Raheem Sterling’s double and another goal from Gabriel Jesus fired Manchester City back to the top of the Premier League ahead of Liverpool’s game against Chelsea as they won 3-1 at Crystal Palace.
Sterling had already wasted a great chance by the time he shot high into the net to give City the lead after 15 minutes, and he wrapped up the points with a close range finish after the break.
Luka Milivojevic made it an unexpectedly nervy finale for Pep Guardiola’s side when he whipped in a free kick from the edge of the box nine minutes from the end, but Jesus had the last word as he rounded off a 90th-minute counter-attack.
City started purposefully, fashioning an early half-chance for David Silva, who was just unable to connect cleanly with a low Kyle Walker cross.
They missed a golden chance after 10 minutes when Silva did brilliantly to reach the byline and cut the ball back to the unmarked Sterling, who could only roll it past the post.
But Sterling made amends on the quarter of an hour mark when Kevin De Bruyne’s pass down the right enabled him to advance into the area and fire home an angled finish.
The home side soon had an injury concern, Jeffrey Schlupp limping off after a collision and being replaced by Cheikhou Kouyate, with City continuing to threaten and Scott Dann doing well to clear another Silva cross.
Sterling showed the other side of his game, tracking back to help Walker deal with Wilfried Zaha, and Aguero fired over as Pep Guardiola’s side maintained their control.
But Palace showed a flicker of attacking life soon afterwards, Milivojevic crossing and Christian Benteke heading down before City hacked clear.
Soon after the half-hour, Sane forced a good save from Vicente Guaita when he fired an angled drive towards the near post.
Guaita was in the thick of the action again when the ball fell to De Bruyne and he fired goalwards, and then Benjamin Mendy’s strike was straight at the Palace keeper.
City began the second half in the same dominant way, De Bruyne narrowly failing to play Sergio Aguero through and Guaita gathering well when a De Bruyne cross deflected off Martin Kelly.
But the visitors doubled their advantage after 63 minutes, Sterling again on the mark when he coolly converted Sane’s angled cross from the left.
Bernardo Silva came on for David Silva as Guardiola made the first change of the afternoon, and then Ederson made a straightforward save as Christian Benteke swivelled to bobble a strike towards goal.
Dan headed well over from a Palace corner, and City took off Aguero and replaced him with Gabriel Jesus with one eye on next week’s Champions League game against Spurs.
Palace introduced Max Meyer for Andros Townsend – and they found a route back into the game when James McArthur was fouled and Milivojevic thumped the free kick home.
McArthur made way for Bakary Sako for Palace, John Stones replacing Sane for City, who removed any lingering doubts about the result when Jesus kept his cool after De Bruyne had played him into the area.