Manchester City’s record breaking win streak came to an end in Selhurst Park as the Citizens were unable to break down a resilient Crystal Palace side.
Sergio Aguero had the best chance for the visitors when the Argentine struck the post shortly after coming on in the first half. Palace could had sealed a shock win late on in the game when they were awarded a penalty, but Luka Milivojevic was unable to convert from the spot.
A break-neck start
City started the game with the flair and precision that has made them the runaway leaders in the Premier League. Kevin De Bruyne was working his magic early at Selhurst Park, splitting the Palace defence with ease, and allowing Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva to threaten Wayne Hennessey.
However, it was Ederson that was tested first as 10 minutes in the summer signing from Benfica rushed out of his area to clear a ball, but the Brazilian timed his run to late, and Christian Benteke was able to meet the ball first. But, the former Liverpool striker’s shot was well blocked by Danilo.
Ederson was called into action again two minutes later, as the City keeper had to react late to a Patrick van Aanholt strike from 25-yards out, but despite seeing it late, Ederson was able to claw the ball away for a corner.
Palace were forced into a early change, as captain Scott Dann went down following a collision with Kevin De Bruyne outside the area. After some time with the medical team, the centre back was stretched off with an apparent knee injury.
City were also forced into making an early sub, as their Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus pulled up with a knee injury, bringing his day to an early end as well. Aguero replaced the crying 20-year-old attacker in the 23rd minute.
Aguero made a great early impression following is earlier-than-expected cameo. The all-time record Manchester City goal scorer smacked the frame of the post moments after coming on 29 minutes in, and the Argentine was making it hard for the Palace defenders to keep a marker on him with his speed.
But Palace remained far from out of this contest. In fact, the home team at times looked the far superior side. Wilfried Zaha made Kyle Walker dizzy on more than one occasion down the right wing, and the positioning of Jairo Riedewald made it hard for the City midfield to create as many chances as they were hoping for.
The slowest of restarts
If the first half was quick, exciting, and end-to-end, then the second half was the complete polar opposite. Palace and City were slow, dull and meticulous with their passages of play. Pep Guardiola’s men enjoyed more of the possession, but the quality of chances were poor for City’s standards.
The second half, though, burst into life just past the hour mark when Hennessey, who had a quiet game, was brought into action when Sane found himself free inside the area. But the German winger’s shot was well tipped over by the Welsh goalkeeper, keeping the Eagles in the game.
Andors Townsend should have given Palace the lead 12 minutes before the fulltime whistle, when a golden chance arrived to the former Newcastle United winger when the ball fall to his feet 12-yards from goal and with acres of space. But, the Palace number 10 blasted the ball high over the bar, wasting a vital chance for the hosts.
Palace looked set to be the team that would end City’s winning streak, but the hosts could had become to team to end Pep’s unbeaten run in the Premier League this season when Zaha was brought down in the penalty area by Raheem Sterling, and the referee pointed to the spot.
Milivojevic was the one given the opportunity to hive the relegation threaten side a chance to take a shock lead against the runaway league leaders. But, Ederson correctly guessed which way the midfielder would shoot, and the former Benfica keeper denied Milivojevic from the spot.
Directly from the save City broke. However, the counter attack quickly fizzled out when Jason Puncheon completely took out De Bruyne, injuring himself in the process. After some time down, both players were stretchered off, and the game came to an adrenalin-filled end.