Two goals in quick succession was enough to see off the Eagles at Selhurst Park as City moved a step close to regaining the Premier League title.
1st May 2021
Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City
Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU
Behind closed doors
Referee: David Coote. Assistants: Marc Perry, Nick Hopton. Fourth official: Stuart Attwell. VAR: Jonathan Moss. Assistant VAR: Gary Beswick
BOOKINGS – Luka Milivojevic (49), Cheikhou Kouyate (81)
RED CARD – none
Sergio Aguero (57), Ferran Torres (59)
TEB MAN OF THE MATCH
A promising first half for Palace against one of best club sides in the world was brushed aside by two goals early in the second half which effectively ended the game as a contest. Having said that, Palace can be pleased with their performance after creating enough chances to take the lead against the league leaders but ultimately it ended in defeat.
VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE
Nothing of note
BOB’S POINT OF VIEW
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.
“Firstly, no disgrace to lose to arguably the best club on the planet. Our first half performance was creditable. Defended well and actually created a couple of good opportunities. One could sense Pep’s frustration with the City performance during the opening half and it was inevitable that they would step up for the next period of the game. Two goals conceded in a matter of two minutes effectively ending the contest. Fortunately, City did not inflict any more damage.
Although we created some half openings during the second half, too often we gave the ball away too easily through misplaced passes or being caught in possession. Down to City’s pressing and/or our players technically falling short?
The main highlight was the excellent performance of Mitchell. Looking ahead to next season, we have in Eze and Mitchell two young players we can build a team from for the next few seasons. Add Zaha, Guaita and Mateta into that mix and it becomes clear where we need squad additions next year. Sheffield United away next weekend. Let’s hope for a good result to ensure the season doesn’t end in the lame fashion we saw last year.”
31 VICENTE GUAITA (6) – Did not have an awful lot to do until later in the second half when the visitors pressed for more goals.
2 JOEL WARD (7) – Solid showing by the full back and continuing to surprise many in a position that was deemed a problem.
6 SCOTT DANN (6) – Struggles to deal with the pace but reads the game well. Should have perhaps been closer to Aguero when he scored.
8 CHIEKHOU KOUYATE (BOOKED! – 6) – A few good challenges in the penalty area, received only his second booking of the season for a minor offence.
27 TYRICK MITCHELL (TEB MAN OF THE MATCH – 7) – First start in a while and impressed throughout with his hard work both defensively and offensively.
44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (6) – Energetic display from the Dutchman in the first half but never really got going in the second. Replaced by 15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (6) on 59 minutes who slotted into a midfield that City had already taken control of so found it difficult to get into the game.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (BOOKED! – 6) – Struggled all game and booked for attempting to scythe down an opponent.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (7) – Good start with plenty of energy and crosses into the box but faded with the rest of the team after going behind. Replaced by 9 JORDAN AYEW (6) on 82 minutes who had no time to have an impact.
25 EBERECHI EZE (7) – Some excellent touches and one really good effort which he should probably have scored with. Along with Mitchell, two real highlights from the game.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (6) – Was not himself, found it difficult to go past players. It was revealed after the game that he was struggling with an apparent groin injury.
20 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (7) – Another good showing from the big Belgian who could have a goal or two to his name on any other day. Replaced by 14 JEAN-PHILLIPE MATETA (6) on 67 minutes and a welcome run out for the Frenchman even if the supply line to him was pretty slim.
Jack Butland, Patrick van Aanholt, James McCarthy, Michy Batshuayi, Gary Cahill, Martin Kelly
31 Ederson, 27 Cancelo, 6 Ake, 14 Laporte, 22 Mendy, 21 Torres, 25 Fernandinho, 16 Rodri, 7 Sterling, 10 Aguero, 9 Jesus
SUBSTITUTES – Walker, Ruben Dias, Gundogan, Zinchenko (replaced Fernandinho on 67 mins), Steffen, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez, Foden
POST GAME QUOTES
ROY HODGSON – “The result does hurt but unfortunately we were playing against team with so much ability. The first goal is not because we defended badly, it’s just a fantastic pass and shot. I thought our back four were very good. As a group, we did well. Tyrick Mitchell must be very happy with his performance. Wilfried Zaha was complaining a bit before game about his groin. He kept saying he was okay. I am not 100% sure how okay he was. It could be the groin that was bothering him. We persisted.”
PEP GUARDIOLA – “I’m so incredibly satisfied. After the Champions League it’s always difficult. We made many changes. The players were sad because they wanted to play, but they did what they had to do. The first half we struggled, but that’s normal – you need patience and time. For the quality of players we had on the pitch, we should have attacked the way we did in the second half. We are one step closer – one more game and we will be champions. Palace always defend well, the spaces between the lines is so close, but in the second half we switched places more often, we attacked the spaces. Between the lines it was difficult to play. We were much better in the second half.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Ferran Torres (8.8) while the most shots were from Raheem Sterling (7). The most tackles were by Joao Cancelo (6) while Tyrick Mitchell (5) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 6.39 – 7.48
- Total shots: 9 – 20
- Shots on target: 4 – 3
- Possession: 30.2% – 69.8%
- Pass success: 73% – 87%
- Passes: 293 – 684
- Dribbles: 12 – 16
- Aerials won: 17 – 18
- Tackles: 16 – 20
- Fouls: 9 – 10
- Corners: 2 – 6
- Saves: 1 – 4
- Dispossessed: 7 – 11
POSITION IN THE TABLE
At the final whistle, Palace were 13th in the Premier League with 38 points from 33 games, a point ahead of Southampton in 14th and 3 points behind Wolves in 12th.
08/05/2021 Sheffield United (a) – Premier League (3pm)
11/05/2021 Southampton (a) – Premier League (8pm)
16/05/2021 Aston Villa (h) – Premier League (12pm)