Relive Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report of Manchester City's important 2-0 win at Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
By Jack Prescott, Rugby Editor Filed: Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 15:10 UK
Last Updated: Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 23:34 UK
Manchester City took advantage of Liverpool's defeat to Chelsea earlier on Sunday by winning 2-0 at Crystal Palace 2-0 and boosting their Premier League title hopes.
The Blues made the breakthrough with just four minutes on the clock when Edin Dzeko pounced to head in Yaya Toure's cross.
Toure then got on the scoresheet himself just before the break as he capped a fine solo run with a clinical finish past Julian Speroni.
Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how all of the action unfolded.
3.10pmHello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of this afternoon's Premier League encounter as Crystal Palace welcome Manchester City to Selhurst Park. We should have some team news through for you shortly...
3.12pmUPDATE: There's currently a huge match in the context of the title race being played at Anfield. Chelsea lead Liverpool 1-0 with the second half just having started. We will keep you up to date with what happens there because the result is sure to have a massive impact on Man City's season.
3.21pmMAN CITY SUBS: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Clichy, Fernandinho, Jovetic, Negredo
3.24pmMan City manager Manuel Pellegrini makes three changes after seeing his side beat West Bromwich Albion 3-1 on Monday night. The big news is that Yaya Toure returns for the Blues, while Aleksandar Kolarov and James Milner are also recalled. Gael Clichy and Fernandinho both have to settle for a place on the bench, but there is no place for the injured David Silva.
3.27pmWhile Man City are challenging for the Premier League title, let's not forget that Palace have the chance to finish the season in the top half of the table. A victory this afternoon would see them climb above Stoke City into 10th place. Love him or hate him, Tony Pulis has worked wonders down at Selhurst Park.
3.33pmMan City have been in indifferent form as of late, winning three of their last six matches. Their title bid looked to have suffered a serious blow after losing 3-2 to Liverpool and drawing 2-2 with Sunderland, but Monday's 3-1 victory at home to West Brom has just about kept them in the hunt for silverware.
3.36pmWhile Man City have spluttered in recent weeks, Palace have been imperious. Five wins on the bounce for the Eagles has seen them climb away from danger and up towards the top half of the standings. Who's to say that they won't make it six victories this afternoon? They've upset plenty of teams already this season, including Chelsea only a couple of weeks ago.
3.38pmUPDATE: There's 20 minutes left to play at Anfield, where Chelsea still lead 1-0 thanks to Demba Ba's goal at the end of the first half.
3.43pmMan City midfielder Samir Nasri: "We talk about the title-winning season a lot. Especially after the win on Monday. Now we are back on track and Chelsea have dropped points against Sunderland, it's an obsession.
"For me, it's good to be behind Liverpool, waiting for them to make a mistake. That's what happened two years ago and we need to believe because when we won the league, we won it in the last second of the last game. Anything can happen."
3.46pmPalace defender Joel Ward: "I think in the first game at their place we were unfortunate maybe not to come away with at least a point really.
"We had a few good chances late on, but if we can prepare like we have in any other game and make sure we look after ourselves and prepare right, at the end of the day it's 11 against 11 on the pitch and anything can happen.
"We want to continue our form right until the end of the season."
3.49pmHEAD TO HEAD: Man City have the superior record when you look at the previous games between these sides. The Blues have won 20 encounters, while Palace have come out on top 13 times. They've also played out 12 draws since they first faced each other in 1965.
3.52pmLooking at the recent record between Man City and Palace makes for ominous reading from a Palace perspective. They've won just once in the last six games against the Blues, who have won the other five.
4pmUPDATE: The full-time whistle has gone at Anfield, where Chelsea have beaten Liverpool 2-0 thanks to goals from Demba Ba and Willian. The title race takes another twist! Man City now know that they are likely to overtake Liverpool on goal difference if they win their two games in hand. What a season!
4.03pmWhat a huge boost that is for Man City ahead of this match. Who knows if they know about the result at Anfield, but you would imagine that the travelling supporters will inform them once they step out onto the pitch.
4.05pmThe players are emerging in the tunnel as kickoff approaches. What an afternoon of football we've had already. Can Man City now seize the initiative?
1 minKICKOFF! The teams are out, the pre-match handshakes have been done, and it will be Palace to get us underway. Hold onto your hats!
3 minWhat a start for Man City as Edin Dzeko gives them the lead after only three minutes! Toure, who was just outside of the area, floated a wonderful ball into the heart of the box to allow Dzeko to get between his markers and nod past Speroni.
6 minWhile the visitors have come flying out of the traps, Palace have got off to a sluggish start. The Eagles have barely been out of their own half in the opening few minutes. So far, so good for Manuel Pellegrini's side.
11 minPalace are trying to slow the tempo down a bit at the moment, but Man City won't let them. The visitors are charging around at a frantic pace when they're not in possession, and the hosts are failing to deal with it.
15 minThe hosts have been a lot better in the past few minutes, passing the ball around with a bit more authority while showing more attacking intent. A Palace corner was headed away by Zabaleta before the visitors failed to make anything happen with a corner of their own at the other end.
18 minA bit of a half-chance for Palace as Puncheon works some space on the edge of the box, but the winger can only fire a tame effort straight at Hart. Puncheon can be a threat from those kind of positions, so Man City will be keen not to give him too many opportunities like that.
21 minIt's the visitors who remain in control of this match as they dictate possession and the general tempo. As you might imagine, the Man City fans are in fine voice. They know that it's their team who is now back in the driving seat in the title race.
24 minYELLOW CARD! The first booking of the afternoon goes the way of Palace defender Damien Delanye following a late tackle on Dzeko. The hosts are continuing to find it hard to get a hold of the ball. That said, for all of Man City's dominance, the visitors really haven't created too many chances in front of goal.
27 minWhen Palace do get on the ball, there's very little to suggest that they are going to create anything. Jerome and Chamakh have been fairly non-existent so far, while Puncheon has been subdued out on the right flank. However, Man City know full well that a one-goal lead is a precious thing.
30 minThere's been a bit of a lull in the action during the past few minutes. Manuel Pellegrini could well be concerned with how his players haven't built on their early goal. That killer instinct in the final third just isn't there at the moment.
32 minYELLOW CARD! Man City's Pablo Zabaleta is the next player to go into the book following a robust challenge on Chamakh.
37 minMan City are beginning to turn the screw as we enter the final 10 minutes of the half. Milner's long-range effort is blocked by Jedinak following a dangerous corner. A second goal for the visitors would be ideal now.
39 minA bit of a worry for Man City here as Nasri goes down following a collision with Puncheon. The Frenchman is walking gingerly, though he looks to be just about okay to continue.
42 minWhat a superb goal from Yaya Toure to give Man City a commanding lead at Selhurst Park! The Ivorian went on a trademark run, shrugging off a couple of defenders before showing neat feet inside the box and curling the ball past Speroni.
45 minThere will be two minutes of added time at the end of this half...
4.59pmIt's going very well for Man City at the moment as they lead Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park. Edin Dzeko headed the visitors into a fourth-minute lead before Yaya Toure doubled their advantage late on.
5.01pmIt's hard to see where Palace go from here. They've had one or two promising moments up front, but they've been largely toothless during the opening 45 minutes. Tony Pulis is sure to be giving his players a piece of his mind right now.
5.04pmMan City will move to within three points of leaders Liverpool with a game in hand if things stay the same at Selhurst Park. The Reds were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea at Anfield earlier, a result which has blown the title race wide open. You can read a report of that match here.
5.09pmWhile Man City hold a solid 2-0 lead, Manuel Pellegrini will be telling his players to keep their focus. The Blues have not always been convincing in similar positions this season, and they will be aware that Palace are capable of making them sweat.
46 minSECOND HALF UNDERWAY! The teams are back out, and it will be Man City to kick us off for this second half. No changes for either side at the break.
47 minSAVE! An early chance for Palace in the second half sees Puncheon have his effort from 25 yards pushed behind by Hart. The resulting corner is whipped into the heart of the Man City box, but the danger is cleared.
50 minPalace have asserted themselves well since the restart. The hosts are passing the ball with a lot more confidence while looking to push forward and force the issue. It would change the whole complexion of this match if they were to get the next goal.
53 minThe visitors are taking control a bit more now. They've allowed Palace to start the second period strongly, but that spell looks to be over as the Blues go in search of a third goal. There have been one or two tasty tackles in the last few minutes as well...
55 minBOOKING! Palace defender Scott Dann goes into the book now for hauling Milner down to the ground with Man City looking to break.
57 minCHANCE! Close to a third goal for Man City, who are looking dangerous. Toure went on a rampaging run down the right wing before bursting into the Palace box. The midfielder tried to pick out Aguero around the penalty spot, but his cross was cut out at the last moment.
60 minPalace have really lost their way as we enter the final 30 minutes of the match. The home side are struggling to keep the ball because their passing is currently not good enough. They're giving possession away to Man City far too easily.
64 minDecent play from Man City down the left ends with Kolarov drilling a powerful cross into the box, but the Palace defence clears. Toure then tries his luck from distance, only to fire off target.
66 minSUBSTITUTION: Man City make their first change of the afternoon now as Fernandinho replaces Toure. The Ivorian has been impressive on his return from injury.
68 minSUBSTITUTIONS: A double change for Palace here as Glenn Murray and Dwight Gayle enter the action in place of Marouane Chamakh and Cameron Jerome. A couple of like-for-like substitutions from Tony Pulis.
70 minBOOKING! Palace defender Joel Ward is the latest player to be cautioned following a trip on Milner.
72 minSUBSTITUTION: A final change for Palace as Tom Ince is brought on in place of Yannick Bolasie. Under 20 minutes left to play at Selhurst Park. Can the hosts find a way back into this match? They're struggling to create anything at the moment.
75 minThe game has become a bit disjointed in the last few minutes, with both teams being penalised for a series of petty fouls. That's likely to suit Man City, who are only 15 minutes away from claiming the three points.
78 minSUBSTITUTION: Another Man City change sees Stevan Jovetic come on for Sergio Aguero. The Argentine has been lively today, but Manuel Pellegrini does not want to risk him any further.
81 minPalace are showing one or two signs of life as we head into the final 10 minutes of normal time, but it looks like it might be too little, too late. They've pumped a couple of balls into the Man City box during the past few minutes, only for the visitors to clear the danger.
84 minMan City are doing the professional thing now, keeping the ball and trying to take the sting out of the game. Despite not being wholly convincing today, the visitors are fully deserving of the three points. Only an amazing comeback from Palace can stop that happening now.
87 minSUBSTITUTION: A final swap for Man City here as Alvaro Negredo replaces Edin Dzeko.
90 minThere will be three minutes of added time...
6.04pmThe full-time whistle goes, and Man City take a big step towards the Premier League title with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. The Blues are now just three points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand and a superior goal difference. It's all to play for.
6.06pmThat's all from our live text coverage of this evening's encounter, but don't forget that you can follow all of the post-match reaction right here on Sports Mole. Thanks for your company, and we hope to see you again soon. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!