Cape Town - Yaya Toure scored twice on his return to action as Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Toure made his first Premier League start of the season, and returned in spectacular fashion, smashing City ahead late in the first half after getting a neat one-two returned to him by Nolito, scoring with the first shot on target for either side.
Palace struck back after Sergio Aguero came within inches of extending City’s lead, with substitute Connor Wickham producing a thumping finish.
But Toure was not done with scoring just yet, and was perfectly placed to tuck home a low-hit corner from close range in the closing stages.
The 11th minute Wilfried Zaha went on a mazy dribble down the right flank, making it all the way to the box before a heavy touch allowed Fernandinho to get the block in after he glided past Aleksander Kolarov and Nicolas Otamendi. The 17th minute saw some skill from Raheem Sterling, beating Martin Kelly on the right, but his cutback was cleared by Joel Ward.
Some good play by City set up a chance in the 32nd minute when Kolarov was played in down the right by a clever through ball, but Sergio Aguero couldn’t quite get to the whipped-in cross with his outstretched boot.
City’s on-the-ball dominance paid off in the 38th minute, after some patient passing around the Palace back-line saw Yaya Toure pick up possession on the edge of the box. The Ivorian exchanged a clever one-two with Nolito to set him up for the strike, which he stroked into the top corner with the help of a slight deflection.
Palace came very close to an equaliser in the 55th minute when Jason Puncheon got the better of Zabaleta down the left flank and dinked a cross from the byline that Christian benteke met at the far post with a powerful header, but Claudio Bravo was excellent to get a hand to it.
Palace struck soon after they almost conceded to Aguero, but Wayne Hennessey made a good save to deny the Argentine striker and Ward cleared off the line. It went straight down the other end where Zaha picked out Connor Wickham, whose first touch took him past Zabaleta before blasting the Eagles into the lead.
The match was slowing down in the final minutes when Toure scored his second. A corner kick was played low across the face of goal by Kevin De Bruyne, going straight past David Silva and falling perfectly for the Ivorian to tuck home from close range.