The selection of Rodri to partner Fernandinho in central defence raised eyebrows, although Nicolás Otamendi is expected to be fit for Tuesday's Champions League home game against Atalanta after returning from worldwide duty with a back injury.
City dominated the first half but it took until the 39th minute for Jesus' diving header to break the deadlock, with Silva finishing Raheem Sterling's exquisite assist just 93 seconds later.
City doubled the lead two minutes later in spectacular fashion.
De Bruyne hit the post not long after and Sterling swept wide from eight yards before Wilfried Zaha had a fierce drive saved, but City comfortably saw out the final exchanges to close the gap with Liverpool.
The 22-year-old Brazil global broke the deadlock in the 39th minute with his 50th goal for City, and it proved an invaluable contribution as Guardiola's men bounced back from their shock 2-0 home loss to Wolves two weeks ago.
What does it mean?
"When Sergio plays, he plays at a good level and, when Gabriel plays, he plays at a good level". Liverpool remain in a great position, of course, but there is plenty of life in the race for the title. Of course there is more to come. "The last action... like when he has to pass to Kevin, he has to do it".
With six minutes to the end of the first half, City netted the opener after Bernardo Silva's superb cross found Jesus, who buried the ball beyond the reach of Palace's Wayne Hennessey.
City's manager was delighted his makeshift centre-back pairing of Fernandinho and Rodri did not concede a goal.
Manchester City travels to Selhurst Park on Saturday when they'll return from the worldwide break hoping to beat Crystal Palace in response to their second defeat of this Premier League season.
According to Guardiola, City's missed chances against Palace showed why his side could miss out on the Champions League crown again this season.
- Jesus scored his 50th goal for Manchester City in all competitions - the Brazilian has scored in each of his last seven starts for the club.
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