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April 27, 2014
• Selhurst Park, London
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 24769
E. Džeko 4'
Y. Touré 43'
Pulis won't be too pleased with his Palace side, but they just weren't good enough to push City today. Pellegrini takes his side to Everton next week while Palace host Liverpool, so all eyes will be back on these two sides again in a few days' time. For now, though, I've been Tom Maston, and thanks for joining me.
The full-time whistle goes, and job done as far as Manchester City are concerned. Toure's return was key as he heads back north with a goal and an assist, and with Dzeko also on the scoresheet, suddenly things look rosy again for the Blues.
90' + 2'
Little going on now as the game draws to a close. A very professional showing from Pellegrini's side and they know they are almost there in terms of the title.
Fernandinho has Speroni scrambling as his miscued cross drops onto the roof of the net, though it looked like it might sneak in for a moment. Three minutes of stoppage time to come.
City make their final change as the man who opened the scoring, Dzeko, is given the last few minutes off as Negredo comes on.
Palace's push for a goal seems to have come to an end with City enjoying an extended period of posession in midfield. Not long to go now.
The City fans are in full voice down in their little corner of the stadium and why not? They are cementing their tag as the current title favourites. Dzeko goes in search of a third goal fore the visitors but his low shot is straight at Speroni.
Palace are certainly pushing more men forward and they are at least gaining some possession around the City box. Kompany and his defensive team-mates continue to hold firm though.
Palace waste a chance to get the ball in the box as a free-kick won by Ince on the left-hand side fails to beat the first man. The hosts are running out of time now as they look to salvage something.
Pellegrini makes his second change of the afternoon as Aguero is replaced by Jovetic for the final few minutes.
Kolarov hasn't been his usual force in an attacking sense on the left-hand side, but he almost creates something for Dzeko as his low cross from the left falls just in front of the Bosnian striker.
Appeals for a penalty from the Palace fans as a free-kick on the left is played short, but Ince is unable to get on the end of it as he is bundled over by Milner. Replays suggest they ran into each other, so probably the right call from the referee.
Pulis makes his final change as Bolasie, who started well but has faded in this second half, is replaced by Ince.
GOOD SAVE! Almost all over as Dzeko's shot takes a wicked deflection off Dann, and Speroni does well to keep an eye on it and stick a leg out to keep it from nestling in the net.
Yellow CardJoel Ward
Ward becomes the third Palace player to go in the book for an earlier foul on Milner in the build-up to Aguero's effort.
Aguero has been in and out of this game, but he almost finds the net after cutting inside from the right and hitting an effort with the outside of his foot. Speroni gets behind it though and holds it on.
Gayle and Murray are the men to come on replacing Chamakh and Jerome. That means a new strikeforce for the final 20 minutes.
Ward is the latest Palace player to try his luck as he cuts inside from the left but he slices his effort harmlessly wide of Hart's goal. Pulis planning a double change down on the home bench.
The Ivorian is limping slightly, and Pellegrini is doing the right thing in resting him for challenges ahead. Fernandinho on in his place.
Toure goes close as he looks to bend one into the top corner from the edge of the area, but it is just too high to trouble Speroni. That looks as if it will be his last action...
Puncheon again cuts inside onto his left foot before crossing for Jerome, but Hart is off his line well and catches with ease. Not the first time today with Jerome involved, the flag was up anyway.
Palace are having a little more of the ball, but haven't really tested Hart other than with Puncheon's effort at the start of the second half. Pulis may well look to change things up sooner rather than later.
After good work from Chamakh, Palace win a corner on the left, but Bolasie's cross into the box is far too deep and floats over everyone and out for a goal kick.
City continue to push forward as they move ever closer to just a third win in their last 12 visits to Selhurst Park against Palace. This, however, is a very different Manchester City side to those who have previously come here.
Yellow CardScott Dann
Dann joins his central defensive partner Delaney in Webb's book after pulling back Milner on the City left.
Despite Hart's save from Puncheon, Palace have again struggled in the opening stages of the second half. City are having things very much their own way and look comfortable with their two-goal lead.
Palace almost let City again as Jedinak almost sells Mariappa short, and the full-back does well to get a touch otherwise Nasri had a clear run on goal. In the end Dann was able to clear the France international's cross from the left.
City win a free-kick on the right-hand side of the area around 25 yards from goal, but Kolarov's effort is always too high and balloons over the bar.
GOOD SAVE! There has been a reaction from Palace, and Puncheon goes close as he drives an effort in from 20 yards that Hart has to palm around the post. The goalkeeper then punches away the resulting corner.
Manchester City kick-off and we are back underway at Selhurst Park...
The teams have made their way back out onto the pitch. Palace were sent out early by Pulis and he will be looking for a reaction from his players.
Pulis, on the other hand, will no doubt he laying into his players at the break. He is one of the proudest men in the Premier League, so the way in which the Eagles have allowed City to dictate terms won't have pleased him. Can they find a way back into this one? I'll be back in ten minutes to find out.
Well, what an hour for Manchester City. The half-time whistle has gone, and after Chelsea's win earlier, goals from Dzeko and Toure have put them in control at Selhurst Park. Pellegrini will be very pleased with what he has seen from his side.
45' + 2'
Almost a third for City as Aguero skips across the edge of the box before getting a shot away. Dann gets a touch on it and Speroni can hold it with ease in the end.
45' + 1'
Into two added minutes at the end of a first half that City have controlled from the start. They are certainly responding to becoming title favourites again.
Almost an instant response from Palace as Puncheon swings a cross in from the right that Jerome is inches away from getting on the end of. As it turned out it wouldn't have counted as the linesman's flag was up.
GOAL!!! Back in the team, and after an assist, Toure now has a goal to his name. He originally picks up the ball in his own half before trading passes with three City players. He then turns inside Delaney before curling a superb finish into the top corner. A quite fantastic strike!
Dzeko is penalised for a late challenge on Ward as another City attack peters out. They haven't tested Speroni since taking the lead, but if the score remains the same I don't think they will mind.
Nasri is really struggling but he has chosen to try and carry on. He may well be given until half-time to try and run it off.
A bit of a concern here for City as Nasri has stayed down after being caught by Puncheon. It seems it is his right shin that is causing him some pain.
City win a corner as Kolarov chips a free-kick into the area and Dann needlessly heads it behind. From the resulting set-piece Milner sees a shot from the edge of the area blocked.
City come to life as Aguero twists and turns before squaring for Toure in the box, but the midfielder's shot is well blocked by Delaney. It did strike his arm, but it is certainly not a penalty.
Yellow CardPablo Zabaleta
Zabaleta picks up City's first booking of the match as he chops down Chamakh from behind. The full-back doesn't agree but replays suggest he can have little complaint.
We have hit something of a lull in proceedings, and the away fans have started up a rendition of 'Blue Moon' to try and inspire their players. Pellegrini will certainly hope his side can get another goal before the half-time break.
One man who is doing an underrated job in the City midfield is Garcia. He is making sure the visitors keep the ball and continue their forward momentum. Ledley needs to get closer to him and put him under some pressure.
Palace just can't get going, with Jerome and Chamakh struggling to hold the ball up and feed Bolasie and Puncheon on the wings. All far too comfortable for Kompany and Demichelis.
Yellow CardDamien Delaney
Delaney becomes the first man to go into Webb's book as he flies in and catches Dzeko very late. No complaints from the defender.
From the resulting corner Kompany gets ahead of his man at the near post but he can only power it wide with his header.
Toure has been exceptional on the ball so far, and he almost creates another goal for the visitors as he chips the ball into the area where Zabaleta wins the header. Aguero is waiting for the knockdown, but Dann blocks the shot out for a corner.
Dzeko is causing problems in the air, and he almost gets on the end of another Nasri cross, this time from the left, but Dann makes sure he can't make contact.
Hart is tested for the first time as Puncheon shifts the ball onto his left foot and takes aim from 20 yards, but his shot is weak and goalkeeper holds on low to his left.
Demichelis tries his hand at a bit of wing-play as he holds off Marriappa on the left-hand side before looking to deliver a cross. Unfortunately for the visitors no one has made a run into the area and the ball trickles harmlessly out for a goal kick.
Jerome gets a ticking off from referee Howard Webb after the official waved away the striker's appeals for a free-kick on the edge of the area. The former Birmingham man went down under a challenge from Kompany, but Webb correctly felt that he dived.
Pulis is barking instructions to his side from the touchline as they look to plot a way back into this one. Dzeko's early goal will certainly have brought them back to earth with a bump and they need to gather themselves and go again.
Finally Palace come to life as Bolasie breaks forward, but Kompany is aware to the danger and steps across to make a strong challenge before the visitors get it clear.
City threaten again as Nasri whips in a free-kick but Aguero cannot direct his overhead kick golwards. With safety secured, the Palace players look like they're already on their holidays in these early stages.
Palace are living dangerously here and Speroni has to bail out Delaney after the defender's backpass sells the goalkeeper short. In the end he just about beat Aguero to it.
GOAL!!! Manchester City lead and Toure is involved straight away. The Ivorian is given space to pick out a cross from the right-hand side, and Dzeko makes no mistake in nodding home. Big celebrations on the visitors' bench.
Plenty of possession for City in the opening moments, and Aguero almost gets in behind, only for him to slip as he looked to volley home from a tight angle.
Crystal Palace kick-off and we are underway...
The two teams have gone through the pre-match niceties and we are almost ready for kick-off. Can City keep up the pressure on the top two?
There is sure to be a great atmosphere inside the stadium, with the Manchester City fans bound to be in a buoyant mood after the result from Merseyside. How many more twists will this season have?
Full-time at Anfield, and Willan was able to double Chelsea's lead in stoppage time, meaning advantage Manchester City in the title race. Win this afternoon and they stay third, but the games in hand they have mean that wins from their four remaining matches mean they are very likely to win the league on goal difference. How will they cope with the pressure this afternoon?
Pulis himself makes one change as Kagisho Dikgacoi replaced by Marouane Chamakh as they look for a sixth Premier League win on the bounce.
The big team news from a Manchester City point of view is the return of Yaya Toure two weeks after he was forced off at Anfield through injury. Fernandinho, not Javi Garcia, is the man to make way in midfield. The only other change sees Aleksandar Kolarov replace Gael Clichy at left-back.
Manchester City subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Clichy, Fernandinho, Jovetic, Negredo.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Javi Garcia, Yaya Toure, Milner, Nasri; Aguero, Dzeko.
Crystal Palace subs: Hennessey, Gabbidon, Parr, Dikgacoi, Ince, Gayle, Murray.
Crystal Palace: Speroni; Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward; Jedinak; Ledley, Bolasie, Puncheon; Chamakh, Jerome.
Before we go any further, the two team line-ups are in ahead of kick-off...
It isn't going to be straightforward for Pellegrini's side, with Tony Pulis' Palace side on a run of five straight Premier League victories that has seen them secure their survival in the top flight. A win today would carry them into the top half of the table, and victory would add further weight to the claims that the former Stoke boss should be rewarded with the Manager of the Year award at the end of the season.
For those who aren't aware, a Demba Ba goal has given Chelsea the lead against Liverpool, and with just over ten minutes to play Jose Mourinho's side are holding on well to their one-goal advantage. If that score stays the same, Manchester City know maximum points from their final four matches, starting today, would see them crowned champions.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Premier League encounter between Crystal Palace and Manchester City. Events at Anfield mean Manuel Pellegrini's side are currently right back in the title race, and victory at Selhurst Park will crank up more of the pressure on both Liverpool and Chelsea. I'm Tom Maston and I'll be guiding you through all the action from South London.
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