FA Cup: Crystal Palace 0-3 Man City


Yaya Toure scored a late free-kick to make it 3-0

Goals from Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Yaya Toure sent Manchester City into the last 16 of the FA Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.


Gabriel Jesus - making his full City debut - was the architect of the opener, arrowing a fine pass through the Palace defence to set up Sterling's one-on-one chance two minutes before the interval, while David Silva presented Sane with a similar opportunity on 70 minutes to double the advantage.

Toure then wrapped up the tie by curling an injury-time free-kick into the top corner after Gabriel had been fouled on the edge of the box. However, the Ivorian was fortunate to be on the pitch at that point. Midway through the first period Toure escaped a second yellow card in quick succession for tumbling Jordon Mutch to the ground as the Palace man broke downfield.

Palace boss Sam Allardyce could feel rightly aggrieved by the decision, but his struggling side were outplayed for long periods and the six changes he made for the fixture highlighted his greater concerns about the club's precarious position in the Premier League, although they did see January signing Jeffrey Schlupp limp off with a hamstring injury in the second half.

With City's title hopes on the wane, they welcomed a distraction from their frustrating league campaign and started the brightest, with Sane just failing to connect with a diving header from Sterling's cross before David Silva volleyed a superb lobbed through ball from Toure at Wayne Hennessey.

Silva turned provider on 20 minutes, chipping the ball into the box for Sane to head wide at the near post, before Palace forged their first effort at goal, with Mutch heading into Willy Caballero's arms from Andros Townsend's free-kick.

A defining moment of the game came on 30 minutes, when referee Mike Jones opted not to send Toure off for bundling Mutch to the floor, just three minutes after the midfielder had been booked for a late challenge on Joe Ledley.

Palace boss Allardyce was incensed by the decision on the touchline - and salt was rubbed in the wounds when Sterling was booked for a similar offence soon afterwards - but the hosts were inspired by the incident and enjoyed their best period of the game in the immediate aftermath, with Christian Benteke heading the resulting free-kick over the bar before James Tomkins' volley drew a stunning save from Caballero.

City had been the better side for much of the opening period, though, and Gabriel's pass for Sterling was coolly converted by the England man to give the visitors a deserved lead on 43 minutes.

Palace came close to an equaliser shortly after the re-start when half-time substitute Loic Remy - on for the disappointing Benteke - fired a scissor kick over the bar but City continued to look the most threatening with Sterling nearly pulling off a cheeky back-heeled finish before Fabian Delph forced Hennessey to tip a low drive past his post.

Heavy rain turned to hail in south London and provided difficult conditions for both teams but when the weather relented it was City who seized the initiative once more. Captain Vincent Kompany robbed James McArthur on the edge of the City box and set Silva on a driving run from his own half to the edge of the Palace area, where he played in Sane to double the lead.

Gabriel was denied his first goal in England in the closing stages by an untimely slip after he'd taken the ball around Hennessey but a foul on the Brazilian in stoppage time allowed Toure - who scored both goals in City's league win at this ground in November - to net a fine third.


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