MAN CITY 3, CRYSTAL PALACE 0
Manchester City overcame the handicap of having no recognised striker in their side to post an eighth straight victory at home to Crystal Palace.
The in-form Blues drew level on points with Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League and as they also close in on the club record of nine successive wins.
Two goals from the fit-again David Silva and a strike from Yaya Toure saw off Palace with ease despite their seeming lack of a cutting edge.
Indeed, had City’s side included the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic, there is no telling what their total would have been.
City enjoyed 73-per-cent possession and had 15 goal attempts, but only three on target in the game, each of which was converted.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini was delighted with the victory saying his side us not just Sergio Aguero and also reaffirming how important a month it is.
He said: “I did think December is a key month. You cannot win the title, but you play so many games. If you want to be involved, you must be near the top of the table.
“I hope we can continue playing like thus. The fight for the title has not just to be one team.”
Pellegrini added he was always confident City would win, even when the fans became agitated following a goalless opening period.
He said: “I was always confident because we played well in the first half. We were patient to create space while they did not have one counter attack.
“I was always sure we would score and got three against a very difficult team.”
City had midfielders James Milner and Samir Nasri operating up front in the absence of a recognised striker with Aguero, Dzeko and Jovetic injured while Jose Angel Pozo was ill as they were left decidedly threadbare up front.
It was a City team with a decidedly different look as Pellegrini made six changes from the side which won at Leicester City last Saturday.
City made a somewhat laboured start, though Nasri had two early chances, firing wide each time.
But it was Palace who had the best opening after 20 minutes when the unmarked Frazier Campbell went close with an overhead kick from five yards as the ball flew just wide of the upright.
David Silva, operating just behind the front two, forced the first save of the game from Julian Speroni as City struggled in their bid to make a breakthrough.
The just before half time Pablo Zabaleta found himself through on goal only to shoot agonisingly wide as he lofted the ball over Speroni.
The breakthrough came little over three minutes after the restart as they enjoyed a lucky break as Silva’s shot took a sizeable deflection off Scott Dann to loop over the stranded Speroni.
Silva struck again just after the hour to double City’s advantage. Aleksandar Kolarov cut the ball back from the left and the Spaniard struck the sweetest of first-time shots low to the left of Speroni.
Palace had a goal struck out with 22 minutes left with manager Neil Warnock claiming James McArthur was two yards onside when he headed home.
Warnock added that had that gone in and the deficit had been reduced to 2-1 it would have been a different game and far different to the “canter” it turned out to be.
Toure, who had earlier ballooned a number of efforts high into the stand, finally found his range with nine minutes left when he fired home City’s third goal.
Jesus Navas made a break from his own half before realising who set up Toure whose shot went in off the upright, his seventh of the season.