video: Manchester City 4 – 0 Crystal Palace [Premier League] Highlights 2015/16
Victory moves City above Leicester City and Arsenal on goal difference at the summit ahead of their nearest rivals’ weekend fixtures and acts as a welcome tonic to Wednesday night’s frustrating 0-0 draw against Everton at the Etihad Stadium.
In response to that setback, Pellegrini opted to start with two recognised strikers – prodigious youngster Kelechi Iheanacho joining Aguero in attack, while playmaker David Silva returned as Raheem Sterling and Yaya Toure dropped to the bench.
City lacked their customary control of central areas in Toure’s absence but the Ivory Coast star’s central midfield replacement Fabian Delph fired them ahead midway through the first half.
It was another moment to forget for Wayne Hennessey, whose dreadful error allowed lowly Aston Villa to beat Alan Pardew’s side in midweek, but there was nothing the Palace goalkeeper could do as Aguero’s deflected strike spun into the corner to make it 2-0.
City’s top scorer added his second after half-time and Silva completed the rout with six minutes to go as Palace were left to reflect on failing to find the net for a fifth consecutive league match.
Connor Wickham replaced Bakary Sako up front as Pardew sought to address this slump, but it was visiting defender Damien Delaney who was afforded space in the area to draw a sharp second-minute save from Joe Hart.