After two weeks out of the lineup, Yaya Touré helped deliver a 2-0 victory for Manchester City over resurgent Crystal Palace. After Liverpool‘s earlier loss, City knew that they now had a chance to claim the Premier League title with a game in hand. It was the play of Touré that spurred a quick start and showed the new life line that City has been given. Tony Pulis has done a remarkable job turning around Palace, but City only had one idea in mind. It was the win by City that delivered the biggest statement of the weekend and let the teams above them known they are now the favorites.
Touré placed a perfect cross to Edin Dzeko in the fourth minute to open the scoring. The ball was placed on a tee for Dzeko, who had split two defenders. City were off and running and never let Palace have any hope. Despite Palace being assured of another year in the Premier League, City showed the gulf in talent. There was some possession by Palace, but City keeper Joe Hart was rarely tested.
It was Touré who cemented the victory for City. He started a 70 yard run and worked two give and go passes with teammates to get into the box. He then used pure strength to shrug off Damien Delaney and finished with a no-look curler into the top corner. His conviction on the play and in celebration was a great illustration of City’s attitude, and that attitude was evident on the entire pitch. The defense only gave up three total shots to Manuel Pellegrini‘s delight. The expression on Pellegrini’s face after the goals seemed to say the title is in our grasps.
City must now pull for Palace to beat Liverpool next week. City will face a bigger challenge at Goodison Park next weekend as they take on Everton. Their remaining games will be at home against Aston Villa and West Ham. Given the conviction behind today’s win and the advantageous schedule, City are now in the pole position to secure the title.