'Strikerless' Man. City Down Struggling Crystal Palace

'Strikerless' Man. City Down Struggling Crystal Palace

Saturday, December 20, 2014 4:45 pm

Manchester City just missed out on going top of the Premier League until Monday at least, following a 3-0 win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League’s early kick-off on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium.

Playing without a recognised striker in the matchday squad, Manuel Pellegrini’s side shrugged off a below-par first half display to overcome their visitors courtesy of a David Silva brace along with Yaya Toure’s late strike.

The result sees City go level on 39 points with league leaders Chelsea, though have played a game more than Jose Mourinho’s side that plays on Monday night against Stoke City.

At the Etihad, the match was the first of what would be a packed festive period in the Premier League, with City starting James Milner in the false 9 role as top scorer Sergio Agüero as well as Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic are out injured.

The absence of the injured trio was felt in the first half which saw City fail to register a shot on target for only the second time this season, though Pablo Zabaleta did come close to breaking the deadlock just before half time when he latched on to a perfect pass from Toure only for his dinked effort to sail inches wide of goal.

It however took only two second half minutes for City to register an effort on target, one which was converted by Silva from a Zabaleta cut-back with help of a Scott Dann deflecton.

The Spaniard swept in City’s second just after the hour mark after meeting Aleksandr Kolarov’s ball in and while Palace were denied a way back into the match when James McArthur’s header was wrongly ruled out for offside, Toure made sure of the points when he powered in City’s third 10 minutes to the end.

One more goal would have seen City go top of the league by virtue of goals scored but the Citizens must settle for second spot for the moment, behind Chelsea on goal difference.

Palace meanwhile lie in 16th place with 15 points ahead of Burnley – that visits Tottenham Hotspur today – on goal difference while 18th placed QPR with 14 points host West Brom and Hull City in 19th with 13 points also play at home against Swansea City in other Premier League matches today.

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