Premier League
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace0Man CityManchester City1

Crystal Palace 0-1 Manchester City

By Andy CryerBBC Sport
Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero was substituted for the 63rd time in the Premier League

Premier League leaders Manchester City continued their 100% start to the season with an injury-time winner over Crystal Palace.

Nigerian teenager Kelechi Iheanacho stabbed home his first senior goal after Samir Nasri's shot was saved.

After a scrappy first half, Jesus Navas shot wide of an empty net for City after rounding keeper Alex McCarthy.

Sergio Aguero limped out with a knee injury, three days before Juventus's Champions League visit.

Club-record signing Kevin de Bruyne was brought on in his place as a first-half substitute, with managers Manuel Pellegrini and Alan Pardew having a heated argument over the incident.

Palace defender Scott Dann received a yellow card for the late challenge on Argentine Aguero as City spent a large part of the match struggling to create offensively.

A well-organised Palace came closest when Dwight Gayle volleyed wide.

Reaction to this match and the rest of Saturday's action

Read how Man City snatched a late victory here

Who is Kelechi Iheanacho?

The 18-year-old Nigerian striker had previously played three minutes and 49 seconds for Manchester City, in the 2-0 win over Watford.

He came on for Wilfried Bony with a couple of minutes remaining on Saturday and just 54 seconds later was alert enough to tap home a close-range rebound after Alex McCarthy spilled Samir Nasri's shot.

Having signed for City in 2014, from Taye Academy in Nigeria, he impressed on the club's pre-season tours of Australia, Vietnam and Germany.

He played five times, scored twice and could now be considered as City's third-choice striker.

How costly could Aguero's injury be?

Manchester City dominated possession but the successful passes of Samir Nasri (8), Fernandinho (25), De Bruyne (17), Toure (42) and Navas (15) shows how few balls were played into Crystal Palace's area.

Without the Argentine on the field, City struggled to create many clear-cut chances despite dominating possession, until Iheanacho's late intervention.

Their start to the campaign - five wins from five and no goals conceded - suggests they have the confidence to finally test the best in Europe, ahead of Tuesday's visit of the Italian champions.

Manuel Pellegrini says Scott Dann should have been sent off

But, with Aguero now surely a major doubt and Raheem Sterling missing Saturday with a slight hamstring injury, City could have to rely on Wilfried Bony to show why £28m was paid for the Ivory Coast striker last season.

After the loan departure of Edin Dzeko to Roma, Bony is City's only other out and out forward, although City boss Manuel Pellegrini has hinted Iheanacho could be much more involved this season.

"He's just 18 and started working with our squad last season, but he was unlucky and had a big injury in the last three months of the season," he said.

"This year he started pre-season with the squad and will be a very important player for the future. He's one of the reasons I didn't bring another striker in when we sold Edin Dzeko.

"He deserves that chance."

Is the Premier League City's to lose?

Results in the Premier League so far this season have shown the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have struggled to see off teams they would be expected to beat.

But Manchester City have had no such problems and on Saturday dominated a battling Crystal Palace - who beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last time out.

City are now 11 points clear of champions Chelsea in the Premier League and five ahead of second-placed Arsenal. Far from over but ominous signs for their rivals.

Man of the match: Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho
The Nigerian forward played just one minute of the match but it was his intervention that maintained City's winning start

Post-match reaction

Alan Pardew says last minute goal hurts

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew: "Even though we beat Manchester City last season this was a better performance.

"It's a shame about the injury to Aguero because we are not a malicious team. We both knew this was going to be a tough game and it was."

Stats you need to know

  • Manchester City have won their last 11 league matches - a new club record. The top-flight record is 14, set by Arsenal in 2002.
  • City have scored 29 goals during this period and conceded only four times.
  • Manuel Pellegrini's side have not conceded a goal in their last six league games - a new club record.
  • Only 16 of the 40 points accrued by Crystal Palace since Alan Pardew took charge have been won at Selhurst Park.
  • City are only the fourth team to open an English top-flight season with five clean sheets.
  • Iheanacho (18y 344d) is the third youngest player to score for City in the PL after Micah Richards and Daniel Sturridge.

What next?

Manchester City host Juventus in their Champions League opener on Tuesday night, while Crystal Palace travel to Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.

How social media reacted

David SilvaKelechi Iheanacho


Crystal Palace

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12McCarthy
  • 34Kelly
  • 6DannBooked at 18mins
  • 4HangelandBooked at 71mins
  • 23Souaré
  • 7Cabaye
  • 18McArthur
  • 26SakoSubstituted forGayleat 68'minutes
  • 42PuncheonSubstituted forLeeat 83'minutes
  • 11Zaha
  • 10BolasieSubstituted forJedinakat 80'minutes


  • 3Mariappa
  • 9Campbell
  • 13Hennessey
  • 14Lee
  • 15Jedinak
  • 16Gayle
  • 22Mutch

Man City

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Hart
  • 3Sagna
  • 4Kompany
  • 20MangalaBooked at 81mins
  • 11Kolarov
  • 15Navas
  • 42Y TouréBooked at 26mins
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 8NasriBooked at 69minsSubstituted forDemichelisat 90+4'minutes
  • 14BonySubstituted forIheanachoat 89'minutes
  • 10AgüeroSubstituted forDe Bruyneat 25'minutes


  • 13Caballero
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 26Demichelis
  • 27Roberts
  • 30Otamendi
  • 72Iheanacho
  • 76Garcia Alonso
Mike Jones

Match Stats

Home TeamCrystal PalaceAway TeamMan City
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Crystal Palace 0, Manchester City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 0, Manchester City 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) header from very close range misses to the left.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jesús Navas (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked. Assisted by Kelechi Iheanacho.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City).

  6. Post update

    Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Offside, Crystal Palace. Scott Dann tries a through ball, but Brede Hangeland is caught offside.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Martín Demichelis replaces Samir Nasri.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. James McArthur (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from more than 40 yards on the left wing misses to the left.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Pape Souaré.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Crystal Palace 0, Manchester City 1. Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City) left footed shot from very close range to the high centre of the goal.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jesús Navas.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Kelechi Iheanacho replaces Wilfried Bony.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).

  16. Post update

    Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Yaya Touré (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Lee Chung-yong replaces Jason Puncheon because of an injury.

  20. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.