LONDON: Manchester City eased doubts over their ability to sustain a Premier League title challenge with a routine 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s men travelled to London eight points behind runaway leaders Liverpool after two defeats in four league games but bossed possession and rarely looked troubled.
Gabriel Jesus and David Silva netted twice inside a minute for City but a combination of some wayward finishing and an inspired performance from Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey prevented a rout.
Guardiola praised his makeshift defence but demanded more of a killer touch from his side, who had 21 shots.
“Unfortunately, we could not convert the chances we had but it was an important three points after the international break,” he told Sky Sports. “Hopefully we can start from here and continue our good performance. Their ‘keeper made a lot of saves but hopefully we can be more clinical.”
City had to line up with midfielders Fernandinho and Rodri at center back after Nicolas Otamendi picked up a knock while on international duty with Argentina
But most of the action took place at the other end, with Kevin De Bruyne returning from a groin injury to help the visitors dictate play at Selhurst Park.
The visitors should have had more goals, with Raheem Sterling particularly wasteful, but victory came with the bonus of a cameo showing from fit-again John Stones, whose return will ease their defensive crisis.
Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019