- Man City vs Crystal Palace

Saturday 28 December 2013 | Etihad Stadium | Referee: Andre Marriner | Attendance 47,107

Man City
  • Edin Dzeko (66)
Man City
1 - 0
Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace

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Match report

For match photos, scroll to PHOTOSTREAM above left; for match stats, click on the stats tab. Manager reaction below

Edin Dzeko scored the winner as Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 1-0 to maintain their perfect home Barclays Premier League record this season.

The striker converted Jesus Navas' cross midway through the second half to end Palace's resistance and make it 10 wins out of 10 at Etihad Stadium.

Victory puts City two points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League table, with title rivals Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all in action on Sunday.

Tony Pulis’ side had chances of their own in the second half, with Joe Hart tested on three occasions, while Joel Ward missed a chance to equalise a minute after Dzeko's strike, heading off target when left all alone at a corner.

Manuel Pellegrini made six changes to the side that beat Liverpool, with Yaya Toure and Alvaro Negredo among those dropped to the bench, while Crystal Palace were unchanged from their win at Aston Villa.

Manchester City dominated the early stages as Dzeko, David Silva and James Milner all fired half chances off target in the opening 25 minutes.

The action came to a halt on the half hour mark as Hart and Cameron Jerome both received treatment following a collision. Jerome left the field to be replaced by Marouane Chamakh, while Hart remained in goal, despite a nasty cut below his left eye.

Pellegrini’s side continued to press after the stoppage in play, Silva blazing an effort high and wide of the target after a deft touch on the byline before Fernandinho thumped a volley over the bar a minute before the break.

The midfielder then went even closer in first-half stoppage time, heading Milner's cross goalwards only to see Julian Speroni leap to tip the ball behind.

Hart was stretched for the first time in the 50th minute, diving low to his left to keep out Jason Puncheon's arrowing 25-yard drive before Chamakh headed the resulting corner over from six yards.

The goalkeeper had to be alert again 14 minutes later when he tipped Mile Jedinak's drive over the bar.

That save proved crucial as two minutes later the deadlock was finally broken, Dzeko sweeping home Navas' cutback from 12 yards, as the Manchester club made it 60 consecutive home Barclays Premier League games in which they have found the net.

The London club almost responded immediately following Dzeko's goal, Hart diving full length to his left and just getting enough on the ball to tip Ward's volley around the post.

Seconds later Ward wasted a chance from the resulting corner, heading wide when left unmarked six yards out, and Manchester City hung on to claim all three points.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: "Before the match I said when we finished against Liverpool, 48 hours it is impossible to recover for players. We didn't have our team fresh and it is very difficult when just one team want to play and the other just wants to defend so that was the game we saw today. That is not what we are used to do at the Etihad.

"We also had a lot of chances to score but I repeat it is very difficult to attack when the other team is with ten players in their own box. Maybe on some counter attacks and corners they had chances."

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis: "I think Joe Hart made a couple of great saves today and you know when you come to places like here you are going to come under pressure and we looked dangerous on the break,

"Joe Hart had a cut eye, but he certainly saw Wardy's [Joel Ward] shot and Wardy should score from the corner if I am truthfully honest - he should hit the target.

"I am pleased, we've had two away games and we went to Aston Villa, who were desperate for the points, and then follow it up and come to Manchester City, and put in a performance like that, I can't criticise the players."

Fan Rating

- rate the player performances for this match

Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Joe Hart 7.16 5.49
22. Gaël Clichy 5.67 5.08
33. Matija Nastasic 5.2 5.58
38. Dedryck Boyata 5.13 3.43
4. Vincent Kompany 6.83 6.08
25. Fernandinho 6.31 6.03
21. David Silva 6.89 7.1
7. James Milner 5.82 5.32
14. Javi García 5.06 4.9
15. Jesús Navas 7.0 6.22
10. Edin Dzeko 6.17 6.11
Substitutes All Fans BFR
30. Costel Pantilimon 3.0 5.09
17. Jack Rodwell 3.5 3.97
9. Álvaro Negredo 8.0 6.8
13. Aleksandar Kolarov 6.0 5.43
42. Yaya Touré 9.0 7.18
6. Joleon Lescott 2.67 4.87
8. Samir Nasri 7.25 6.35
Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Julian Speroni 5.88 5.46
19. Daniel Gabbidon 5.0 4.67
27. Damien Delaney 4.5 4.56
4. Jonathan Parr 5.4 4.82
3. Adrian Mariappa 5.0 4.18
13. Jason Puncheon 6.4 5.27
2. Joel Ward 5.25 5.1
46. Barry Bannan 6.0 4.47
7. Yannick Bolasie 5.25 4.93
15. Mile Jedinak 5.75 5.53
30. Cameron Jerome 5.4 4.26
Substitutes All Fans BFR
21. Dean Moxey 4.0 4.73
6. José Campaña 7.5 4.7
34. Lewis Price 2.0 2.46
9. Kevin Phillips 5.0 5.05
16. Dwight Gayle 5.25 5.27
20. Jonathan Williams 4.67 4.92
29. Marouane Chamakh 4.4 5.72

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