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Crystal Palace vs Manchester City 21/22

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you are all well.

Since my last post we have beaten Wolves 2-0 away from home with an exceptional performance, with goals from Mateta and Zaha. We were now back in action at Selhurst Park against current league leaders Manchester City. Last time we faced them we came away with all 3 points in a 2-0 lead back in October, so we were looking to do the double over them!

Manchester City would have been really up for this game coming in only 3 points ahead of Liverpool after creating such a large gap a few months back, they couldn’t afford to be any dropping points. With that being said they had only dropped points once in their last 5 games, which was a 3-2 loss to Spurs, but their most recent result was a 4-1 derby win against Manchester United.

Vieira was obviously happy with what he saw at the Molineux Stadium last week as he named an unchanged starting 11, with Guehi leading the team once again. We may have finally found some consistency with the teams. The only change was that Joel Ward came back into the squad onto the bench after being out with an injury for a few weeks.

It was an 8pm kick off and of course it was very busy. Somehow a few City fans managed to sneak themselves into our stand which is quite frustrating and pretty surprising how it was allowed. Before kick-off there was another light show, which ended with a tribute to Ukraine. It was actually pretty warm to start with, good signs that we will have some warm games coming up! Manchester City started the game immediately on the front foot taking all the possession for the first 5-10 minutes, this was to be expected due to City’s dominance. The first shot of the game came from Mahrez as he managed to cut in field, but it didn’t trouble Guaita in anyway as it flew past the far post. After this Palace gained some confidence and started really tested the league leaders. Conor Gallagher was outstanding throughout the whole match, his first key involvement was when he nicked the ball from Laporte who mis controlled it, Gallagher made an advancing run towards goal before whipping it over to Zaha, he caught up with it but his shot went straight into the side netting; a great move from us and they had an amazing Selhurst atmosphere behind them from the first minute. Another mistake this time from Kyle Walker, Zaha was able to put him under pressure forcing his pass to go into the path of Mateta, Olise was sprinting down the left into space and received the ball into him just before he reached the box, he took it wide and had a shot which went just passed the far post, it looked very close live! Man City had a huge opportunity to put themselves in front with Silva; De Bruyne’s shot from outside the box was initially blocked by Guaita, but it was deflected straight into the path of Silva, his first touch was poor, and the ball ran straight out of play. Another chance for us as the ball was played into Matea down the left, he made an advancing run towards goal and tried to trick his way passed the defenders with multiple step overs, he drilled it in and won us a corner but there was better options waiting for him, Conor was screaming for the ball in the middle on the box as he was near enough unmarked and Olise had made an unmarked run down the right, poor decision making from Mateta but Conor was sure to tell him of his frustrations. Another player who had a great game was Mitchell both attackingly and defensively he was incredible, he created a chance for Mateta after sending a long ball up the channel from our own box, he played the ball to Olise on the edge of the box who couldn’t get the shot off and instead played it back to Mateta who’s shot went unthreateningly wide. Manchester City responded with their own chance, a ball was whipped into the box from Cancelo who was not closed down well enough, De Bruyne got a touch as he tried to play it over the keeper, but he was too near the touch line and the ball could be headed out by Mitchell. City’s dominance started to kick in (although they were still controlling the possession between chances) and they had another huge chance, this time with Laporte, Cancelo was given so much time and space in the middle of the pitch he went for a shot himself, if was on target and had lots of power behind it but it was kept out by the post, the ball bounced back out to a totally unmarked Laporte who went for the first time tap in attempt, but he got it all wrong and it went souring over the bar - heart in mouth moment as you would back any player to score a chance from that near. Another great save from Guaita was forced as the ball found its way out to Mahrez who had a powerful first time shot but it was simple for the keeper to stop. Palace had a final chance before the break through Zaha, it stemmed from a City mistake as they lost the ball just outside their own box, Mateta picked it up and played it into Zaha who was unmarked down the left, he brought himself inside and went for one of his classic rockets but this time it went past the far post. It was nice to see them actually having the confidence to have shots and not hold back. The half ended with another Mahrez attempted but it went past the post and didn’t worry us. 0-0 at the break but it was a 45 minutes I didn’t want to end after such a positive performance.

Some really good moments from us in the first half and it was really exciting to watch. Although Man City did have the majority of the possession there was still a lot for us Palace fans to cheer about and we were giving them a good game, which felt like there was chance after chance. During the break the half time show was reintroduced after being away for over 2 years, this is when two young fans from both teams go against each other in a penalty shootout; it was also a chance for actor Ranveer Singh to have a try, I personally had no clue who he was but lots of others did and he provided some entertainment for the break.

We had an early chance in the second half to put ourselves in front, City were unable to clear their lines and Andersen could send the ball back in, Guehi was on the receiving end and could play Kouyate in behind the city back line, but his shot header went straight past the far post. Gallagher started the half well again, he picked up the ball in his defensive third and drove into City’s half where Grealish had no choice but to bring him down to stop him, more and more players in our team are causing frustrations like these it’s good to see! City had a moment of madness where it looked like they were going to score in a matter of seconds the ball had hit the post, and been saved brilliantly by Guaita, still the defence stood strong and United. Double change for the Eagles in the 65th minute, as Ayew and Edouard replaces Mateta and Olise; I personally would have kept Olise on and taken Schlupp off, but it wasn’t his best performance in a Palace shirt so maybe he’s just being rested for the next game where he can make more of an impact. As the game went on the more nervy the atmosphere became, we really didn’t want to concede another late goal after working so hard throughout! Another big chance for Silva, Grealish found himself in behind and fizzed the ball across the box meeting the foot of Silva who was just unable to direct it goal-wards ... it really wasn’t his evening! A loose ball in the midfield was picked up by Kouyate before he slotted it into the path of Edouard, but he was unable to keep his balance and possession was turned back over. Within minutes Edouard reintroduced Zaha into the game very late on as he slipped the ball through into the box to his feet, he had room to turn and get him shot off, but it went straight into the keepers’ arms; Zaha wasn’t great in the second half and kept giving the ball away too often which is become a regular occurrence! After running the whole game he still didn’t stop, early in stoppage time Gallagher put city’s defence under pressure in their own box and came away with the ball, Edersen tried to come out to close down the angle as Gallagher went wide but he still managed to get a shot off sadly it just blazed other the bar, but his work rate is ridiculous! The game ended with Guaita making a final straightforward save from a cross which was whipped in, a huge cheer round Selhurst and this grew louder as the final whistle blew! We become just the second side to stop Pep Guardiola's Man City scoring home and away in a Premier League season after Man Utd in 2020/21, what a huge achievement and a stat the defenders should be especially proud of!

That was possible the most exciting 0-0 result I’ve ever seen, and the atmosphere was fantastic. With both teams giving it their all, a draw was probably the fairest result possible although City did dominate the possession, but we weren’t outplayed, remained organised as we hoped to get them on the counter attacks, and still both teams had lots of chances, but of course it would’ve been nice to do the double over them. To any Liverpool fans reading this, you’re welcome! 😌 Mitchell had the ‘tough’ job of going against Foden but he made it look surprisingly easy and the winger was kept silent, same on the other side with Clyne on Grealish, some really impressive performance. Tyrick was named the man of the match and rightly so, although there were many contenders for this game! The England team for the upcoming fixtures is announced tomorrow (Thursday 17th) and fingers crossed there are some Palace boys in there, there are multiple that really deserve it! You do have to appreciate the talent within the city side and some balls in particular from De Bruyne and Cancelo were scarily good, but obviously in the moment I was too anxious to acknowledge it!

Match stats:

• Palace had a total of 26.2% possession, Manchester City had 73.8%

• Palace had a total of 10 shots with 2 on target.

• Manchester City had 13 shots with 3 on target.

Our next game is on Sunday 20th of March as we face Everton in the quarter finals on the FA cup in the final hurdle on our road to Wembley, so look out for that post!

Thank you for reading

Ellie Xx

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