Erling Haaland penalty lifts Manchester City at rainy Crystal Palace
Erling Haaland’s second-half penalty increased his Premier League goals lead and helped off-kilter Manchester City to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
Haaland now has 28 goals, two off the record for a first-year Premier League player and eight more than Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
More importantly, City avoids giving more ground to Premier League leaders Arsenal, who play Fulham on Sunday and hold a two-point lead on the two-time defending champions.
Patrick Vieira’s Palace are currently on a 10-match winless run, the longest current one in the Premier League. Now just four points clear of the bottom three, the Eagles have collected plenty of draws but find themselves in a relegation race until they pick up a win or two.
Palace hasn’t put a shot in target in almost five hours worth of Premier League football. Yikes.
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Palace’s Vieira, Lokonga nearly help old pals Arsenal in title fight
Patrick Vieira may have finished his playing days with Manchester City and he may be closer to a Pep Guardiola acolyte when it comes to the celebration of football, but he’s an Arsenal man through and through and set up his men to try and take two points off the Gunners’ title rivals.
He nearly did it, thanks to performances like the star show from Arsenal loanee Albert Sambi Lokonga; But all it takes is one lapse and Palace, make no mistake about it, lapsed to send Erling Haaland to the penalty spot.
And Palace fans may have collected a point off Liverpool two weeks ago at home and they may’ve come close to a point here to Man City, but their manager and his players are not giving the home fans anything fun at Selhurst Park.
Palace has one goal in its last four Premier League home matches and that came from James Tompkins in an M23 derby. The Eagles are now away to the Seagulls at midweek before next Sunday’s trip to Arsenal, where Lokonga won’t be allowed to play.
Fail to score in either of those, and Vieira’s future will be very much in question as will the Eagles’ Premier League status for the 2022-23 season.
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City player ratings: Stars of the Show
Jack Grealish: Whether gliding to set up a shot or advance possession, or busting his tail to block a late shot from Eberechi Eze, Grealish was fantastic and at the heart of everything City tried to do on Saturday.
Nathan Ake: Rampaged up and down the left as the widest man in a big back four, the former Bournemouth and Chelsea man was a handful from the opening whistle.
Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen: If your plan is to sit deep and counter Manchester City, you better have center backs ready to absorb pressure as well as shots to the body. Both players blocked a shot and combined for more than a dozen clearances.
Albert Sambi Lokonga: City might’ve got the win, but the Arsenal loanee did his part with three clearances, recoveries, and fouls drawn.
It’s a midweek M23 derby at Brighton before a Sunday visit to Arsenal.
Man City brings a 1-1 first leg score line home for RB Leipzig in the Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday, then hosts old pal Vincent Kompany and Burnley in a Saturday FA Cup quarterfinal.
Erling Haaland goal video: Penalty the difference at Selhurst Park
How to watch Crystal Palace vs Manchester City live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 12:30pm ET, SaturdayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
We shouldn’t be worried about Palace getting dragged into a relegation scrap just yet. But with games against City, Brighton and Arsenal coming up in the next week, they could well be in the drop zone by the time the March international break arrives. It’s tough to see where their next win is going to come from but that usually means Palace will beat one of the big boys. They have a knack of pulling off a win when you least expect it. This season has been tough as Zaha has been out injured but he gave them a cutting edge in his long-awaited return at Villa last weekend. Remember: when these teams met earlier this season Palace were 2-0 up but an Erling Haaland hat trick led a stunning City comeback win.
In the here and now, City’s form players are scattered all over the pitch with Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish kicking things up a few gears in recent weeks. Rodri continues to control midfield, while a special shout out must go to Nathan Ake who has slotted in very well at left back. Since the World Cup Erling Haaland hasn’t quite matched his goalscoring record from earlier in the season but he always seems just five minutes away from the next batch of goals arriving.
Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Sam Johnstone (calf), Cheick Doucoure (suspension), Nathan Ferguson (undisclosed)
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Benjamin Mendy (suspension - MORE)