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Pep glad to have Yaya back

Yaya Toure, dispatched to the frozen wastes by Pep Guardiola for three months but with a point to prove clearly well-honed during his absence, returned in emphatic fashion to ease City to a victory which took them level on points with league leaders Liverpool.

Toure, left out of the team for three months in an unseemly stand-off between him, Guardiola and the player's agent Dimitri Seluk, was welcomed back from exile and celebrated his shock recall with both goals in City's 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.

He continued his excellent record against the Eagles by scoring either side of half-time, although City will be concerned by the way they allowed Connor Wickham to fire home an equaliser before relying on Toure to net a late victor.

"The last month and a half, Yaya was unbelievable in training", Guardiola explained. I am very happy to be playing football.

"For me, to be honest, I just want to help the team".

Guardiola had picked Toure in only one of City's previous 19 games this season - a Champions League qualifying play-off second leg against Steaua Bucharest in August that was a virtual dead rubber after City had won the first game 6-0. "I am professional, I always want to improve my game". "It will go to the end, but we have quality players who can score at any moment".

Manchester City's two goal hero Yaya Toure said: "We knew sometimes we need to fight to win games and this was tough".

"We are the unluckiest team in the Premier League", Mourinho said of his sixth-placed team.

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"I am so happy for Yaya, he is a really nice guy". You must always stay professional.

But even when they were putting Pep Guardiola's side under pressure in the second half, Palace looked vulnerable and were ultimately punished for their lack of organisation at the back as they looked to see the game out.

A fifth successive defeat further confirmed Palace as the worst side in all divisions this calendar year and cast a huge shadow over the future of manager Alan Pardew.

They had previously been energetic, always ready to attack but lacked a player to truly get a grip of the game.

Several Palace men squandered chances to clear before Toure's shot deflected in off James Tomkins for his first goal since March 5.

His latest setback was nothing to do with his troublesome calf, more just plain bad luck as he was left concussed by a first-half collision with his goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

The ball eventually found Wilfried Zaha whose jink inside ended with a slipped pass for Wickham to drive the ball past Bravo.

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