If Manchester City wins the Premier League in 2016, remember this weekend. City looked dominant in a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace who came into the match 31 points themselves, good for seventh in the standings. With first place Leicester City playing Aston Villa, the team at the bottom of the 20 team standings and bound for relegation, the best City could probably hope for was to stay within three points of the lead. Arsenal was also three points ahead of City also, but faced a stiffer challenge with seventh place Stoke.
City played their match first and they served notice to the two leaders with a 2-0 halftime lead over Crystal Palace. Fabian Delph started the scoring with a beautiful left foot strike that found the net. Before the end of the first half, Sergio Aguero was credited with a goal that could possibly have been scored an own goal, but Aguero’s strike was near perfect to make it 2-0. He then scored again at the 68 minute mark on an assist from Kevin DeBruyne.
To show just how great City worked as a team on this day, Aguero passed up a great chance at a hat trick late in a 3-0 game, to pass it off to David Silva for an even better look. Silva put it in at the 80 minute mark to make it 4-0.
When Manchester City is at the top of their game, they are the best team in the Premier League. This is why despite injuries to key players such as Vincent Kompany, Aguero, Silva, and Joe Hart, they are leading in goal differential with +22, six ahead of Arsenal and nine ahead of Leicester City.
Leicester City was held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa, who tied the game at 75 minutes on a Rudy Gestede goal. The unlikely result left City only one point behind Leicester awaiting the outcome of Sunday’s Stoke vs Arsenal match. That ended in a 0-0 draw which means City now trails both by a mere one point. In the fourth and final Champions League spot is Tottenham Hotspur, who trails Man City by four points after their impressive 4-1 win over Sunderland. They lead Manchester United by two points after Wayne Rooney scored a late goal against Liverpool to give United a 1-0 win in what may have been the game of the week.
If City can get Kompany back healthy, and the offense keeps playing like they did on Saturday, they will be a tough team to beat the rest of the way. With Kompany, Manchester City is nearly impossible to score upon. Lately even without him they have been very tough on defense as well.
Next week’s schedule has Manchester City on the road to face a tough road test at West Ham United. Leicester City hosting Stoke City, Arsenal hosting a suddenly competitive and dangerous Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur visiting Crystal Palace.
If City takes over the lead next week, they may not give it up again.