terling’s mental prowess matches his physical ability and one senses that he feels ready to have a big say in the destination of this season’s title.
It says much about how key Sterling is to manager Pep Guardiola that he was not among those rotated between the Champions League tie against Tottenham and the trip to Palace.
Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane were rested at Spurs, but both men returned to play key roles on Sunday and they will surely retain their places for Wednesday night’s Champions League second leg.
It was De Bruyne who set up Sterling for his first goal in the 15th minute. Palace assistant Ray Lewington had been waving his team forwards when Vincent Kompany headed the ball away from his own area and it eventually dropped to the Belgian.
Still inside his own half of the pitch, De Bruyne brilliantly caught out Palace’s defence with a low pass that released Sterling, who beat Scott Dann for pace and shot past goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
urprisingly, De Bruyne’s assist was his first in the League since May 2018 when he had set up City’s final goal of the 2017/18 season.
Making Sterling’s finish even more impressive was that just four minutes earlier he had missed an open goal after being expertly teed up by David Silva. It was the kind of mistake that could have lingered on a weaker mind, but the 24-year-old is no longer one to dwell on his mistakes.
Whereas Guardiola had opted for a more cautious approach at Tottenham, City were back near their dominant best with Palace at times made to look like a collection of players drafted in to complete a training routine.
On the day named ‘Masters Sunday’ by golf enthusiasts, De Bruyne was reaching for every club in the bag with his range of passing.
He played one cross-field ball for Aguero at the end of the first half that caught the striker on his heels and De Bruyne let his team-mate know that he should have been more alert.
Palace had beaten City in December, but could barely get the ball off their opponents during a first half which finished with the visitors having 77 per cent of possession.
he only time the home side threatened City before the break was when Christian Benteke nodded down a Luka Milivojevic chip, but Ilkay Gundogan got to the ball before substitute Cheikhou Kouyate.
Unsurprisingly, it remained one-way traffic in the second half, with Sane being denied a chance to score from De Bruyne’s pass thanks to Martin Kelly guiding the ball though to Guaita.
City’s second goal came just after the hour mark as Walker, Aguero and Silva combined to work the ball to Sane, whose cross was side-footed in by Sterling. It looked a simple finish, but it required a cool head and perfect placement.
That should have made for a comfortable final half hour for Guardiola’s team, but Aguero was replaced by Jesus a to slap in a transfer demand at Liverpool, it has been revealed.AS says Liverpool sources have confirmed Salah is unsettled at Liverpool and remains unhappy with manager Jurgen Klopp.It’s suggested Salah was talked out of demanding a move away earlind headed straight for the dressing-room before Milivojevic gave Palace some hope with eigt three years.The Blues haven’t won the Premier League title since lifting the trophy at the end of the 2016-17 season.Hasslebaink is happy to see manager Frank Lampard fielding so many youngsters and believes his decision to blood them into the squaht minutes remaining.
Kompany and Gundogan combined to foul James McArthur on the edge of the penalty area and Milivojevic stepped up to send his free-kick through the wall and into the right corner of Ederson’s net.
But as Palace pushed men forwards in search of an equaliser, De Bruyne broke and played in Jesus to calm any nerves, although it is hard tember. As we did for the Qualification Group Stage, we again look at key players, particularly imports on the team rosters. We also give our perspective on Lugano of Switzerland, which has received attention in the States as 16 of the players are youo imagine Guardiola and his team feeling anything but confident.
rystal Palace are the only team in the entire top flight to have won more points on the road than they have at home this season. Just four wins from 16 games at Selhurst Park is relegation form, and they are only safe because of results on their travels – like .
At home against a City who – strangely enough – have a host of star players rested after the Champions League first leg at Spurs in midweek and need a win to keep pace with Liverpool at the top of the table, you can’t really fancy Palace to get a result today.
t’s a 4-3-3 with Ilkay Gundogan at the base of midfield, while there is no place even on the bench for Fernandinho, who presumably is being kept fresh for Wednesday. Bernardo Silva is not fit to start.
Meanwhile for , Christian Benteke comes in for Michy Batshuayi up front. Scott Dann returns in central defence. Aaron Wan-Bissaka – who has been linked with a move to City – has the chance to show the champions what he can do.