Games In Quick Succession Take Toll On Eagles Who Are Soundly Beaten By City

After a good point against Arsenal on Thursday night, there were concerns that the effort put in that evening would be detrimental to the trip to the Etihad, and so it proved.


17th January 2021


Manchester City 4-0 Crystal Palace


Etihad Stadium, Etihad Campus, Manchester M11 3FF


Behind closed doors


Referee – Lee Mason

Assistants – Scott Ledger, Tim Wood, Andy Madley (fourth official)

VAR – Martin Atkinson, Peter Kirkup (assistant)



RED CARD – none


John Stones (26, 68), Ilkay Gundogan (56), Raheem Sterling (88)


Jordan Ayew


With the news ahead of kick-off that Wilfried Zaha and Cheikhou Kouyate were missing from the starting line-up was a significant blow. It was always going to be a tough task against City who were bang in form and looking to continue their fight to regain the Premier League title. Palace started brightly but faded with the game much over once the third goal went in. That led to the Eagles becoming sloppier with their passing as the game wore on to the final whistle. Roy Hodgson now has just over a week to get his troops well drilled and ready to go again for the next flurry of fixtures.


No significant referrals


Bob White was a coach at Palace under the tenure of Steve Coppell and Alan Smith and will be sharing his point of view each week in our review article.

“Two games in four days against the league’s current form teams was always going to be a tough ask. Sometimes as coaches and players you have to put your hands up and admire the qualities of a top class opponent including the influence of De Bruyne, the best all round player in the Premier League.

From the first whistle it was obvious City had their foot full on the gas and no complacency was the order of the day from their manager. They were relentless in their approach and intensity to the final whistle. Some quality goals were also added to this potent mix. The blow of losing Zaha in the starting line-up due to injury meant we lost much of our attacking intent and pace offensively We created very little going forwards as City pressed high hunting in packs making it difficult to move the ball out of our own half with any quality in possession.

Although the result wasn’t a surprise and we may not have the resources of City but the attitude and commitment of our players within a 4-5-1 set up couldn’t be faulted. Bottom line is we were outclassed. For all concerned it’s best to move on from this evening and use our nine day break wisely before our next game against West Ham. With 23 points gained at the half-way stage of the season is a decent return. Up the Palace!”


31 VICENTE GUAITA (6) – Very little chance with either of the goals and had to deal with more back passes than usual which put him under pressure.

2 JOEL WARD (6) – Struggled to get out of his own half all evening as the opposition forced him into a number of errors.  

5 JAMES TOMKINS (6) – Attempted to stand firm as much as possible but much like Guaita, could not prevent either of the goals.

24 GARY CAHILL (6) – A return to the starting line-up after injury but not a happy one.

27 TYRICK MITCHELL (6) – Battled against an impressive attack and did okay for the most part. The cross for the first came from his side but could do very little as the quality beat him.

22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6) – Started well but faded the longer the game went on the midfield were chasing the ball.

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (CAPTAIN – 6) – One of his better recent performances but even he was guilty of sloppy passes. Replaced by 44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (6) on 68 minutes who could do very little in his short time on the pitch.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6) – One game too far for the Scotsman who has a decent first half but was hardly seen in the second.

10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6) – Good energy and support on the back line and managed to get forward more so in the opening half but did not create anything of note. Replaced by 23 MICHY BATSHUAYI (6) on 79 minutes who did not even step into the opposition penalty area before the end of the game.

25 EBERECHI EZE (6) – Bright throughout but was guilty of losing the ball even if he was trying to get the Eagles moving forward.  

9 JORDAN AYEW (6 – TEB MAN OF THE MATCH) – Battled well as the lone striker and tried to use the ball as much as possible. Found in one good position of note but chose to pass the ball instead of having a shot on goal.


1 Jack Butland, 3 Patrick van Aanholt, 6 Scott Dann, 17 Nathaniel Clyne, 20 Christian Benteke


31 Ederson, 2 Walker, 5 Stones, 3 Ruben Dias, 11 Zinchenko, 17 de Bruyne, 25 Fernandinho, 8 Gundogan, 7 Sterling, 9 Gabriel Jesus, 20 Bernardo Silva

SUBSTITUTES – 13 Steffen, 16 Rodri, 21 Torres (replaced Gundogan on 71 mins), 22 Mendy, 26 Mahrez, 27 Cancelo (replaced de Bruyne on 71 mins), 47 Foden (replaced Silva on 60 mins), 48 Delap, 69 Doyle


ROY HODGSON – “In the first half we did very well, they had a lot of the ball but they didn’t create many chances. We made some blatant mistakes in the second half, playing back to the keeper too much and it cost us. We could have made it harder for them and it’s another defeat which is hard to take. All goals are preventable, that’s our job, but there were some excellent strikes. Three goals conceded from corners is not like us and we surrendered the ball too much. I can accept losing here they are a very good team but I am disappointed to lose by such a margin. We miss Zaha when he’s not playing but we shouldn’t lose 4-0, Wilf or no Wilf.”

PEP GUARDIOLA – “This is through the quality of players, commitment and focus. We struggled the last two seasons to beat them here, we did a fantastic game. If there’s one guy who deserves a revival, it is John Stones, he has struggled for many reasons in the past, it belongs to him how he overcame this. It’s just minutes for him. He deserves to play, he doesn’t make mistakes and he’s created a good partnership with Ruben Dias.”


The Who Scored man of the match was Kevin de Bruyne (8.7) while the most shots were from Ilkay Gundogan (4). The most tackles were by Kevin de Bruyne and Andros Townsend (4) while Gabriel Jesus and Jordan Ayew (3) had the most dribbles.

  • Team rating: 7.32 – 5.90
  • Total shots: 13 – 2
  • Shots on target: 6 – 0
  • Possession: 72.9% – 27.1%
  • Pass success: 90% – 71%
  • Passes: 749 – 277
  • Dribbles: 7 – 4
  • Aerials won: 14 – 12
  • Tackles: 18 – 15
  • Fouls: 9 – 8
  • Corners: 11 – 1
  • Saves: 0 – 2
  • Dispossessed: 9 – 10


At the mid-way point of the 2020/21 season, Palace have 23 points from 19 games but with an unhealthy goal difference. They sit in 13th, level on points with Leeds United in 12th and a point ahead of Wolves in 14th.


26/01/2021 West Ham United (h) – Premier League (6pm – BT)

30/01/2021 Wolverhampton Wanderers (h) – Premier League (3pm – TBC)

02/02/2021 Newcastle United (a) – Premier League (8pm – TBC)


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like