Sep 23, 2017 at 3pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 53,526
Man CityManchester City
Crystal Palace
Sane (44'), Sterling (51', 59'), Aguero (79'), Delph (89')
Mendy (25'), Danilo (57'), Sane (75')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Schlupp (76')

Live Commentary: Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace - as it happened

Live Commentary: Man City 5-0 Palace - as it happened
© SilverHub
Relive Manchester City's 5-0 thrashing of rock-bottom Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium, with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates.

Manchester City continued their prolific goalscoring run by battering Crystal Palace 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon.

Raheem Sterling made it five goals in four Premier League starts with a second-half brace after Leroy Sane got City going with his 44th-minute opener.

Sergio Aguero and substitute Fabian Delph also got on the scoresheet in the second half to help the hosts stay top of the table on goal difference.

The Citizens have now scored 16 unanswered goals in their last three top-flight matches; form that Palace could only dream of as they remain without a point, or a goal, from their opening six league matches.

Relive how the action unfolded at Eastlands courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates.

2.00pmAfternoon all! This has all the makings of a home banker if ever there was one, but we know that anything can happen in the Premier League. Let's get to the team news from Eastlands...

2.02pmMAN CITY: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Mendy; Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling, Sane; Aguero
Subs: Bravo, Yaya Toure, Bernardo, G Jesus, Mangala, Danilo, Delph

2.04pmPALACE: Hennessey; Fosu-Mensah, Dann, Sakho, Van Aanholt; Milivojevic, Cabaye; Townsend, Loftus-Cheek, Schlupp; Benteke
Subs: Speroni, Tomkins, Ward, Puncheon, McArthur, Sako, Reidewald

2.06pmIn devastating news for Fantasy Premier League managers across the country, Gabriel Jesus is dropped to the bench by City for Leroy Sane. It is their only change from last weekend's 6-0 thrashing of Watford, and likely with one eye on Tuesday's Champions League visit of Shakhtar Donetsk.

2.08pmSo just the one change from their last Premier League outing, but eight from Wednesday's EFL Cup win over West Brom. Sane, Raheem Sterling and John Stones are the only players on double duty.

2.10pmGuardiola has tinkered between 3-5-2 and 4-3-3 this season, and he's gone with four at the back this afternoon - a decision which is probably influenced by the continued absence of Vincent Kompany.

2.12pmEven without Jesus, a forward three of Sergio Aguero, Sane and Sterling and the masterfully creative duo of David Silva an Kevin de Bruyne is enough to strike fear into any defence.

2.14pmHodgson also made wholesale changes in midweek as the Eagles picked up their first win under his tenure against Huddersfield. Patrick van Aanholt, Luka Milivojevic and James Tomkins showed enough to earn Premier League recalls, but match-winner Bakary Sako only makes the bench.

2.16pmThe three men to be axed from last Saturday's defeat to Southampton are Joel Ward, James McArthur and Jason Puncheon, all of whom are on a bench which offers little in terms of attacking inspiration.

2.18pmYoung loanees Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek both retain their places. Palace are in a dire situation but Hodgson is not taking these inexperienced players out of the pressure cooker.

2.20pmWilfried Zaha is still missing for the Eagles. In his absence, Andros Townsend will be tasked with driving them forward on the counter-attack with Jeffrey Schlupp, who has been moved up the field from left-back.

2.22pmGuardiola must have been tempted to stick with he Aguero-Jesus partnership, which has been absolutely lethal so far this term. Their combined total of nine goals - five for the Argentine and four for the Brazilian - is as many as any Premier League team outside of Manchester has managed.

Of players to score 10 Premier League goals, they are the top two for minutes per goal, with Jesus netting every 89 minutes and Aguero every 108.

2.24pmWhile Jesus is rested from today's starting lineup following his 120 midweek minutes, Aguero will be licking his lips at the sight of this Palace defence as City have scored at least three goals past the Eagles on each of their last four visits.

Aguero helped himself to a brace in a 4-0 win in January 2016, although those are his only goals against Palace before today.

2.26pmBeing a striker at Man City is pretty easy when you have Kevin de Bruyne supplying you. The Belgian has showed his delivery to be arguably the best in the Premier League so far this season, with outstanding vision and extreme precision.

He leads the Premier League rankings for through balls (6) and is second only to Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the assists charts with four.

2.28pmDavid Silva's creative genius was not stored in his hair. The newly-shaven Spaniard also has four assists for the campaign, and loves playing against Palace. He has scored four goals past the Eagles; only versus Newcastle has he managed more.

2.30pmRESULT! The Premier League weekend has got off to an awesome start with a thriller of a London derby. Ten-man Tottenham held of West Ham's fightback to win 3-2 at the Olympic Stadium. Harry Kane's double put Spurs in control before Serge Aurier's sending off set up a Hammers revival.

2.32pmTottenham's win temporarily takes them third behind the Manchester frontrunners. They may be top of the table, but this is actually City's worst start to a Premier League season since 2014-15. In each of the last two seasons, the Citizens have collected a maximum 15 points from their opening five games. Slackers.

2.34pmStrong form either side of the summer break means that Pep Guardiola's men are unbeaten in 13 Premier League games, winning 10 of them. They have been particularly good at home, losing only once in 24 outings on their home turf.

2.36pmThat will make sweet reading for City because six of their next seven games at at the Etihad Stadium, including Shakhtar Donetsk and Napoli in the Champions League. A huge trip to Chelsea is the only time they have to leave Manchester before October 28th.

2.38pmThe Eagles are the first team in top-flight history to lose their opening five games, without scoring, and their upcoming fixtures mean it is entirely possible that run could be stretched to eight. How early is too early to start planning for the Championship?

2.40pmThe only team to lose their first six Premier League games were Portsmouth in the 2009-10 campaign. Pompey went on to finish bottom of the table with only 19 points, although they were deducted nine for going into administration.

2.42pmJudging by the standards that Steve Parish has set himself, Roy Hodgson has three games to save his job. After today, Palace face Manchester United and Chelsea, which is a little different to San Marino and Andorra. Someone get Big Sam on the phone...

2.44pmI don't mean to disrespect Palace's players or their passionate supporters, but I really do fear for them. Regardless of my opinion on the Frank de Boer sacking, I find the appointment of Hodgson completely baffling.

He struggled to inspire me to even watch England, and now he has to pick these players up from rock bottom and save them from relegation. I don't think so.

2.46pmHodgson will be hoping that Tuesday's EFL Cup success over Huddersfield has given his players some much-needed confidence. Bakary Sako scored the only goal of the game - his first for Palace since netting back-to-back in August 2015.

2.48pmSako's omission is more surprising considering how badly Palace miss Zaha. The speedy winger, who has not played this season because of a knee injury was involved in 18 of Palace's 50 league goals last season, scoring seven and assisting 11 more.

Wilfried Zaha and Mark Noble in action during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Crystal Palace on April 2, 2016© Getty Images

2.50pmPalace's failure to score in the league is made all the more remarkable by the fact that they have managed 71 shots this season - more than any side outside of 'the top six'. But only 15 of those have been on target, which shows a real lack of cutting edge.

2.52pmHEAD TO HEAD: Less than 10 minutes until kickoff now at the Etihad Stadium, which is probably the last place that Palace would want to go in this form. Man City have won their last eight home matches against the Londoners, including a 5-0 thrashing in May.

2.54pmPalace's last win at City was a 2-0 victory at Maine Road in 1990. They have beaten at Selhurst Park five times since then, most recently a 2-1 triumph in April 2015 when Jason Puncheon and Glenn Murray scored the goals.

2.56pmPREDICTION: Everything points to a comprehensive Manchester City victory and I cannot see any other result. They won't quite match the six goals from Vicarage Road, though, settling for a 4-0 win.

2.58pmCity's Title rivals Manchester United and Chelsea are also in action this afternoon - a rare 3.00pm treat to have so many of the big boys in action. You can follow those games with SM also.

1 minKICKOFF: The action is underway at an expectant Etihad, with Palace in their changed all-black kit.

3 minQuiet start here where both sides are trying to feel their way into the game, but there has already been a goal at the Britannia Stadium where Alvaro Morata has given Chelsea a second-minute lead!

5 minCLOSE! Nearly a nightmare start for Palace. We all know the danger that Kevin de Bruyne poses with his delivery and a wicked cross is deflected by Sakho against his own post.

8 minHodgson will be pretty happy with how Palace have started this game. They have kept their hosts rather quiet and even created a half chance for themselves, but Schlupp couldn't pick out Benteke

12 minSAVE! Fernandinho misses a guilt-edge chance to put City ahead. A scramble in the goalmouth falls to the Brazilian, who shoots straight at Hennessey from eight yards out. Should have scored.

15 minFrom the sublime, to the ridiculous with Palace. Loftus-Cheek does brilliantly to skip away from a couple of challenges and start an attack for the visitors, but Schlupp's cross is embarrassingly bad.

16 minDe Bruyne's wonderful passing range is on show again as he releases Sterling down the left channel. The winger cuts inside Fosu-Mensah and shoots low, but Hennessey saves at his near post.

17 minMore good play from Loftus-Cheek as he drives Palace forward and picks out Benteke. The attack loses all momentum, though, and eventually Townsend runs into trouble down the right.

19 minWOODWORK! Palace come close to taking a shock lead through Loftus-Cheek. He skips inside John Stones and unleashes a low strike which beats Ederson, but comes back off the post. The Chelsea loanee has been very bright in the opening stages and is providing Palace with an attacking threat.

21 minUPDATE: Manchester United have joined Chelsea in taking a first-half lead, with Romelu Lukaku continuing his red-hot form at Southampton. but City are being made to work harder here.

23 minDecent opening for City as De Bruyne takes up a position on the right wing. His final ball is into a wonderful area between Palace's defence and goalkeeper, but Hennessey collects under little pressure.

25 minYELLOW! Mendy becomes the first player booked this afternoon for a bad tackle on Townsend. More concerning to City is that the Frenchman stayed down for a couple of minutes requiring treatment following the collision. Looks like he's going to try and run it off, though.

27 minCHANCE! Mendy's knock means he can't track Van Aanholt and the Dutchman gets to the right byline. His cross takes a deflection which might have put off Loftus-Cheek, who can only steer the ball wide.

28 minSUBSTITUTION: Mendy's game is over, with Danilo replacing him at left-back. There cannot be a manager in the Premier League who is not envious of the depth that Guardiola has in his squad.

30 minHalf an hour gone and no harm done for Hodgson. He would be the happier of the two managers at this stage, with Palace arguably providing a greater attacking threat, driven by Loftus-Cheek.

32 minPalace are finding themselves in lots of 3v3 situations with the City defence. Cabaye hits the chest of Benteke, who would have been in on goal with a better first touch, although the offside flag goes up anyway.

33 minMISS! It might be too early to say, but this could be one of those days for City. Sane is slipped through in the left edge of the box, but Aguero scoops his finish over from 12 yards out. He'd usually eat them for breakfast.

35 minDanilo's first contribution to the game is to hack down Townsend, and the Brazilian is actually very fortunate to escape without a caution as Palace were on the break with numbers piling forward.

37 minThe spoiled home crowd are beginning to show signs of restlessness, as a De Bruyne through pass is picked off by Milivojevic, and Aguero has a shot on the turn blocked by Scott Dann.

38 minThey are defending stoutly, but also attacking with ambition, Palace. Fosu-Mensah gets on the overlap and would have been in a great position had Danilo not intercepted Townsend's under-hit pass.

40 minGreat cross from Walker, but Sakho gets above Sane to head clear. That is the first time since the opening 10 minutes that the former Tottenham full-back has got forward with any effect.

Kyle Walker and Jeffrey Schlupp in action during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Crystal Palace on September 23, 2017© SilverHub

42 minCity are moving the ball a little slicker in the last few minutes in the search to find a breakthrough before half time. Fernandinho digs a cross out and Silva is the unlikely runner at the back post, getting on the wrong side of Townsend but heading back across goal and over the crossbar.


44 minThe hosts break Palace's resolve just before the break through Leroy Sane! The German plays a give-and-go with Silva and then produces two exquisite touches to lift the ball over Dann and poke it through Hennessey from close range. A delightful ball from Silva too; that's what City can do.

45+2 minTwo minutes of stoppage time at the end of this first period, and Hodgson will be a little bit frustrated that his side could not get to the break on level terms. It would have been a scoreline they warranted.


3.50pmThat Sane goal at a crucial time gives City a 1-0 lead into the break, an advantage which looked as though it might be beyond them because of an organised, yet positive display from Hodgson's visitors.

Leroy Sane scores past Wayne Hennessey during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Crystal Palace on September 23, 2017© SilverHub

3.52pmIt had previously been the Eagles who had come closest to breaking the deadlock. Loftus-Cheek, who has been the best player on the pitch for either side, struck the post and also went close from a Van Aanholt cross.

3.54pmUPDATE: City are not having it all their own way at the Etihad, but Chelsea are cruising at Stoke, where they lead 2-0 thanks to goals from Morata and Pedro. Man United also lead at Southampton.

3.56pmThat first goal should make things easier for the Citizens as it will force Palace out a little more. They haven't found it easy so far, but an early second-half goal and this could still end up four or five. Palace will be hoping to sneak an equaliser and then retreat back into their defensive shape.

3.58pmSTATS: The half-time numbers are all hugely in City's favour. Sixty-nine per cent possession and 12 shots to Palace's four. The Eagles have yet to have a shot on target, but have struck the woodwork and have got themselves in several other good attacking positions.

4.01pmIt might not have been vintage City, but Sane has picked up where he left off with his EFL Cup double against West Brom. The exciting winger now has five goals for the season, all in his last four outings.

46 minKICKOFF: City get us back underway, with both sides unchanged...

47 minCity are into their rhythm straight away. Silva cuts the ball back for Sterling, whose shot is well blocked by Tomkins. The Spaniard links up with Sane again to tee up Fernandinho, who is again thwarted by a sprawling Palace body.

49 minThe Citizens have definitely upped the temp in this second half. Silva is at the heart of everything, moving the ball around quickly to stretch Palace, and Sane and Aguero are already finding more space.


51 minA flowing City move is finished off by Sterling at the back post to give the hosts the goal that their quick start to this second half deserved. Aguero spins away from his man midway through the Palace half, and the ball is spread to Sane on the left. He takes one touch before picking out the run of Sterling to finish first time from 10 yards.

53 minJust like Sane, the England international is in the goalscoring groove. He has now scored on his last four Premier League starts, which is a pretty good record for a player who is not a natural in front of goal.

54 minCHANCE! A point which is illustrated very clearly here! Hennessey spills a cross straight to the City goalscorer, who tentatively side-foots the ball into the side-netting, with the goal gaping.

56 minYELLOW! Danilo got away with one in the first half, but this time does enter the book for a blatant check on Townsend, who seems to have the run on the Man City substitute. Getting the ball out to Townsend regularly is going to be a challenge for the Eagles, though.

57 minSUBSTITUTION: An attacking change from Hodgson, who brings on Jason Puncheon for Cabaye. The former Southampton man might play in the middle of the park, but will spring forward when he can.


59 minThree for City and two now for Sterling, who caps off a wonderful move. De Bruyne drops a delightful ball to the back post where Aguero, who came close to scoring himself a minute or so ago, unselfishly cushions the ball across the six-yard box for another easy finish for Sterling.

60 minIt should have been four, with Sane played in down through the middle. He is one-on-one with Hennessey, but the Wales international stays big and blocks the German's effort with his feet.

62 minSUBSTITUTION: There will be no hat-trick for Sterling today as Guardiola pulls the former Liverpool man for Bernardo Silva. Sterling will surely be starting on Champions League duty in midweek.

64 minDavid Silva has taken a knock and is currently undergoing treatment. He might be the next one substituted by Guardiola with bigger fixtures on the horizon including a trip to title rivals Chelsea.

67 minAguero will be desperate to get himself on the scoresheet now. He nearly engineers a shooting chance for himself inside the box, but a physical tackle from Puncheon robs him of the ball.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: Guardiola now has one eye firmly on Shakhtar, bringing off John Stones for Fabian Delph. Looks as though Delph will go to left-back, Danilo to right-back and Walker to centre-half. That is football manager stuff from Pep!

72 minSUBSTITUTION: Major cause for concern for Palace as Benteke has limped off clutching a knee that was heavily strapped. Bakary Sako is the makeshift striker asked to replace him. With Connor Wickham injured, the Eagles really do not have many options to play through the middle, so will hope that Benteke injury is not serious.

74 minYELLOW! Guardiola wants a penalty for a pull back on Sane, who had been thread through by Silva's clever pass. Fosu-Mensah does have hold of Sane's arm and is a lucky boy not to be called up on it. It is the Man City man who actually enters the book because of his passionate protest to the referee.

76 minYELLOW! Jeffrey Schlupp is the first Palace player to be cautioned this afternoon for a poorly-timed tackle on Danilo. City have gone through the gears again and Palace simply can't keep up.


79 minIt wouldn't be a convincing City win if Aguero didn't get in on the action. It is an absolutely wicked cross from Sane, curling away from the goalkeeper and onto Aguero's head for his sixth league goal of the season.

82 minThe Citizens will have their sights set on matching that 6-0 scoreline from last week now. Sane has been tremendous down the left but just can't reach a rare overhit pass from David Silva.

84 minPalace look poised to fall to a sixth straight defeat without scoring, and it isn't going to get an easier with Manchester City and Chelsea next up. At this rate, they are going to need a miracle escape.

87 minSane has just been announced as man of the match on the PA at the Etihad Stadium, and that is a deserved accolade. Sterling bagged himself two goals and Silva has been excellent also, but the German has been the star of the show.


89 minAnd that is the icing on the cake for City as Fabian Delph picks out the top corner with a brilliant long-range strike. The rarely-used midfielder could not have placed it better with his swinger of a right foot, and City have five! That is the pick of them.

90+1 minThey took a while to get going but this has been rampant in the end from the Citizens. It is an important victory too, with Chelsea thrashing Stoke and Man United edging past Southampton by a single goal.


4.56pmCity continue their rampant run - that is 16 goals without reply in their last three Premier League wins - and Palace remain rock bottom and without a goal. It was the home banker that everybody predicted, in the end.

4.59pmThanks for joining Sports Mole this afternoon for another attacking exhibition from Pep Guardiola's side. Please stay with us for live coverage of Liverpool's trip to Leicester. It's goodbye from me!

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola during the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal on April 23, 2017
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