Erling Haaland’s late penalty helped Manchester City secure a narrow victory over Crystal Palace to close in on Premier League top.
After making headway to return to the summit of the Premier League table for the first time since November last year, Manchester City ceded the top spot for the Gunners again after a dramatic draw against Nottingham Forest.
With 12 matches to the end of the season, Arsenal have gone five-point clear on the Premier League summit. City needed to do better to wrestle down the high-flying Mikel Arteta-led boys.
Traveling to Selhurst Park to take on the Eagles was not going to be an easy ride for the Premier League champions.
Crystal Palace have been winless in their last nine games in the Premier League, but have dragged points with big teams in the league this season.
Crystal Palace: Vicente Guaita; Tyrick Mitchell, Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen, Nathaniel Clyne; Albert Sambi Lokonga, Luka Milivojevic; Wilfried Zaha, Michael Olise, Jeffrey Schlupp; Jordan Ayew.
Manchester City: Ederson; John Stones, Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake; Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan; Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish; Erling Haaland.
Manchester City got the game underway with their usual attacking flair and pressure, looking for an early goal but the Eagles mounted a resolute defense, crashing City’s measured attempts to break into the box.
The home side had all their men behind the ball as Pep Guardiola tried to figure out a tactical maneuver to break the brink wall defense.
Manchester City continued to dominate proceedings, passing the ball around in Crystal Palace’s half but failed to weather the goal deadlock.
Despite wielding 73% of the ball possession, the visitors recorded only one attempt on target and could not get their way through Crystal Palace’s box.
The Eagles produced a disciplined defensive display despite coming under heavy attack and pressure by City.
Held back into their own half, they made no effort upfront only relying on counter but had no attempt on goal and could only attempt two shots throughout the first half.
The Eagles succeeded in holding off the Premier League champions to a barren draw after the first half. There was not much goal-mouth action after the first half despite City’s commanding dominance.
The second half went underway with Manchester City forcing the hosts to drink from a firehose of attacks. City got the game to a speedy start and continued heaping pressure on the Eagles.
After fiery kickoff to the second half, the visitors were forced to maintain a more balanced pace after their initial pressure yielded no result.
Crystal Palace closed all gaps and spaces in the box. Erling Haaland was silenced with less than 14 minutes to the end of play.
Manchester City got a huge leverage in the game when Olise caught Gundogan in the box and City were awarded a penalty.
Erling Haaland converted it to give City the lead in the 78th minute. After a near deadlock at Selhurst Park, the Citizens seemed to have closed in on a deserved win to heap pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal.
After the goal, the Premier League champions continued to dominate play and were close to a second goal as Crystal Palace seemed to have break off from the defense, charging upfield for an equaliser.
The match ended with Manchester city securing a narrow 0-1 victory to inch close on Premier League leaders Arsenal.