Pep Guardiola’s side climbed to second claiming big three points with a convincing 4-0 win over Crystal Palace at the Etihad.

Centre-back John Stones scored his first league goals for Manchester City as his side beat Crystal Palace 4-0 to go second in the Premier League table.

Man City dominated the early proceedings and Stones headed in Kevin De Bruyne’s sublime outside-of-the-boot cross after 26 minutes.

In the second half, Ilkay Gundogan curled home a stunning second, before Stones smashed in his second and City’s third. Raheem Sterling put the gloss on the win with a lovely free-kick towards the end.

Man City are to be instilled as the outstanding favourites as they march with seven wins from nine in the league.

Man City manager Pep Guardiola said: “[The performance was] excellent, we didn’t concede. We had to be patient, we cannot lose out spaces when we lose the ball because they defend really well. They also have the quality to punish you in the set pieces and counter-attacks, of course, they missed Zaha, who is an important player for them.

“But we were so stable and at the right moment, we scored the goals. It was an important victory after the last two seasons when we couldn’t beat them [at home].

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said: “I thought the first half, we did very well. Obviously, they had a lot of the ball, which we knew they would have, but they didn’t create many chances and I thought we were holding our end up very well.

“But I’m afraid we made a couple of quite blatant mistakes in the second half, often playing the ball back to the goalkeeper too much as well and it cost us. The goals they scored were fantastic goals but even so, if we could have done what we did in the first half throughout the game, we could have made it that bit harder and we wouldn’t have lost by such a big margin.

Man City have 35 points from 17 games climbing to the second spot as Palace remain in 13th place on 23 from 19 matches.

Man City is set to host Aston Villa in the Premier League on Wednesday 20 January. Kick-off at the Etihad Stadium is at 18:00 (UK)

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