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Wednesday 13 December 2017

City ace Fernandinho has eye for goal

Man City 5 Crystal Palace 0

Manchester City's Fernandinho. Photo: PA
Manchester City's Fernandinho. Photo: PA

Midfielder Fernandinho claimed goal difference was on his mind as free-scoring Manchester City hit five against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

City took their goal tally for the Premier League season to 21 in just six games as they thrashed the bottom side 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

It was not enough to shake off Manchester United and move clear at the top of the table but it did give City an edge courtesy of a goal difference of four better than their old rivals.

Fernandinho said: "If you compare with last year - we created so many chances to score goals but we didn't score. This year we just score.

"I don't know what has changed, to be honest, I am not a specialist to talk about that, but I am so happy we are scoring goals.

"This is important because one of the things that can decide the title is goal difference, and we are on the right way."

City's emphatic victory sent out another strong warning of their title credentials to the rest of the competition on the back of a 5-0 hammering of Liverpool and 6-0 demolition of Watford.

Fernandinho insisted, however, that any title talk was far too premature.

The Brazilian added: "It is just the beginning of the Premier League. We all know how tough it is.

"The most important thing is to get to December in the same level we are in now and try to get the most possible number of points, then to arrive there in February or March with a good chance to fight for the title."

City had no need to bring Gabriel Jesus off the bench as they swept Palace, who are still to register a point or score a goal in the league, aside.

It was not all plain sailing for Pep Guardiola's men as the visitors survived a flurry of chances early on and then threatened themselves with Ruben Loftus-Cheek hitting the post and spurning another chance.

Guardiola even showed his frustration on the touchline but once the outstanding Leroy Sane showed neat control to open the scoring after 44 minutes the result was not in doubt.

Raheem Sterling struck twice after the interval and Sergio Aguero notched his 176th City goal, one short of the club record, before substitute Fabian Delph completed the rout.

"It's ridiculous to sit and talk about positives when you have been beaten 5-0," admitted Palace boss Roy Hodgson, whose side face United and Chelsea in their next two games.

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