Kelechi Iheanacho maintained Manchester City’s 100% start to the season with a late winner over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park – and moved Manuel Pellegrini’s men 11 points clear of ailing Chelsea.
The Nigerian substitute had been on the field less than a minute when he fired home in the first minute of injury time after following up when Palace keeper Alex McCarthy spilled an initial effort from Samir Nasri, scoring his first EPL goal.
And the importance of Iheanacho’s strike was underlined by the continuing travails of Jose Mourinho’s men who had earlier slipped to their third defeat in five games courtesy of Steven Naismith’s hat-trick in a 3-1 win for Everton at Goodison Park.
Alan Pardew’s men will feel aggrieved not to leave with something after largely frustrating their opponents for much of the afternoon and coming close to grabbing the lead themselves through Jason Puncheon’s first-half header.
And City’s joy was tempered by the sight of Sergio Aguero limping off in the 24th minute with an apparent right knee injury following a challenge by Scott Dann, leaving the Argentinian a doubt for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Juventus.