Manchester City showed their title credentials as they swept aside Crystal Palace’s threat to draw level on points with League leaders Chelsea.
Jason Puncheon had a chance to hand the visitors a surprise lead very early on, but his left footed shot from outside the box was blocked. No sooner did James Milner find Yaya Touré, however, his effort was too high.
The home side found the first initiative in the second half, with the returning David Silva getting his name on the scoresheet. Pablo Zabaleta pass met the diminutive Spaniard in the box, his tame shot was deflected to the bottom corner to send the home fans into raptures.
It got even better for the 28-year old, as he was at the end of a Aleksandar Kolarov cross following a corner to double the advantage.
The pressure from Manuel Pellegrini’s boys was telling and it was only a matter of time before they sealed the victory. Milner found Toure inside the box, and the Ivorian buried his effort into the top left corner.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: “It was a very good win. A very good performance. I enjoyed the way the team worked the whole week – to work in a different way without strikers.
“Palace are a team who know how to defend. It was a great job to score three goals. They are also dangerous on the counter. We had two clear chances in the first half – the way we had chances is by moving the ball. David Silva is a top player with lots of quality. We are not just Sergio Aguero – we work hard every day. We have strikers out and Vincent Kompany is injured.
“I did think December is a key month to be in the fight for the title, and if you want to be involved you must be very near the top of the table. I hope we continue playing like this. The fight for the title was not just one team. There are so many games in November and October. We must continue working.”