City thrash Palace to tighten grip on top-four finish

MAN CITY 5-0 CRYSTAL PALACE

City thrash Palace to tighten grip on top-four finish

City thrash Palace to tighten grip on top four finish

Mark Robinson

Getty Images

Guardiola's side strengthened their Champions League aspirations with a 5-0 thrashing of a woeful Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday

Top four boost

Manchester City strengthened their top-four aspirations with a 5-0 thrashing of a woeful Crystal Palace side at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. 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.

A vibrant display

Victory moved City into third place with 69 points, above Liverpool on goal difference. Fifth-placed Manchester United, who play sixth-placed Arsenal on Sunday, have 65. It was the kind of vibrant play City produced at the start of the season when they topped the table and should Arsenal defeat Manchester United on Sunday they will be hot favourites to seal another season of Champions League football.

Three defeats in a row for Allardyce

'Our performance was high level. I'm pleased for our people we can finally enjoy a lot of goals here,' manager Pep Guardiola, who has bemoaned his side's finishing of late, said. 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 who are in action on Sunday at home to Everton.

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