Silva hungry for more goals

Published: Sunday 21st December 2014 by The News Editor

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Manchester City playmaker David Silva is hungry for more goals after filling a void for the champions by striking twice against Crystal Palace.

The Spaniard helped City overcome the absence of any recognised strikers by setting up a comfortable 3-0 Barclays Premier League win at the Etihad Stadium with a second-half double.

Yaya Toure completed the scoring in the latter stages as City pulled level with Chelsea at the top of the table.

City were without forwards Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic due to injury and so played with midfielder James Milner as a lone striker with Silva just behind him.

Silva revelled in the central role, hitting a deflected opener four minutes after the restart and turning in a second from close range on the hour.

Despite all his creative brilliance and technical excellence, Silva is not a renowned goalscorer but he enjoyed the role on Saturday.

The 28-year-old told City TV: “I have always said that I like to play in the middle and every time I play there I try to score goals, as when I play wide, but I prefer a central position.

“I was able to score two goals and help the team, so I am very happy.

“Without strikers we have to work a bit more on trying to score goals and we did that, as in the last game, so hopefully we can continue like this.”

City trailed Chelsea by eight points at the end of last month but confidence is now soaring after a run of eight successive wins in all competitions.

Attention now shifts to Chelsea’s response as they play their game in hand at Stoke on Monday.

Silva said: “We know that we have to play a lot of games during this month and that we have to try to get as many points as we can.

“So let’s see if they drop some points and we can put some pressure on them.”

City dominated possession throughout against Palace but the visitors, for whom Yannick Bolasie impressed, had some good opportunities in a goalless first half, notably when Fraizer Campbell put a close-range overhead kick wide.

City failed to get any of their eight first-half attempts on target – with Pablo Zabaleta going the closest – but stepped up a gear after the break.

Victory was ultimately routine but Palace manager Neil Warnock had justifiable complaints after James McArthur had a headed goal, when the score was 2-0, incorrectly ruled out for offside.

Warnock felt Palace might have made more of a game of it had that been given but he also conceded, after just one win in 11, that his side lacks firepower.

Warnock said: “We don’t score enough goals, that is true to say.

“We had opportunities and couldn’t get on the sheet. But if they get chalked off when they are good ones, you haven’t got much chance have you?

“I think we have got some good strikers but, if I am honest, I just think we need something a little bit different, either from the bench or more of a physical presence.

“(Marouane) Chamakh has tried his best over the last few weeks but with him being out, I think we just lack that physical (presence).

“All the other lads have got their attributes, it is just to supplement what we have got and give us more options off the bench.”

The chief reason Palace were shut out at Eastlands was because of the improved defensive resilience of City, who have now kept four successive clean sheets.

Three of those have come without captain Vincent Kompany and the shakiness evident earlier in the season is starting to disappear.

Centre-back Eliaquim Mangala said: “It is always important for us to keep a clean sheet.

“I think we are not making as many mistakes as we did one or two months ago. We need to keep going and continue that run. We need to defend well and score goals like we do at the moment.”

Mangala himself had a difficult introduction after his £32million summer move from Porto but is now looking a stronger proposition.

He said: “It is true that I had difficulties to adapt at the beginning, but I was expecting that and was prepared. I didn’t have any moment of doubt. The more games I play, the more I am settling in.”

Published: Sunday 21st December 2014 by The News Editor

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