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Sterling clinches vital win as Guardiola’s rotation pays off at Palace

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Relentless. Thats the word that best describes Manchester Citys pursuit of the Premier League title and their performance against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Their Champions League hopes – and therefore those of completing a quadruple – may look slightly precarious after a 1-0 quarter-final first-leg defeat by Tottenham, but judging by this display their domestic ambitions remain well on course.

A 3-1 win – their 13th from the last 14 league games ensured the pressure transferred seamlessly back to title rivals Liverpool.

Having received criticism for his selection decisions at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in midweek, Pep Guardiola ensured he didnt make the same mistake twice, utilising his vast riches perfectly in south London.

Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane, who strangely only got a few minutes against Spurs, were restored to the starting line-up, adding further tools to Citys already well-equipped Swiss Army Knife tasked with dismantling Palaces deep-set, organised defence.

They were just what was required. De Bruyne finished with two assists; Sane one.

Kevin De Bruyne registered two assists (Source: Getty)

Vincent Kompany looked assured at the heart of the defence upon his first appearance for over a month, while Benjamin Mendy, back after a 154-day absence due to injury, slotted in at left-back.

Once Raheem Sterling had struck twice to put them well on their way 65 minutes in, David Silva was replaced by his namesake and club player of the season contender Bernardo.

None of their competitors can boast such an array of talent – and its this time of the season when such luxuries are most apparent.

While it may have been the four changes which refreshed the line-up, with Sergio Aguero oddly subdued at one of few grounds hes yet to score at, it was the cutting edge of Sterling that made the difference.

You wouldnt have bet on the England forward being the match-winner after the first 10 minutes. A horrendous, hardly believable miss from David Silvas pass in which he scuffed wide with the goal gaping would have dented the confidence of most.

But this season especially Sterling is not most players and six minutes later hed atoned for his error, striding onto De Bruynes perfectly weighted through-ball to lift his finish over Vicente Guaita and into the top corner.

Crystal Palace v Manchester City - Premier League
Leroy Sane was left on the bencRead More – Source