At a season when there have been precious few shock results within the Premier League, Crystal Palace’s win in Manchester City felt nearly seismic for every one in Etihad Stadium.
By the jubilant result of the traveling Eagles fans, who could barely believe exactly what they were watching, into the gob smacked silence of the town fans therefore used to watching their side steamroller the opposition, this is really a reminder of how sometimes even matches featuring the top-flight’s important sides don’t comply with the expected script.
A free-scoring City club that arrived to the match with the sole 100% home league album in the upper six tiers of this English match were toppled by a team that hadn’t conquered them away for 28 decades and had lost 5-0 here on the last two spans.
In addition to this, Palace did it and after going down a goal. We’re used to seeing teams crumble after going supporting against this Town team, who were the sole top flight side never to drop any points out of the winning position home or from 2018 19 – before Saturday.
But throw into a wonder goal from Andros Townsend, a few horrible winter weather and also a terrific defensive display from the Eagles and you’ve got the recipe for a memorable upset, and also one that might just help to play a more decisive role in this year’s title race.
Since City boss Pep Guardiola would bemoan after the match, two Palace shots led to two aims from the first half, however, it was clearly a case of quality over volume for the visitors.
The town fans were still on the feet singing”operate for the winners” until only before Jeffrey Schlupp equalised from the boundary of this box, and that setback was still sinking in if Townsend’s sensational volley sent shockwaves through the scene so on after ward.
It changed the house side’s players as well as their fans – together with City unable to up their pace or caliber from the final third in the remainder of the first half – with the consequence repeated when Luka Milivojevic extended Palace’s lead from the penalty spot just after the rest.
You can almost know why. Seeing City supporting at home is something that their fans are not really used to under Guardiola, who before Saturday had lost only two out of 48 league matches since taking charge in summer 20-16.
It’s perhaps not a thing that this current side have undergone regularly on home turf . Since Guardiola explained afterwardsthey are used to waiting to crack down stubborn opposition before you go onto win quite professionally – most of the time.
“This is a typical match we’ve played repeatedly,” he explained. “Where everyone defends profound, we divide up the game when we score a goal and afterwards, with patience, we now score another goal plus so they must open up a small bit and we’ve spaces to kill the match .”
That did not happen against Palace – less than eight minutes after Ilkay Gundogan gave them the lead, City were supporting – to not recoup.
‘We did not come here believing we had no opportunity’
Roy Hodgson’s beaming smile following the match said it – his Palace side had delivered their best performance of the season, on the thing that was – on paper – their toughest mission.
Guardiola, though, was when he pointed out after that City were not out played by Palace – just undone by classic counter attacking football.
“The first time they passed – it had been wow, a goal,” Guardiola explained. “Second time too. I would like to give attention to Palace and that I really don’t dismiss what they will have done, but that is football occasionally”
It’s clearly not the end of City’s title hopes. While this defeat means they will track Liverpool by four points on Christmas Day – when compared with the same time last year when they were 13 points clear at the very top – it would clearly be absurd to write off them, specially before the halfway stage of this season.
Guardiola certainly doesn’t intend to concede the name readily, saying:”It’s complicated, but we’ll fight until the very last minute. We come in December and we’ll attempt to recover win matches “
He’s right – there are still five months of this campaign staying – but while this home conquer was harmful, if City lose their next match at the Etihad then it will soon be a lot more decisive.
Liverpool will be the next team in the city on 3 January, therefore this wasn’t just a fantastic time to show that fortress Etihad has any weak points. If Palace may exploit themJurgen Klopp’s side will probably be confident to do likewise.