Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace: Raheem Sterling scores twice in win
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 23/09/17 11:16pm
Raheem Sterling scored twice as Manchester City cruised to a 5-0 victory over Crystal Palace, who are still yet to score a goal in the Premier League this season.
Roy Hodgson's side frustrated City at the Etihad Stadium until Leroy Sane netted the opener one minute before the break.
City then stepped it up after the interval, with Sterling scoring twice in eight minutes and Sergio Aguero powering in a header in the 79th minute to move within one of the club's all-time scoring record of 177, which has stood since 1939.
Substitute Fabian Delph added a brilliant late fifth as City took their tally to 16 goals in their last three league matches.
Palace, meanwhile, have lost all six of their Premier League matches this season without scoring and face a huge task to turn their fortunes around with Manchester United and Chelsea next on their schedule.
Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (6), Stones (6), Otamendi (6), Mendy (5), Sane (8), David Silva (7), Fernandinho (7), Sterling (8), De Bruyne (7), Aguero (7)
Subs: Danilo (6), Delph (7), Bernardo Silva (6)
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (4), Van Aanholt (4), Dann (4), Sakho (5), Fosu-Mensah (4), Schlupp (4), Cabaye (4), Milivojevic (4), Loftus-Cheek (6), Townsend (5), Benteke (5)
Subs: Sako (5), Puncheon (5)
Man of the match: Leroy Sane
With Mamadou Sakho back in the side for the first time in the league since re-joining from Liverpool, Palace set up to be compact and frustrate City.
But the hosts could have taken an early lead as Sakho headed a cross from Kevin De Bruyne against his own post and Fernandinho then shot at Wayne Hennessey from 10 yards out.
Palace otherwise looked solid and threatened on the break as Ruben Loftus-Cheek shot against the post before sweeping a volley narrowly wide from a cross.
With some of the home fans starting to grow restless after Aguero spurned a good chance, it was Sane who finally broke the deadlock late in the first half when he finished from David Silva's excellent pass over the top.
Man City made just one change from their 6-0 thrashing of Watford last weekend as Sterling replaced Jesus. For Palace, Milivojevic, Sakho and Van Aanholt came in for Ward, McArthur and Puncheon.
City raised the tempo after the break and soon made the game safe as Sane and Aguero provided crosses for Sterling to tap in from close range.
Sane then crossed for Aguero to head in a fourth and move closer to becoming City's all-time leading scorer, before substitute Delph curled in a superb fifth from outside the box in the 89th minute after Palace had lost Christian Benteke to injury.
- Crystal Palace are the first side in England's top four tiers to lose their first six games of the season without scoring.
- This is Manchester City's best goal return after six league games (21).
- Raheem Sterling has scored five goals in his last four Premier League games, as many as in his previous 31 combined.
- David Silva has been directly involved in seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances against Crystal Palace (four goals, three assists).
- Leroy Sane has scored five goals from just seven shots on target in all competitions for Man City this season.
Pep Guardiola: "We started good, in the first five or 10 minutes we created two or three clear chances, but after that we were not good. The ball should be moved and we didn't move it. The last 10 minutes of the first half we started to play good again and it helped a lot to score the first goal before half-time. The second half we were at the level of the last few weeks."
Roy Hodgson: "I am disappointed that the play, both defensively and offensively, that we showed in the first half we couldn't get close to in the second half. A team like Man City are one of the worst you can play against when they are leading and feeling confident and creating chances."
Man of the match - Leroy Sane
Sterling might have scored twice, but it was Sane who played a starring role for City under the gaze of his international head coach Joachim Low.
After breaking the deadlock before half-time with a composed finish, Sane played a perfectly-weighted pass into the middle for Sterling to tap in. Having spurned a good chance to score his second, the Germany international then whipped in a brilliant cross for Aguero to head in.
On this evidence, Sane will be difficult for Pep Guardiola to leave out of his starting XI.
City are at home again on Tuesday as they host Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. They return to Premier League action next Saturday with a trip to Chelsea.
Palace travel to Manchester again next Saturday as they face Manchester United, before a home match against Chelsea on October 14.