Thursday, May 23, 2024

Crystal Palace 2-4 Manchester City: What Were The Main Talking Points As The Sky Blues Keep Up Pace In The Title Charge?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 6 Apr 2024

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Despite falling behind early, Manchester City extended on their Premier League title charge as they secured a 4-2 victory away at Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime.

Although Jean-Philippe Mateta might have handed the Eagles a shock lead following a slick finish in the opening three minutes, Pep Guardiola’s men came roaring back and put in a dominant performance here.

With Kevin De Bruyne dragging City level with a stunning strike just 10 minutes after Mateta’s opener, the Sky Blues ran rampant after returning from the interval.

With 19-year-old Rico Lewis finding the net just seconds after the half-time break, De Bruyne and attacking talisman Erling Haaland then notched a quickfire brace as City extended their unbeaten run to 25 matches across all competitions.

Although ex-Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard might have bagged a late consolation strike for Palace, Saturday’s hosts have failed to win any of their last five Premier League appearances.

On an afternoon when Manchester City avoided a potential banana skin in south London, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Selhurst Park.

City go marching on

Although Manchester City might have a real battle on their hands in the race to claim a fourth consecutive Premier League crown this season, the Sky Blues do appear to be hitting top gear at a crucial time.

Mounting a stellar comeback here and closing Saturday’s showdown with just their goal difference keeping them off top spot, Guardiola’s men are in the midst of an extended purple patch.

Despite marking their return from March’s international break with a 0-0 stalemate at home against title rivals Arsenal, the former Barcelona boss finds his superstar squad at the heart of a 25-match unbeaten run across all competitions.

Making real history last season as they became the first English club since 1999 to be crowned treble champions, City have also found a real clinical edge over the past few days.

Storming their way to a 4-1 romp against Champions League chasers Aston Villa earlier in the week and now bagging eight goals in their back-to-back appearances, Guardiola’s men aren’t showing any signs of a stutter.

De Bruyne at his absolute best

Although Phil Foden might have bagged a spectacular hat-trick against Aston Villa earlier in the week, it was certainly City’s playmaking icon who stole all of the headlines here.

Dragging City level with a thunderous effort at Selhurst Park and causing Palace’s leaky defence a string of issues, De Bruyne was at his tantalising best on Saturday lunchtime.

Eventually wrapping up all three points for the defending Premier League champions midway through the second-half, the Belgium international also recorded a sixth assist of the season after putting it on a plate for Haaland.

Putting in what was a season-best performance in south London and certainly the deciding factor in City’s comeback, Guardiola will filled with praise for his midfield talisman.

Although the one-time Chelsea starlet might have failed to make consecutive appearances since the middle of February, there is no doubt that De Bruyne has a leading role to play in City’s bid to make more history this season.

Palace firmly looking over their shoulder

While Crystal Palace might have opened Oliver Glance’s tenure in charge at Selhurst Park with a routine 3-0 romp at home against Burnley on February 24th, the Eagles have failed to use that performance as a platform to build on.

Although Saturday’s hosts might have always know that they faced a major uphill battle even despite taking an early 1-0 lead here, the former Eintracht Frankfurt boss would have been concerned by a downbeat collapse on home soil.

Last seen earlier in the week suffering what could turn out to be a costly 1-0 loss at the hands of Bournemouth, Palace have failed to win any of their previous five Premier League appearances.

Watching Luton and Everton pick up their own respective victories later in the day, Glasner’s men will certainly be looking over their shoulder.

Continuing to show some extended defensive issues and recording just a single Premier League clean sheet since returning from November’s international break, the Eagles also hold just a five-point buffer from slipping into the relegation zone.

Match Report

Crystal Palace: Henderson, Ward, Andersen, Lerma, Munoz, Wharton, Hughes, Mitchell, Eze, Ayew, Mateta

Subs: Schlupp, Olise, Edouard, Clyne, Ahamada

Manchester City: Ortega, Lewis, Stones, Dias, Gvardiol, Rodri, Grealish, Alvarez, De Bruyne, Bobb, Haaland

Subs: Kovaic, Silva, Nunes, Akanji

Goals: Crystal Palace: Mateta (3’), Edouard (86’) – Manchester City De Bruyne (13’, 70’), Lewis (47’), Haaland (66’)

Yellow Cards: Crystal Palace: Mateta – Manchester City: Gvardiol

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Paul Tierney


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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