CRYSTAL PALACE 0, MANCHESTER CITY 2
Yaya Toure returned from injury to power Manchester City back to Pole Position for the Barclays Premier League with just three games to go.
The ebbing and flowing title race took another turn when City took to the pitch on Sunaday afternoon knowing that wily master tactician Jose Mourinho had masterminded a 2-0 win for Chelsea at Anfield against Liverpool by “parking the bus” and stinging the Scousers as they toiled.
It was a bus that completed the league double over Liverpool as well as City and turned up the heat on the Barclays Premier League race for the title once again.
City are now in the driver’s seat with a game in hand plus superior goal difference which will mean that three wins from three in their remaining Barclays Premier League fixtures will probably confirm a second Championship in three years.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini continued to play down City’s title chances, though.
“Crystal Palace are playing without pressure at the moment, it wasn’t easy to come here and win.” he said.
“The only thing that is different is that we are not depending on other teams and what matters is only what we do between now and the end of the season.
“We must never give up until the last game of the season, and then we will find out who is Champion.” he added.
Suddenly finding the ball back in their court at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace, Pellegrini’s Manchester City side reacted positively and wasted no time in taking and early lead through Edin Dzeko after just four minutes.
The Bosnian headed home Toure’s cross after just four minutes. Toure, restored to the starting line-up after a two game absence due to injury, underlined City’s dominance by extending the lead to 2-0 just before the break.
The Ivorian midfield powerhouse exchanged passes with Samir Nasri and struck a left footed shot past Julian Speroni to score his 23rd goal of a prolific season.
Toure, in an advanced attacking role thanks to the selection of Javi Garcia deeper in the City midfield, also had a penalty shout for a handball by Damien Delaney turned down after his shot struck the Palace defender.
Released from the pressure that Chelsea’s Anfield victory had just piled onto Pellegrini’s side, City made the most of their early lead and could afford to rest Toure later in the second half with the prospect of an extra game in hand against Aston Villa at home in ten days.
Dzeko’s presentable chance for 3-0 was saved by Speroni despite taking a deflection off Scott Dann.