Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester City: Lessons Learnt

A tight away trip for Manchester City ended in a 2-1 win in South London with two goals coming from a much maligned figure in recent weeks, whom many fans didn't anticipate seeing in a City shirt again...

Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester City: Lessons Learnt
Yaya Toure was City's hero in South London | Photo via Getty Images

Yaya Toure still has a part to play

Many Manchester City fans were shocked to see to see Yaya Toure return for his first Premier League game of the season, following Pep Guardiola's fall out with his agent Dimitri Seluk. However, despite not being the midfield powerhouse who is considered by some a Manchester City legend, it was good to see him back in the side and scoring ever more important goals for City. It obviously wasn't in the same league as scoring the winning goal in the Cup final, but it was a hard-fought away win in the capital and Toure, as ever, was in the right place to take his goals. After the recent form of Ilkay Gundogan, it looked like Toure would struggle to get back in the team, but there may be hope yet.

Claudio Bravo is coming into his own

City's much-maligned Chilean goalkeeper proved many critics with a much-improved performance at Palace. Arguably he could have kept Wickham's goal out, but overall a much stronger performance, not to mention a fine save from Christian Benteke. He was unlucky to inadvertently injure his captain, but actually, he was doing the right thing, as it was his ball to claim and further proved how much stronger and more dominant he was in this match. It was always going to be hard in many fans' eyes to fill Joe Hart's shoes, but Bravo is steadily improving as City's number 1.

City's concentration still needs to improve

Following three poor home draws to Everton, Southampton and Middlesbrough, another looked on the cards here for much of the second half and it would have been due to another poor goal to concede and a lack of being clinical. Following a chance that nearly put City 2-0 up from Aguero, Palace hit City straight on the counter and equalised. Similar goals were conceded in the previous frustrating matches and City need to improve this area of their game in order to climb the league.

This is going to be the tightest Premier League for years

Following Chelsea's comfortable win in 2015 and Leicester City's fairytale, albeit reasonably comfortable title win last season, it has been a while since we've had an exciting and tight Premier League campaign. However, with City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea all in the mix, not to mention Tottenham and Man United a few good games off being up there, this has the makings for a very exciting campaign, especially with all the above teams showing levels of inconsistency; City and Chelsea snatching hard fought away wins, with Liverpool dropping points.

Is there a problem with the Etihad Stadium?

In and out of City's mixed run of late, in terms of performance, the poorest and most frustrating games have been at the Etihad, with the obvious exception of the Champions League win against Barcelona. These have been similar games, in that City have not been clinical in front of goal and prone to letting in daft goals at the other end. However, away from home, there were games against Spurs and Barcelona, in which City were just outplayed by other strong sides (especially as in Barcelona, City were in the game until Bravo was sent off), as well as a strong performance at West Brom and a hard fought win at Palace. The atmosphere at the Etihad is rarely at the levels it could be and there is such a sense of expectation there nowadays that I question if this is having a negative effect on the players.