Last Updated: 28/12/13 4:56pm
And that's it! Manchester City make it 10 home wins out of 10 this season, a result which takes them two points clear at the top of the standings. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, are condemned to their 13th loss of the campaign to leave them outside the relegation zone only on goal difference after their opening 19 games of the campaign.
Samir Nasri skips past one, two, three defenders, but fails to go around a fourth, although his team-mates won't mind him holding onto the ball, as long as it counts down the last few seconds.
Alvaro Negredo goes on a bustling run down the right wing but falls at the crucial moment, handling the ball on his way down and conceding a free-kick.
The fourth official's board goes up and shows there will be three minutes of stoppage time to be played here at the end, of which we've already had 30 seconds.
Jonathan Williams shows a flash of what he's capable of as he picks up the ball in the middle of the park before showing a great turn of pace, forcing David Silva to bring him down, with the Spaniard seeing yellow for a clear 'professional foul'.
The City fans inside the stadium have their eyes glued on the clock as the final moments of the game tick down, with a two-point lead at the top of the table ready to greet them at full-time, provided their side stay in front.
They do finally burst to life as Jason Puncheon runs at goal before having a pop, although his effort hits a team-mate and goes out for a throw.
Palace look like they're trying to hold on for a point here, although someone should tell them they're a goal down. City are lapping it up, though, as they're given all the time and space in the world to just keep possession and run down the clock.
Final roll of the dice for Crystal Palace now as Dwight Gayle comes on for Barry Bannan for the final few minutes.
First yellow card of the game comes after 81 minutes, with Damien Delaney the man to go into the referee's notebook for a high boot on Alvaro Negredo.
Aleksandar Koarov produces one of his trademark overlapping runs down the wing before whipping a brilliant delivery into the area to pick out Edin Dzeko, although the forward's header is from a long way out and Julian Speroni has time to adjust and make the save.
Crystal Palace make a change now, with the hard working Yannick Bolasie coming off for Jonathan Williams.
Third and final change for Manchester City now as Manuel Pellegrini looks to sure up his defence for the final 15 or so minutes, with Aleksandar Kolarov coming on to replace James Milner.
Alvaro Negredo goes sliding in to to win a 50-50, although he takes a stud to the face and writhes around in agony, until the ball is played out, that is, and then he's fine to get up and carry on.
Palace do eventually get the ball back and Yannick Bolasie is picked out on the wing with a wonderful cross-field ball, although his delivery into the area is disappointing and Joe Hart can easily collect.
City have just taken the sting out of the game as they keep the ball at the back, preferring to lure Palace's midfield further up the field to open up the gaps, although the visitors aren't falling for it, instead waiting for the City defenders to eventually bring the ball forward.
This game has just burst into life and Palace twice come within a whisker of equalising. Joel Ward is the first to have a go, with his fierce strike just being tipped behind by Joe Hart, while Barry Bannan can only head his effort wide of the mark after jumping highest at the far post to meet the resulting corner.
Manchester City finally find a way through, and it's Edin Dzeko who gets the goal, the forward dropping off from his marker to receive Jesus Navas' cut-back from the byline before smashing a first-time hit into the back of the net.
Simply vital touch from Gael Clichy now to prevent Barry Bannan from being played through one-on-one as the defender just manages to get a toe on Yannick Bolasie's delightful blind pass over his shoulder.
Jason Puncheon looks really up for it in the second half, and he's invited to shoot after the City defenders back off him, and he's not far away at all as a lovely curling effort flashes just the wrong side of the post.
Manchester City are beginning to pile the pressure on and are finding it almost too easy to penetrate the Palace defence, with Jesus Navas allowed to gallop across the edge of the area before laying the ball in behind for Alvaro Negredo, but he's tightly marked and can't find a team-mate, with an attempted cross deflected away to safety.
Palace attack now with a break down the left, with Yannick Bolasie looking to play a reverse pass to Jedinak, although Kompany is aware to the danger and stabs the ball away. The resulting corner is pitiful though as the ball fails to even make it into the area, with the first man clearing for City.
Samir Nasri looks to make an instant impact and goes on a run down the left wing, although Barry Bannan is sticking to him like glue and is eventually able to play the ball out off the City midfielder.
Here come the big guns for Manchester City, with Manuel Pellegrini making a double change, Fernandinho coming off for Samir Nasri while Dedryck Boyata makes way for Alvaro Negredo.
City attack with purpose now, although Adrian Mariappa stands his ground well to thwart James Milner, who tries to twist and turn his way past the marker, only to turn into a dead end at each avenue.
Marouane Chamakh really should do better as he rises unmarked to meet the resulting corner, only to send a free header wide of the mark.
Brilliant play from Jason Puncheon as he breezes past Gael Clichy before unleashing a blistering drive, but Joe Hart is well placed to dive to his left and make the save.
Palace almost get in behind with a long ball over the top for Marouane Chamakh to chase down, although Vincent Kompany shows a clever piece of skill to flick the ball up over the striker before carrying the ball out of defence.
City create the first chance of the second period as David Silva slides the ball through for Edin Dzeko, who in turn moves the play on to James Milner, but his low delivery across the goal is met at the near post by Danny Gabbidon, who sweeps the danger away.
The referee brings the first-half to a close, and it's come at just the right time for Crystal Palace as Manchester City looked moments away from opening the scoring. It's goalless though as the head down the tunnel, so join me after the break for the second 45 minutes.
Palace are hanging by a thread at the moment, and Edin Dzeko wastes a brilliant chance as he's again played in behind the defence, this time from a brilliant Fernandinho pass, but the striker again gets the ball stuck under his feet to allow the visitors the chance to get back and make the block.
Wonderful reflex save from Julian Speroni keeps Palace level as he just gets fingertips to Jesus Navas' looping header following a wicked delivery from James Milner.
Five minutes is added on here at the end of the first half due to the lengthy stoppage following that earlier collision, and Joe Hart, who is sporting a huge black eye, almost gifts Palace a gilt-edge chance as he flaps at a corner, although fortunately for Manchester City the ball just evades Yannick Bolasie, who was running in at the far-post.
Fernandinho carves out a great chance with a sumptuous touch to lift the ball over his marker and set up a volley, although he can't keep his effort down as he lashes his shot over the crossbar.
Palace look to break now as Barry Bannan releases Yannick Bolasie down the right, although Dedryck Boyata is not falling for the forward's attempted nutmeg in the corner and all too easily wins back possession.
James Milner produces some fancy footwork down the wing to get himself into a position to cross, although his delivery is too close to the goalkeeper who plucks the ball out of the air unchallenged.
Five minutes until half time and City have a corner, although Jesus Navas' delivery is easily dealt with, while his second bite at the cherry is also unable to pick out a team-mate.
The referee wants a word here with the respective captains after Mile Jedinak and Dedryck Boyata become involved in a mini scuffle, although it's nothing that can't be sorted out with just a talking to.
Crystal Palace have done very well today to quell any sustained pressure from the hosts, who, besides their domination of possession, have not really come that close to taking the lead here.
Unfortunate for Crystal Palace here as Cameron Jerome is unable to continue. Former Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh is the man to replace him.
Both players receive attention from the respective medical teams, and after a few moments of treatment both are able to get back to their feet, although Jerome looks to have come off the worse and needs help hobbling off the field.
Moments later and Palace again threaten down the right, this time Barry Bannan fizzing a low ball into the area, although Joe Hart is out in a flash to get there ahead of Cameron Jermone. Both players come out of the clash injured, with the keeper suffering a nasty gash to his eye while the striker took a big blow to his knee.
Fantastic move from Palace now as Yannick Bolasie is played down the wing before whipping in a wonderful delivery, although Vincent Kompany is just able to get there ahead of the on-rushing Cameron Jerome to steer the ball away to safety.
Another City corner now, although they haven't had much threat coming in the air, and Julian Speroni can easily collect this one.
The Palace boss will undoubtedly be pleased to have gotten this far without conceding a goal, although there's still a long, long way to go in this one and he'll need all his managerial prowess to navigate a way to a positive result.
Tony Pulis is down on the touchline keeping a very close eye on proceedings, plotting a potential path to Premier League points.
Dzeko's at it again a few moments later as he gets on the end of a decent delivery to the far-post, although there's no Man City payer in the area to get on the end of his nod back, with City eventually being able to clear.
Decent chance for the hosts now as Edin Dzeko receives the ball in the area with plenty of space to work with, although the pass catches him by surprise and he seems to not know what to do with it, allowing the Palace defenders to close down his eventual weak shot.
City resume their passing game and work their way up field patiently, with David Silva eventually cutting the ball back to tee up James Milner on the edge of the area, although it's a tough technique to get right as the ball just bobbles up in front of him and the midfielder can only sky one over.
The resulting free-kick is in a really dangerous position, although Palace decide to go short, with Barry Bannan being forced wide by Jesus Navas before sending an attempted cross straight out for a goal kick.
Palace are again on the move, with you know how receiving the ball in the middle of the park before turning and running at goal, with Matija Nastasic eventually bringing him down illegally...
It's Silva v Bolasie at the moment, with both providing all of the action so far. The latter is the latest to threaten with a marauding run at the City goal, although he can't quite make the right connection with his shot as he hammers one wide of the mark.
More bulldozing from Yannick Bolasie as he pushes the ball past Dedryck Boyata like he wasn't even there, although David Silva, who is simply everywhere today, slides in to win the ball back for the Citizens.
David Silva looks to plant one into the bottom corner after being teed up on the edge of the area, but Julian Speroni can watch the ball fizz behind for a goal-kick, despite it coming through a crowd of bodies.
Palace forward Yannick Bolasie looks determined to put in a full shift here, and so far he's been impressive, showing plenty of power when in possession, although none of his team-mates seem to yet be on the same page, and as a result he's having to do most of the hard work himself.
First corner of the game now going the way of City, with David Silva's out-swinger finding the head of Dedryck Boyata, but the defender can only send his header looping over the crossbar.
Palace are still to get more than just a couple of seconds in possession, with Manchester City, on the rare occasion they lose the ball, quickly closing down and forcing the error.
David Silva is running the show for City, and he threads Edin Dzeko in behind with a wonderfully weighted pass, although the striker can only drag his effort wide of the far-post after shooting from a tight angle.
The first chance now as David Silva looks to loft a ball over the top for Edin Dzeko, but he gets too much purchase on his delivery and the ball skids behind for a goal kick.
With 2 minutes gone on the clock, Palace get their first touch of the ball, although it's only to block an attempted pass out for a throw-in as Manchester City have all but dominated possession so far, although I'm sure even the visiting fans didn't expect anything less.
Both sets of players are out on the field as the pre-match photographs, handshakes and coin toss get under way, meaning we're just moments away from this match kicking off!
Chris Green from Huddersfield says: It would be an amazing achievement for Tony Pulis' side if they came here and stunned the Etihad by producing the most unlikeliest of results, but I can't see it happening as City haven't suffered defeat on their home patch for a long time.
We're less than 10 minutes away from the kick-off now and the atmosphere inside the Etihad Stadium is as festive as the season, with the 50,000-something Manchester City fans all eyeing an evening spent at the top of the Premier League standings.
A lot of Man City fans making a noise in Bolton today, with Danielle saying: Another city win has to be today! Sat in work bored so i need cheering up :) come on you bluesss.
Dave in Bolton is next up, saying: It has to be another City win. Looking forward to seeing City top of the league again at long last. Come on you Blues.
Les in Japan is the first to make their voice heard, e-mailing in: It will be interesting to see how this City team perform, I understand the idea of rotation but this team doesn't inspire confidence. I hope I'm wrong and there is no need to introduce Negredo and Toure to get the win.
Crystal Palace, meanwhile, name an unchanged XI from the one that beat Villa, with Dwight Gayle remaining on the bench, despite scoring the winner. Marouane Chamakh is also on the pine, having returned from suspension.
So, Manchester City make six changes to the side that beat Liverpool on Boxing Day, with Matija Nastasic back from a calf injury while Dedryck Boyata earns his first Premier League outing this season at right-back. Gael Clichy, James Milner, Javi Garcia and Edin Dzeko are the others to come in as Manuel Pellegrini looks to rotate his squad over the hectic festive period.
Man City: Hart, Boyata, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Fernandinho, Javi Garcia, Jesus Navas, Silva, Milner, Dzeko Subs: Lescott, Nasri, Negredo, Kolarov, Rodwell, Pantilimon, Toure
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Delaney, Mariappa, Gabbidon, Parr, Puncheon, Ward, Bannan, Jedinak, Bolasie, Jerome Subs: Campana, Phillips, Gayle, Jonathan Williams, Moxey, Chamakh, Price
The team sheets have just come across my desk, but before we go over those I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's game, so why not drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll share your views and opinions here with our other readers.
It may seem like a competely one-sided affair in the making, although nothing can be taken for granted in the Premier League this season and our friends at Sky Bet are offering a Crystal Palace win at 22/1, while a draw which fetch you 15/2 and a Manchester City victory is at 1/9.
Those statistics mean Crystal Palace will have it all to do today, having managed just two wins on their travels this term, losing the other seven and conceding 14 goals along the way as they sit outside the relegation zone only on goal difference. There is, however, some light at the end of the tunnel for Tony Pulis' men, with the side having won four of their last seven outings, including the 1-0 Boxing Day success over Aston Villa.
The pre-match jabber surrounding today's encounter has been hinged on goals, goals and more goals. It's City who have been scoring the most of those this season, having already powered home 53 in the top-flight. Of even more concern to the Eagles is the fact that 37 of those strikes have come at home for the Citizens, leading to the 100% record at Eastlands this season and their current placing of second in the standings.