Premier League - Dzeko scores only goal as City see off resilient Palace

Premier League, Etihad Stadium - Manchester City 1 (Dzeko 66) Crystal Palace 0

Edin Dzeko gave Manchester City all three points after a 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace.

City dominated the first half - Fernandinho brought a great save from Julian Speroni, to tip a header across the bar, just after he had blasted the ball over from 18 yards, and David Silva also went close twice.

On the half hour, Cameron Jerome and Joe Hart collided, with Jerome leaving the pitch injured, and Hart requiring treatment for a cut to his face.

Yannick Bolasie had Palace’s best chance of the half, volleying into the ground and straight at Hart.

City increased the pressure in the second half, but Palace went close with shots from Mile Jedinak, and Marouane Chamakh headed just over.

On the 66th minute, Edin Dzeko made the breakthrough, blasting Jesus Navas’ cut back into the roof of the net. The excellent Joe Hart preserved City’s lead as Palace continued to press, but could not find an equaliser.

KEY EVENTS

5’ - DZEKO CHANCE - David Silva slips the ball towards Dzeko on an angled run away from goal, but the striker drags his shot wide.

28’ - BOLASIE VOLLEY - Jerome flicks on a cross from the right, and Bolasie volleys a shot into the ground and straight at Hart.

30' - HART INJURY - As Jerome and Hart both go for a cross, Jerome strikes Hart with his leg, drawing blood from Hart's face. Hart's face swells up but he is able to continue, but Jerome has to leave the game.

41’ - SILVA SHOT - Selling a dummy to a sliding Barry Bannan, David Silva keeps a Boyata pass in play on the right, but his high shot from a tight angle is way off target.

44’ - FERNANDINHO MISS - The Brazilian chips the ball over Adrian Mariappa, but blasts his shot wide of goal.

45+2’ - SPERONI SAVE - Milner’s cross from the right is slightly behind Fernandinho, but he still manages to get a fierce header on target that Speroni tips over.

51’ - CHAMAKH HEADER - Bannan’s corner on the right finds Chamakh in space, and heads it just a couple of yards over.

64’ - JEDINAK SHOT - The midfielder has time and space on the edge of the box, and brings a good save from Hart with a powerful drive.

66’ - DZEKO GOAL - Nasri curls in a cross from the left that’s headed away, but only to Navas on the right of the box. The winger picks out Dzeko with a short pass across goal, and Dzeko rifles the ball past Speroni.

67’ - HART SAVE - Joel Ward tees himself up outside the box, and his volley is brilliantly tipped away by Joe Hart.

TALKING POINT

Can Tony Pulis do enough? Palace have shown huge improvement in defence since Pulis took over. They are far more organised and do not give up when a goal down. Given the state of other teams around them, they are still in with a chance of survival.

MATCHCAST: PLAYER RATINGS AND FULL STATS

KEY STATS

Palace have taken just two points from nine Premier League trips to Manchester.

City are unbeaten in their final game of the year since returning to the Premier League in 2002-03 (W6 D6).

Manchester City are the only team in the Premier League this season yet to drop a point at home (P10 W10). They have also scored in each of their last 60 Premier League home games.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Joe Hart (Manchester City) - Even after getting hit in the face by Cameron Jerome’s knee in the first half, Hart was consistently reliable and pulled off a number of impressive saves to keep City in the game, and then to protect their lead.

PLAYER RATINGS

Manchester City: Hart 8, Boyata 6, Kompany 6, Nastasic 6, Clichy 6, Garcia 6, Fernandinho 7, Navas 6, Silva 6, Milner 7, Dzeko 7. Subs: Kolarov 6, Negredo 6, Nasri 6.

Crystal Palace: Speroni 6, Mariappa 6, Gabbidon 6, Delaney 6, Parr 6, Ward 6, Jedinak 5, Bannan 5, Puncheon 6, Bolasie 6, Jerome 5. Subs: Williams 6, Gayle 6, Chamakh 6.

MATCH IN A TWEET