City never looked back after David Silva’s 50th goal for the club in the second minute although it was not until the second half that the floodgates opened with Vincent Kompany, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Otamendi all on target.

Manchester City strengthened their Premier League top-four aspirations with a 5-0 thrashing of a woeful Crystal Palace side at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Victory moved City into third place with 69 points, above Liverpool on goal difference.

Fifth-placed Manchester United, who play sixth-placed Arsenal on Sunday, have 65. Two consecutive draws had undermined City’s hopes of finishing in the top four but they hit top gear from the first whistle and did not have to wait long to go ahead.

Palace were in danger of being overrun and the fleet-footed Leroy Sane forced Hennessey into two good saves.

Silva’s chipped pass sought out the clever run of Sterling and when his lob was headed weakly away by Martin Kelly the lurking Silva drove a volley past Wayne Hennessey.

City’s second goal arrived two minutes after the break from an unlikely source – Kompany crashing home an unstoppable shot for his first home goal since August 2015.

Wales keeper Hennessey was at fault as he let Kevin de Bruyne’s weak shot creep inside the post to make it 3-0 on the hour as City forged clear.

Sterling’s sweetly-struck left-foot shot made it 4-0 before defender Otamendi got on the scoresheet with a diving header from De Bruyne’s chipped free kick – only his second City goal.

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