When you have the honour of hosting Manchester City you shut up shop, park the bus and try to absorb the inevitable pressure they are going to inflict on you, while hoping that you get your chances on the break or through the odd set-piece. 

That is how Crystal Palace beat City in their own back yard last season, and despite their admirable start to the season, the tactics were exactly the same this time around. 

Before kick-off, there was a sense of tension in the air, as everyone and their dog knows how desperately City needed to win. A defeat would provide Liverpool the chance to extend the gap to 12 points with a victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

But, this was no means the perfect opponent for Pep Guardiola’s side. Crystal Palace are their bogey team and are one the league’s in-form side, who before this fixture were unbeaten at home this season. 

It was not surprising then to witness Pep Guardiola attempt to combat those facts by overthinking his tactics and opting to start his two defensive midfielders – Fernandinho and Rodri -  in central defence. A typical act of tactical madness are frequent when his side is not performing. 

However, it was this tactic that led to City to finally break down Palace’s line of defence when Rodri’s ball out to Bernando Silva instigated the move that witnessed Gabriel Jesus score his 50th goal in City colours. 

The goal came as no surprise as City besieged Palace’s 18-yard box from kick-off by bombarding Van Aanholt’s flank with Joao Cancelo and Silva taking it in turns to whip balls into the box for Jesus, whose first effort in the 39thminute came in off the post. 

Once City smelt blood, they pounced again a minute later through showing Palace how to configure the perfect counter-attack.

It was ended by an iconic David Silva goal. He latched on to Raheem Sterling’s scooped ball over the Palace defenders before volleying under Wayne Hennessey. 

Those two minutes in the first half characterised the rest of the match, as Palace resumed the defensive resilience they showcased in the first 39 minutes for the rest of the match and limited City to very little in the second half. 

If it was not for that lapse of concentration, then Palace would be receiving more plaudits for their performance as Christian Benteke almost had an instant impact when his header crashed off the bar 15 minutes before the final whistle after the effort was forced on to the bar by Ederson. 

Palace could have easily given up, just as they did against a dwindling Tottenham side last month but the fact that City was not able to run riot as they usually do after going two goals ahead indicates that it was just two sheer moments of class that set the two teams apart. 

Crystal Palace are still a work in progress but if this game showed anything it is that Roy Hodgson is doing a magnificent job with the tools at his disposal and you can expect them to be inside the top half of the season if they continue on the path they are on.