Sunday, February 28, 2021

Premier League: City crush Palace

Football

Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Crystal Palace - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - January 17, 2021 Manchester City's John Stones celebrates scoring their first goal with Gabriel Jesus as Crystal Palace's Vicente Guaita looks dejected Pool via REUTERS/Peter Powell

MANCHESTER: Manchester City steamed into second place in the Premier League with defender John Stones scoring an unlikely double in a 4-0 demolition of visiting Crystal Palace yesterday.

Central defender Stones, closing in on 100 Premier League appearances for City, headed his first league goal for the club after a sublime cross by Kevin de Bruyne in the 26th minute.

Ilkay Gundogan curled in a delightful second 11 minutes after the interval before Stones was in the right place to fire home a loose ball with his left foot in the 68th minute.

Raheem Sterling crowned a superb second-half City display with an unstoppable free kick into the top corner late on.

The earlier 0-0 draw between leaders Manchester United and champions Liverpool was a pre-match boost for Pep Guardiola’s side and they capitalised with a fifth successive league win to move within two points of United and have a match in hand.

They have 35 points from 17 games and are ahead of Leicester City on goal difference with Liverpool fourth on 34 points.

Palace remain in 13th place on 23 from 19 matches.

After a poor start to the campaign, City are beginning to look like the side that won consecutive titles before Liverpool knocked them emphatically off their perch last season.

Since defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on Nov. 21 City have gone nine league games unbeaten, winning seven and conceding twice.