Man City Keep Pressure On Arsenal After Beating A Stubborn Crystal Palace

An Erling Haaland penalty was all that separated Manchester City and Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park
19:26, 11 Mar 2023

Manchester City kept the pressure on league leader Arsenal after beating Crystal Palace 1-0 in a dreary contest at Selhurst Park on Saturday evening. 

With the Gunners facing a tough trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham tomorrow, City really needed to take all three points from Croydon today. And given Palace have never beaten Pep Guardiola’s side at home, and have failed to score in their last three Premier League meetings with the Cityzens, you’d have expected the visitors to have taken full advantage.

However, City were forced to huff and puff from the opening whistle in order to break down a seriously stubborn home side with a Erling Haaland penalty all that separated the two sides.


The away side started the brightest but were desperately sloppy with their finishing. Jack Grealish gave the hosts an early scare when, after dancing through the Palace defence, he found space in the box to let a shot loose but it whistled just wide. 

With 20 minutes gone, Rodri teed up Haaland on the edge of the box however Marc Guehi was there to put in a good block and deny the Norwegian. The league’s top scorer missed an even bigger chance ten minutes later when he was played through by Nathan Ake and, from six yards out, put his resulting effort agonisingly wide. 

Given City’s recent history against Palace, that woeful first half should probably have been expected with Pep Guardiola’s side now goalless in the first 45 minutes in their last five meetings with the Eagles. 

After the break, Vicente Guaita was called into action when Phil Foden’s free-kick curled over the Palace wall, but the goalkeeper was quick to dive to his right and deny the English international. On the hour mark, after replacing Foden, Julian Alvarez almost made an instant impact when he spun with the ball at his feet from a Grealish pass but fired over the bar from close range. 

Each of Man City’s last nine goals against Palace have come in the second half, so it was no surprise when they finally broke the deadlock. The opener came from the penalty spot after Michael Olise brought down Ilkay Gundogan in the box. Haaland stepped up to duly put away his 28th goal of the season.

The forward should have made it 2-0 shortly after when he latched onto a wonderful Grealish ball into the box but he could only direct his header over the top of the crossbar. 

City now move to just two points behind Mikel Arteta’s table-topping Arsenal, albeit having played a game more than the Gunners. 

Palace remain 12th but are now winless in their last ten Premier League games, the longest run in the competition, and are still without a win this season against any of the sides who currently sit in the top half of the table. The Eagles are just four points above the relegation zone but that could be just three if West Ham can beat Aston Villa on Sunday. 

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