Silva, De Bruyne orchestrate City's 5-0 win over Palace

Silva, De Bruyne orchestrate City's 5-0 win over Palace

"In the boxes, we were not good, and in this league, everything happens in the boxes".

With their cross-city rivals Manchester United closing in on a spot in Europe's premier club competition via the Europa League, Pep Guardiola will go head-to-head with Jurgen Klopp in the battle for third.

Guardiola's side were in prolific form as they thrashed Palace at Eastlands on Saturday to climb to third place, at least until Liverpool play Southampton on Sunday.

City's Saturday goal spree means they have now scored 70 goals - the lowest tally of the top four - but manager Pep Guardiola believes that total should be far higher.

The Spain playmaker has been one of City's most consistent performers this season and appears to be ready for a comeback, having joined in with full training on Thursday. Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany are strong in the air and win duels but we don't have enough guys to score goals.

It leaves qualification in their own hands and Guardiola was impressed that his side were so convincing against a team that had enjoyed wins against Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal last month and are still fighting for their Premier League survival.

"But in reality the big difference [against Palace] was us being ruthless and the performance was consistent".

Guardiola's stats are correct - Spurs had 13 shots to City's 12 when they lost at White Hart Lane in October. "We gifted them all five goals".


Guardiola said before kick-off that his side's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League rested on a run of three home games that started with the visit of the Eagles, and the manner of this victory represents the flawless start.

"The most hard thing in football, basketball, tennis - in all the sports - is that final moment".

The Etihad bore witness as the old guard of Vincent Kompany and David Silva took charge of proceedings, while newcomers Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus also made their mark.

"There's no greater pleasure than to have possession of the ball and to be able to control a game which we do really well, so I have seen progress".

Speaking after the game, Kompany welcomed the uplifting effect the big win would have on the team's morale. "We have a few injuries in key areas and that made it tough in the last half an hour in terms of fatigue when we knew the game was over".

"There are four fantastic teams fighting for the last two Champions League places", the Catalan boss said.

"We gifted them five goals today, we are where we are and punished by allowing them to score".

It was the kind of vibrant play City produced at the start of the season when they topped the table and should Arsenal defeat Manchester United tomorrow they will be hot favourites to seal another season of Champions League football.

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