Nigerian youngster Kelechi Iheanacho gave a commanding performance on Wednesday night as he inspired Manchester City to a thrilling 5-1 win over Crystal Palace in the Capital One Cup.
Iheanacho scored a goal and also provided two assists to help City soldier on into the quarter finals of the League Cup.
It was the visitors started the brightly at the Etihad, as Yannick Bolasie headed over the bar from a Wilfried Zaha cross, before the 26-year-old was denied by City keeper Willy Caballero from close range.
However, It was City that took the lead on 22 minutes, as Wilfried Bony met an Alexander Kolarov corner with a powerful header, which landed in the bottom corner of the Palace goal.
The Ivorian failed to make the most of the chances that came is way afterwards; missing two chances to double the Citizens’ lead in the first half before Kevin De Bruyne picked up a pass across goal from Iheanacho to fire into the bottom corner of the net for City’s second goal.
After the break the hosts took control of proceedings but Bony yet again missed a glaring chance that came his way when he fired over the bar in a one-on-one situation with Eagles stopper Wayne Hennessey.
City nonetheless got the deserved third goal just before the hour mark as De Bruyne found Iheanacho with a low cross, before the Nigerian produced a composed finish past Hennessey.
Palace came close to pulling a goal back moments later, as Zaha found Patrick Bamford in a good position, but the Chelsea loanee fired straight at Caballero. City were awarded a penalty on 75 minutes as Damien Delaney brought down Eliaquim Mangala in the Palace box. Yaya Toure took the spot kick, and fired into the corner of the net. The visitors scored a consolation goal on 89 minutes, as Bolasie found Delaney unmarked in the City box, before the veteran defender headed into the corner of the goal.]
Manuel Pellegrini’s side wrapped up the win with a fifth goal before the final whistle, as 17-year-old Garcia slid to connect with Iheanacho’s low cross and send the ball beyond Hennessey.