Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City: 3 Reasons why Cityzens won the game | Premier League 2019-20
Crystal Palace hosted Manchester City at Selhurst Park for a clash that saw the Eagles lose thanks to two quick goals in succession in the first half. This puts Palace in the 6th position, while Manchester City continue chasing first-placed Liverpool who sit five points above them with a game in hand.
Pep Guardiola chose to keep Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez on the bench, opting to use his standard 4-3-3 formation with Gabriel Jesus as the lone striker, flanked by Raheem Sterling on the left-wing and Bernardo Silva on the right. David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne slotted on either side of Ilkay Gundogan to form the midfield trio behind the attack, while the back four consisted of Benjamin Mendy on the left, Joao Cancelo on the right, and a centre-back partnership of Fernandinho and Rodrigo. Ederson took his place between the sticks as City's last line of defence.
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson opted to field his team in a 4-5-1 formation that saw Jordan Ayew take the focal point of attack up front. Behind him, the midfield five consisted of Jeffrey Schlupp and Wilfried Zaha on the left and right wings respectively, and a centre-trio of James McArthur, Luka Milivojevic, and Cheikhou Kouyate. Behind them, Patrick van Aanholt and Joel Ward took up full-back roles, and the centre-backs were Gary Cahill and James Tomkins. In goal, Wayne Hennessey took his spot.
The game began entirely in Manchester City's favour as the Cityzens ruthlessly took charge of the proceedings. Notably, throughout the first half, City goalkeeper Ederson was totally undisturbed in goal and didn't have to make a single save. City created chance after chance, and for a while, it looked like Palace would be able to hold their own against their opponents.
However, 39 minutes into the game, a goal by Gabriel Jesus sparked the game into life and opened up the scoring for the Cityzens. Bernardo Silva's accurate cross from the right wing was met by Jesus with a diving header, and the ball ricocheted off the far post before entering the net.
Only two minutes later, a quick counter by City saw an unmarked David Silva receive a perfectly chipped and defence-splitting through-pass from Sterling. One-on-one with the keeper, Silva volleyed the ball on first touch through Hennessey's legs to give the Cityzens their second and final goal of the evening.
Although there were other chances for City to increase their lead dramatically in the second half, it simply wasn't to be. City and Guardiola will be pleased that the scintillating performance they produced away from home, and their fans will now await Liverpool's game tomorrow in the hopes that the Reds' title charge will be slowed down at Old Trafford.
Without further ado, let's take a look at three reasons why the Cityzens won the game.
#3 City took charge of the entire game
The Cityzens hardly put a foot wrong throughout a game that totally favoured their approach. They held a lot of possession (71%) with which they spent quite a lengthy amount of time in their opponent's side of the field. They dominated the midfield totally, building their rhythm and instigating attacks that kept Palace defending for long spells.
City created many chances from every segment of the pitch, even though they favoured their left wing more. They permeated Palace's defence more times than Roy Hodgson would be pleased about, evidenced with 81% of their 21 shots coming from within the 18-yard box.
They overwhelmed the Eagles, and while they took all three points at Selhurst Park, Pep Guardiola would be very aware of how many chances his team created compared to the low number of goals they scored.