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Man City whitewash Crystal Palace to keep pace with Liverpool

Manchester City moved level on points with Liverpool at the Premier League summit by fighting back to beat Crystal Palace 4-2 on Saturday, with Kevin…

Manchester City moved level on points with Liverpool at the Premier League summit by fighting back to beat Crystal Palace 4-2 on Saturday, with Kevin De Bruyne scoring two wonderful goals.

Palace threatened an upset when Jean-Philippe Mateta gave them a third-minute lead, but De Bruyne’s stunning strike had City level 10 minutes later.

And Man City, who now only trail Liverpool on goal difference ahead of the Reds’ clash with Manchester United on Sunday, took the game away from their hosts after the break – Rico Lewis putting them ahead before De Bruyne took centre stage, teeing up Erling Haaland for a tap-in before rifling in his second of the game, bringing up his 100th goal for the club in the process.

Another goal for City would have sent them, temporarily at least, top of the standings, though Odsonne Edouard ensured Palace – who remain 14th – had the final say.

It was a rare John Stones giveaway that led to Palace’s early opener, allowing Adam Wharton to release Mateta, who fired off the base of the left post and in.

Dean Henderson then denied Julian Alvarez and Rodri before De Bruyne dragged City level in emphatic fashion. Receiving possession on the left side of the area, De Bruyne opened up his body to bend a superb effort into the top-right corner.

Another Henderson save kept the scores level as he smothered Haaland’s effort following more good work from De Bruyne, but Palace went close at the other end as Jordan Ayew rattled the crossbar.

City made that reprieve count 93 seconds into the second half. Joachim Andersen could only head Jack Grealish’s cross as far as Lewis, whose shot deflected off Jefferson Lerma and in.

The champions had a third after 66 minutes as De Bruyne got to the byline to cut the ball back for Haaland, who tapped home for his 19th league goal of 2023-24.

De Bruyne settled the contest four minutes later with a sensational first-time finish from Rodri’s lay-off, ensuring Edouard’s neat finish from Jeffrey Schlupp’s left-wing cross proved nothing more than a consolation for Palace as City applied the pressure to Liverpool and Arsenal in the title race.