Five things we learned from Manchester City's thumping win over relegation threatened Crystal Palace

Kevin de Bruyne deserves more recognition, Gabriel Jesus continues to impress and Crystal Palace have been sucked back into a relegation battle they looked to have escaped

Luke Brown
Saturday 06 May 2017 13:16
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Manchester City were good value for their impressive 4-0 win
Manchester City were good value for their impressive 4-0 win

Manchester City gave their top-four hopes a boost with a thumping 5-0 win over Crystal Palace.

It took just two minutes for David Silva to give City the lead with a close-range finish and skipper Vincent Kompany doubled their advantage with a stunning strike immediately after the restart.

Any hope Palace had of stealing a point was extinguished when Kevin de Bruyne scored a third, and Raheem Sterling added a fourth with a low driven shot.

Nicolas Otamendi then made it five with a header in injury-time.

Defeat means Palace will continue to stare nervously over their shoulder and by the end of today the club could be just three points clear of the drop zone.

Here are five things we learned from Manchester City's win...

Kevin de Bruyne deserves more praise

De Bruyne has been in fine form this season (Getty )

When the nominees were announced for the PFA Player of the Year award, it was a surprise not to see Kevin De Bruyne listed. The Belgian playmaker is prone to spells of inconsistency but when he is on top form he is outstanding, and he has repeatedly delivered for City this season.

His assist for Vincent Kompany’s superb finish was his 14th of the season – two more than the lavishly praised Christian Eriksen and Gylfi Sigurdsson. He has a total of 48 goals and assists in just 87 matches for City and is arguably the club’s most important player under Pep Guardiola.

Crystal Palace are not safe yet

Allardyce's team have dropped back into danger

It was all going so well. After recovering from a disastrous start during which Palace won just 1 point from Sam Allardyce’s first five games in charge, the club’s impressive 2-1 win at Anfield – which lifted them to 12th in the table – looked to have kept them in the Premier League.

But since then the club have lost three consecutive games for the first time since January. They have two tricky fixtures left, a relegation six-pointer against Hull before a final-day trip to Old Trafford, and by the end of today they could sit just three points clear of the drop zone. It’s going to get tight.

But City's fate is firmly in their hands

City have games against West Brom and Watford remaining

When City play as well as they did today, it is difficult to comprehend how they sit a full 12 points behind league leaders Chelsea — which will likely be 15 come Monday night. When David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Leroy Sane are on form, they are a glorious team to watch. They will surely be in contention next season.

But before then, they have the matter of qualification to the Champions League to worry about. They would appear to be the best placed of the four teams still fighting out, with the most winnable fixtures remaining: a home match against West Brom before an away trip to Watford.

Gabriel Jesus truly has what it takes to replace Sergio Aguero

Jesus was impressive again for Manchester City

With Sergio Aguero ruled out injured, the talented young Brazilian was selected to lead the line for Manchester City. He wasn't able to hit the target but he was directly involved in Kevin de Bruyne's fine second-half goal: the sixth goal the 20-year-old has had a direct hand in his last six matches.

In his pre-match press conference, Pep Guardiola discussed how Jesus would be City's main striker for "many seasons to come", and his performances since moving to England in the winter have been incredibly encouraging. Next season he will only get better, which is a scary thought for the rest of the Premier League.

Schlupp cannot be blamed for Palace's defensive woes

Schlupp performed well in an unfamiliar position

With a defensive injury crisis on his hands, Sam Allardyce decided to gamble. After watching the veteran Damien Delaney struggle desperately against Burnley last time out, he decided to partner Martin Kelly with Jeffrey Schlupp in the heart of his defence.

Considering the Ghanaian is by trade a left-back or winger and has barely played at centre-back before, he did admirably well. City’s opening goal was Kelly’s fault – not his – while he performed well in his head-to-head battle with Kevin de Bruyne.

He was shrugged off the ball rather easily for the third goal, but ultimately cannot be held accountable.

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