LONDON (Reuters) - Crystal Palace were the unfortunate victims as Manchester City’s fabled attack displayed the ruthless streak it has lacked at vital times during the season on Saturday.
A 5-0 home victory with five different scorers lifted City into third place above Liverpool in the battle for a top-four finish behind leading two Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
With leading marksman Sergio Aguero out injured, David Silva struck after two minutes and the floodgates opened after the break with Vincent Kompany, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Otamendi all on target.
City’s Saturday goal spree means they have now scored 70 goals -- the lowest tally of the top four -- but manager Pep Guardiola believes that total should be far higher.
“Tottenham is the only team I can think of who created more chances than us,” Guardiola told the club’s website.
”We are the best team in the league when it comes to creating chances -- there is no competition.
”Our problem is finishing these chances -- this is the most difficult thing in football. Against (Manchester) United we created 19 chances -- no goals. The numbers don’t lie, though, we have created so many chances but haven’t scored enough.
“I remember the game against Everton where we lost 4-0 and they only had four attempts at goal. We created so many yet we lost so this is something we must work on.”
City completely dominated and should have been more than one goal ahead at the break with Leroy Sane twice denied by Wayne Hennessey. Guardiola said he feared a repeat of last week’s 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough when City dropped crucial points.
“I told my players at halftime to score another goal or we could forget the win because had we arrived with 20 minutes to go with just a one goal lead,” the Spaniard said.
“I think it would have been a difficult finish. Players are always looking at the clock, so scoring early of course helps.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar