Manchester City made it easier for a Crystal Palace without Wilfried Zaha as John Stones scored twice and Kevin De Bruyne recorded his 100th assist for the club in a 4-0 win on Sunday night that led them to second place in the Premier League.
Stones opened the scoring with a nod in De Bruyne’s delightful cross before Ilkay Gundogan doubled his lead with a coiled effort from outside the box in the second half.
England international Stones slammed another off a corner before Raheem Sterling delivered a nice free kick past Vicente Guaita late to close the scoring.
The victory sees City take second place ahead of Liverpool, Leicester and Tottenham, just two points behind league leaders Manchester United with a match underway against their local rivals. The palace is down in 13th.
Here are your City and Palace player ratings.
Ederson (GK) – 6/10 – I had very, very little to do. But that’s another clean sheet in the race for the Golden Glove, a race he now leads with nine.
Kyle Walker (RB) – 6/10 – Must have a moored point for a foul. He looked pretty rusty compared to his defensive teammates who all impressed.
Ruben Dias (CB) – 7/10 – Another calm and confident demonstration from the Portuguese international. City have been tight at the rear in recent weeks and Dias’ consistent performance has been essential.
John Stones (CB) – 9/10 – Continued his rebirth with a brace, opening the scoring first with a nice header from De Bruyne’s cross before slamming the lost ball from a set piece. You will sleep well if he is also part of your FPL team.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) – 7/10 – Often derivative in possession of the pitch, he looks comfortable in central areas – mainly because he’s a professional midfielder, really. A little less comfortable when needed on defense, but it wasn’t often.
Fernandinho (CM) – 7/10 – Not as eye-catching as his midfield partners, but he frequently mopped up possession and won numerous aerial duels. His inclusion – a first start to the championship since mid-December – gave Rodri a rest.
Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 8/10 – Took a few kicks on goal before succeeding in the second half, flexing a curler that Guaita could only reach a few fingers. Calm and confident in possession and zipped the ball well in attack.
Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – 8/10 – Won their 100th assist for City with a delightful cross for Stones’ opener. It was the highest quality moment needed to break the deadlock. Constantly involved but reduced to mid-term in the second half.
Bernardo Silva (RW) – 5/10 – Probably the most disappointing performer in City. A bit of a viewer throughout and will need more creative outings to make sure it doesn’t slip down the pecking order.
Gabriel Jesus (ST) – 6/10 – The overall game was good and there was no need to score goals on Sunday night. However, he hasn’t scored in the Premier League since November, a record that needs to be corrected as soon as possible.
Raheem Sterling (LW) – 7/10 – Much like Jesus, Sterling tied the game well, but just couldn’t occupy as many goal positions as we’ve seen in recent seasons. A delicious free kick in the top corner for the fourth of his team towards the end of the game.
Phil Foden – 6/10 – City kept looking menacing on offense with a few examples of their silky dribbling ability as well.
Ferran Torres – 5/10 – Brief 20-minute appearance from Torres, who looked good in possession.
Joao Cancelo – 5/10 – Similar to the pair above.
Vicente Guaita (GK) – 5/10 – Fairly flawless for the goals. I could only parry a shot in Stones’ path for the England international’s second game.
Joel Ward (RB) – 4/10 – Rough exit for Ward, who often hunted shadows. Two corners he conceded resulted in City goals. Not his fault of course, but it’s worth mentioning.
James Tomkins (CB) – 4/10 – Unable to assert himself defensively in his fifth league appearance of the season.
Gary Cahill (CB) – 4/10 – Won a few aerial battles, but a lack of pace really showed against the agility of City’s top six.
Tyrick Mitchell (LB) – 5/10 – A boring outing for the youngster. He will have taken a lot from the trip to the Etihad, especially with players like De Bruyne and Sterling by his side.
Andros Townsend (RM) – 6/10 – Shift to the right, make four tackles and catch the ball frequently. Just didn’t have time to show his ability to cross.
James McCarthy (CM) – 4/10 – A waste of possession, which you can’t afford when City allows you so little.
Luka Milivojevic (CM) – 5/10 – It was the deepest of Palace’s three central midfielders. Wasn’t particularly secure with the ball when the Eagles were in possession, but they did make some tackles.
James McArthur (CM) – 5/10 – Made a few tackles, but it wasn’t a game that showed its best qualities.
Eberechi Eze (LM) – 5/10 – Palace barely had the ball, so Eze’s role was limited to a defensive role. Will have more freedom in games more suited to Palace level.
Jordan Ayew (ST) – 6/10 – He had a good start, as good as he could have been. I tried a few dribbles, got a shot at one point, but always had a brief difficult.
Jairo Riedewald – 4/10 – Came in and had similar difficulties to his midfield partners.
Michy Batshuayi – 5/10 – Late sprint up front. Little impact.
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