Goals from David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Otamendi ensured City saw off the potential banana skin of Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. City have dominated multiple games this season without the points to reflect their superior dominance; they were ruthlessly efficient on a cathartic afternoon for many supporters. And perhaps a few players as well.
Firstly, Vincent Kompany once again added stability and a sense of calm at the back. Palace didn’t offer a multi-pronged attack but had beaten Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool during the month of April.
Christian Benteke and his ilk were kept quiet by the hard working Kompany, who also provided the start of a few attacks from the back and scored a sublime goal in the second-half. The players’ enthusiastic celebrations with the long-suffering defender say a lot about what he means to them and the club as a whole.
Secondly, Yaya Touré gave a supremely Touré-esque performance, breaking up many possible Palace counter-attacks and linking well with the back line and Kevin De Bruyne as well as David Silva when the team moved forward.
Finally, the ginger wonder that is Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian has endured a tough season, with injuries preventing any real consistency and the fact that he is one of the positions Pep expects the most from him. To go from the one-dimensional approach under Pellegrini to the multi-faceted philosophy which Pep has been trying to drill into this team, KDB seems to have been caught in 2 (or more) minds in many games this season.
Many suspect KDB flourishes when he knows the spaces behind him are well-defended. During yesterday’s game, the work from Touré and Kompany certainly gave him more reassurance to shift around and look to join the attack. He linked well with those around him and his goal, while just squeezing in at the near-post, required such precision as only he could provide. A much-needed confidence booster for the man who many suspect Pep may well be building this team around.
City currently sit in 4th place, on 69 points. Next game is next Saturday, 13 May, against Leicester City.