It was another disappointing day at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace continued to suffer at home as Manchester City produced a slick performance to win 3-0.
Goals from Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, and Yaya Toure late on sealed a comfortable 3-0 victory in South London for Pep Guardiola’s side. But for Sam Allardyce he was left to ponder as his side yet again made costly errors.
The FA Cup was always going to come secondary to the league, given Palace’s precarious position. Anything garnered from today would have been a bonus; but in the end Palace were outclassed for the majority of proceedings as their attentions now turn to a big game away to AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday evening.
‘Time will tell’ if Palace’s exit from the cup is blessing admits Allardyce
Speaking after the 3-0 loss, Allardyce said: “Only time will tell if that’s a blessing or not; every game that you play you want to go out and win it.”
Despite looking second best for much of the game, Palace did have their moments. And with Toure fortunate not to get sent-off, the outcome could have been very different.
Toure always seems to make the headlines at Selhurst, when he returned to the City side when the two teams met in the Premier League earlier in the season he scored both the goals in a 2-1 victory; and today he lucky as Michael Jones was lenient on the former Ivory Coast international.
He first picked up a yellow card for dissent, and then moments later he cynically pulled down Jordan Mutch as the Palace midfielder looked to burst away, but Jones decided it wasn’t worthy of a second yellow.
Speaking about the incident, Allardyce said: “Yeah should have been down to 10 men. Mutch has been booked for much less, just a minute before that, for me the referee hasn’t done his job.”
To top it off, Toure capped City’s fine performance off with a superb free-kick as the game entered the dying minutes.
Allardyce feels Palace have lost that ‘winning habit’
Allardyce’s only win as Palace boss was the fourth round replay against Bolton; and he feels his side have lost that ‘habit of winning.’
“Our game is Ok in parts and we look quite good and comfortable, but then the errors we make in a short amount of time, for me we’re working to minimise those errors; it’s been a problem since I’ve been here, and a problem again today,” said Allardyce.
It looked as though Palace would get to the interval all square, but a late goal from Sterling put pay to that.
Overall Allardyce was pleased with his side’s first-half performance, saying: “I thought we recovered from a sticky start, City controlled a lot of possession, then we sort of worked our way into the game with half chances, and then that soft goal we let in before half-time was gutting.”
At the start of the second period Palace took off Christian Benteke and replaced him with Loic Remy, and the Chelsea loanee made an impact.
He probably should have put his side on level terms, but his volley didn’t find the required target: “I thought we picked it up again, and Loic’s one was the main one, who knows what it might had been had we put that in the back of the net,” admitted Allardyce when asked about Remy’s impact.
“We chased the game and because it’s the FA Cup you’ve got to try and get back in it, and because we opened ourselves up the second goal was Manchester City at their best, given the quality they’ve got,” concluded Allardyce.