Crystal Palace vs Manchester City: Title race gets tighter
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City: The defending Premier League champions and current leaders dropped two more points at Selhurst Park on Monday, affording Liverpool the opportunity to move to within one point by winning their game in hand.
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Manchester City having played one game more than the Reds for much of 2022, the game in hand has loomed large for weeks now, and though was kicked well down the road, Liverpool are perfect in their last eight Premier League fixtures, while Man City have dropped seven points in seven games. Given their incredibly lofty standards, this is undeniably a hugely worrying development.
The 0-0 draw leaves Manchester City (70 points) just four above Liverpool, with the Reds set to play their game in hand on Wednesday, away to Arsenal. Crystal Palace (34 points - 11th place), meanwhile, have themselves another impressive result — their second against Man City this season — as they look right at home among the mid-table mess from 9th-15th (seven places separated by just six points).
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City final score, stats, results
Final score: Crystal Palace 0, Manchester City 0
Goal scorers: Crystal Palace (None), Manchester City (None
Shots: Crystal Palace 7, Manchester City 18
Shots on target: Crystal Palace 1, Manchester City 4
Possession: Crystal Palace 26%, Manchester City 74%
3 things we learned - Crystal Palace vs Manchester City
1. Palace prove last time no fluke: Back on Oct. 30, Crystal Palace served up one of the shocks of the season, when they went to the Etihad Stadium and beat Man City 2-0. Though it was a shock all those months ago, they proved on Monday that it wasn’t necessarily a one-off, not a fluke. Once again, all 11 players defended as one — almost exclusively deep inside their own half and defensive third — and they made things just difficult and uncomfortable enough, that they kept back-to-back sheets against one of the greatest sides in Premier League history, and blew the title race all the way open as a result.
2. Chances come, go again for Man City: The running debate about this Manchester City side has centered around the absence of a world-class center forward to match the brilliance of the other 10 players in sky blue (or white, as they were). Depending on which side of the fence you sit, you can say that’s either an easy nit to pick with Pep Guardiola after all he’s won, or it’s legitimate issue after watching them once again fail to put away the half-dozen brilliant chances they manage to create over the course of 90 minutes. All they needed was one on Monday, and they would have retained their cushion in the title race, but it comes down to this: How else, other than signing the right goal-scorer to lead the line, could the current Man City team be improved, and drastically so? For the record, Guardiola had it right in the summer: Harry Kane was the perfect player for the way they play. His play-making, passing and — yes — masterful finishing ability, combined with what Manchester City currently are, would have broken records.
3. April 9 or 10 — that is all: Manchester City vs Liverpool, Etihad Stadium, for the Premier League title, effectively. (The date of that fixture could be moved from Sunday to Saturday, depending on which days each side plays in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals that same week.)
Man of the Match: Vicente Guaita - Though he only had to make four saves, Guaita snuffed out plenty of other chances by quickly coming off his line to collect balls in behind and cut-back crosses around his six-yard box. Proactive goalkeeping makes all the defensive effort in front worth it.