Leroy Sane stars as rampant Manchester City thrash Palace
The Manchester City juggernaut continued as they hammered Crystal Palace 5-0, laying down another statement of intent to the rest of the Premier League. It's now 16 goals in three top-flight games -- and none conceded -- for Pep Guardiola's side, and by full time it could have been much worse for the Eagles than the five they'd let in.
Once more, City's attack showed fine moments of movement, clinical finishing and a destructive quality that, despite the plaudits they got last season, had previously been missing. Another clean sheet and a solid defensive performance was key, too. Palace, while getting the odd chance, were soundly beaten.
Perhaps more so than in the wins over Liverpool and Watford, City's defence were troubled by the pace of Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Andros Townsend and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. How the latter was able to ghost into the box in the first half when he should have opened the scoring will be a concern -- albeit a very minor one.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Guardiola's side struggled initially, but having opened the scoring late in the first half there was only ever going to be one winner. They turned the screw well.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Ederson Moraes, 6 -- Largely untroubled, the goalkeeper put in a solid performance to keep his fourth clean sheet of the season. He was off his line brilliantly to deny Christian Benteke on the stroke of half time.
DF Kyle Walker, 7 -- Working up and down the right flank, Walker was always an option on the overlap for the attacking players in front of him. His pace was crucial in helping City cope with the Palace breakaways, too.
DF John Stones, 6 -- The centre-back was given a tough time by Benteke, who had the beating of Stones in the air. He was turned inside out by Ruben Loftus-Cheek before his shot deflected onto the post.
DF Nicolas Otamendi, 6 -- Another who was bullied in the air by Benteke, Otamendi did well to drop off and read the game to win the ball in the next phase of play. He was unlucky to see a cracking volley smash into Fernandinho at the other end.
DF Benjamin Mendy, N/R -- It was a short afternoon for the left-back, who injured himself fouling Andros Townsend. On the ball, he had some good crossing opportunities, but was troubled by a couple of quick Palace breaks.
MF Fernandinho, 7 -- With Palace on the back foot, it was down to the Brazilian to be the anchor in midfield. He kept the play moving forward quickly and was on hand to snuff out the visitors' counterattacks when necessary.
MF David Silva, 8 -- The midfielder continues to lead by example in the centre for City. Once again, he was crucial in helping his side unlock a stubborn defence and was the key to extending the scoreline further in the second half.
MF Kevin De Bruyne, 8 -- Like Silva, he was at the heart of everything that troubled Palace. He had a shaky start to the game, but powered through it to become one of the stars of the show.
MF Raheem Sterling, 8 -- After a troubled first half, where he found it hard to get into the game, Sterling was at the centre of the second half action. He was twice in a great position to score, bagging a brace as City turned the screw, and was unfortunate to miss a third chance as it came to him from Wayne Hennessey.
MF Leroy Sane, 9 -- The highlight of Sane's display will of course be his goal -- a sublime finish after neat skill to out-fox Scott Dann -- but his wing play was superb. He provided excellent crosses for Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero to score.
FW Sergio Aguero, 8 -- Despite barely getting a kick in the first half, Aguero battled hard and worked himself into the game after the break. A brilliant header took him to within touching distance of Eric Brook's club record, and it's a matter of time now before he breaks it.
DF Danilo, 7 -- Coming on for the injured Mendy after 28 minutes, Danilo was comfortable and full-back and added some stability to the left flank that was badly needed.
MF Bernardo Silva, 7 -- Joining the game after an hour for Sterling, Silva slotted straight into the dynamic City attack and proved a consistent threat.
MF Fabian Delph, 6 -- After replacing Stones for the final 20 minutes, the midfielder kept things ticking over comfortably, as the game was won. His goal was the cherry on the top and will be one for the scrapbook, as he picked out the top corner wonderfully on his weaker foot.
David Mooney is ESPN FC's Manchester City blogger. Twitter: @DavidMooney