Manchester City’s tenacious 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday brought them to within two points of Premier League champions Arsenal.
Erling Haaland’s penalty gave Manchester City a tenacious 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday, pulling them within two points of Premier League champions Arsenal. At rain-soaked Selhurst Park, Pep Guardiola’s team failed to penetrate Palace until Haaland scored from the penalty spot with 12 minutes remaining. City’s fifth victory in their last six league games was secured by Haaland’s 34th goal across all categories since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund last year. The champions will be hoping Mikel Arteta’s team makes a mistake when they visit Fulham for their game in hand on Sunday after keeping the heat on Arsenal.Of course Arsenal is having a fantastic run. Still, we are present, said Guardiola.
“We were here all the time in the typical winter game, a tough one, and then we won it.”
Despite not playing at their best, City needed the hard-fought win to keep Arsenal from extending its lead in the title battle.
“Every time we have come here, it has been very difficult, in my experience. Because we want to score more goals, we constantly battle, according to Guardiola.
We have to press to get it done because they will waste time. Everything made me happy. They defend six players in the box, and Erling had two guys pursuing him, so it is not simple. It came down to waiting.
Now Haaland and company will focus on the second leg of their Champions League last 16 clash against Leipzig in Manchester on Tuesday, with the tie delicately balanced at 1-1.
Palace are on the longest current winless run in the Premier League, failing to take maximum points from any of their 10 games in 2023, a dismal sequence that leaves them just four points above the relegation zone. Guardiola left Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker on the bench, Walker’s exile coming just days after police launched an investigation into allegations the England defender indecently exposed himself in a bar. City made a strong start as Rodri’s powerful volley was parried by Palace keeper Vicente Guaita.Ilkay Gundogan was the victim of a hasty tackle from Michael Olise that resulted in a penalty. Haaland stepped up to take the kick and sent Guaita the wrong way.When he struck over from Grealish’s cross, Haaland squandered an opportunity to eliminate Palace.Due to that error, City had to get through a tense finish in which Ederson saved them from Eberechi Eze before they could finally breathe easy.