Yaya Toure made a stunning first Premier League appearance of the season with two goals in Manchester City’s 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The visitors, having won only one of their previous five top-flight games, showed six changes from the 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough and it was Toure’s inclusion that set tongues wagging.
It took the Ivorian 39 minutes to recapture some of the old magic as a superb interchange with Nolito preceded his emphatic opener.
Alan Pardew’s side refused to give in and almost levelled when Christian Benteke’s header brought a fine stop from Claudio Bravo 10 minutes after the interval.
Sergio Aguero could have sealed it midway through the second half for City – who lost Vincent Kompany to injury – but his shot was kept out by a combination of Wayne Hennessey and Joel Ward.
In the next attack, Palace did get their equaliser as substitute Connor Wickham drifted past Pablo Zabaleta and blasted a fierce strike beyond Bravo.
The game was up for grabs in the final 20 minutes, with City eyeing a shot at top spot and Palace desperate to put further space between themselves and the bottom three.
But it was the away side who claimed the points, Toure capitalising on some woeful set-piece defending to turn in from six yards and condemn Palace to a fifth league loss in a row.