John Stones net twice as Manchester City moved into the second spot in the Premier League by thrashing Crystal Palace 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
With League leaders Manchester United and holders Liverpool sharing the spoils at Anfield, City took advantage of the draw and move in within two points of the first position.
On top of another top-class performance from Ruben Dias, Stones broke the dreadlock in 26 minutes in with his first league goal for City – Kevin De Bruyne the playmaker with an electrifying cross to add to his 100th assist tally for the club.
Ilkay Gundogan multiplied the lead early in the second half before Stones celebrate his second, and a sublime finishing from Raheem Sterling to wrap up fifth successive league win for Pep Guardiola’s consistently improving City.
In search of his milestone achievement, De Bruyne team up Sterling with a quick exchange of passes in the 26th moment, when the Belgian may have been better off to shoot.
However, his 100th assist didn’t take long to show up. His first poor corner kick was cleared, however, De Bruyne was found by Sterling and, with the outside of his right foot, put a great cross onto the head of Stones, who turned in his first season goal since he scored for Everton in April 2015.
Gabriel Jesus couldn’t beat Vicente Guaita after latching from Gundogan’s flick-on, however, the Germany midfielder took control of the game 11 minutes after the restart, snatching the ball from Andros Townsend on the edge of Palace’s box and dispatching a fabulous finish into the top right corner.
Jordan Ayew played Palace’s second shot before long, however, it was obstructed by Dias, who at that point had a vital impact in City’s third.
Dias’ header was parried out by Guaita, however, the Portuguese’s defensive pair Stones was available to score in his second.
Sterling had the last say, the England forward – who missed a late penalty against Brighton and Hove Albion – curve in a grand free-kick into the top corner to add further shine to a resounding victory.