva shanked one well wide that didn’t worry Wayne Hennessey.

However on 22 minutes the custodian was beaten with a shot from out of nowhere. Silva linked up with Pablo Zabaleta on the right and found Delph 35 yards out, and the England international took a touch before fizzing a low strike towards goal which beat the Palace keeper and found the bottom corner.

But Palace responded instantly by earning a corner and Delaney again won a header, but his weak attempt was comfortable for Hart. However when England’s number one went to clear downfield the ball struck James McArthur and bounced free, and Delaney reacted quickest to hit a shot on the slide but steered it wide.

Cabaye then went ever so close with a wonderful free-kick from 25 yards that cleared the wall and dipped towards the bottom corner but Hart was at his best to dive full-stretch and push it away, but on 37 minutes Aguero had his first attempt when Silva teed him up inside the box and despite slipping over he managed to scoop the ball goalwards but watch it trickle wide.

However three minutes later he was celebrating when he did get on the scoresheet. Silva again scampered forward and played the ball to the Argentinian striker 25 yards from goal, and his speculative effort flicked off the head of Scott Dann which left the wrong-footed Hennessey powerless to prevent it hitting the back of the net.

Aguero then had two chances before the break to put the game out of reach, and after Delaney did brilliantly to block one from close range, he saw a curling drive just miss the target before the whistle sounded.

Palace began the second half brightly and could have had a penalty when a wayward clearance hit the arm of Martin Demichelis but despite appeals Jonathan Moss waved it away, and on 63 minutes Joel Ward screwed wide after he linked with up Zaha on the edge of the box.

But it was game over five minutes later when Aguero completed his brace. Man of the match Silva dispossessed Ward on the touchline and fed Aguero, and then the ball went through Yaya Toure and Kevin de Bruyne before the predatory forward converted a simple tap-in from six yards out.

The Eagles kept looking for their first league goal in five games and Cabaye was unlucky to see a brilliant 35 yard screamer bend away from the top corner at the last moment with Hart grasping thin air, but with six minutes to play Pellegrini’s men added a fourth.

De Bruyne won the ball 30 yards from the City goal during a Palace attack and it broke kindly for Aguero who knocked it into space past Ward. He charged towards goal but showed great unselfishness by rejecting the chance of a hat-trick to set up Silva, who showed good composure to force the ball past the back-tracking Ward and get on the scoresheet and finish off the scoring.

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Otamendi, Kolarov (Clichy 52), Delph, Fernando, De Bruyne, Iheanacho (Toure 58), Silva, Aguero (Navas 84). Subs not used: Caballero, Sagna, Sterling, Humphreys.

Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare, Zah (Lee 84), Cabaye, McArthur (Mutch 80), Ledley, Puncheon, Wickham (Chamakh 66). Subs not used: Speroni, Kelly, Jedinak, Lee, Campbell.

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