Mistake-riddled performance sees City drop three points – Manchester City 0-2 Crystal Palace Review
City go down 0-2 at home in a performance to forget for the fans, the players and Laporte especially. Goals from Wilfried Zaha and Conor Gallagher did the damage.
Pep Guardiola once again dived deep into his supply of players and made several changes from the loss on penalties against West Ham. Ederson returned in goals, with Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Kyle Walker ahead of him. Rodri sat in midfield with the in-form Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne for company. Gabriel Jesus started wide right with Jack Grealish on the left and Phil Foden in the now-familiar role through the middle.
As this is City’s final home fixture before remembrance Sunday, there was a period of silence before kick-off. Wreaths were laid in the centre circle by Pep Guardiola and Patrick Vieira.
The game started as City games tend to do, particularly at home, with City having the majority of the ball. That didn’t stop Palace taking the lead, however.
A mistake from Aymeric Laporte allowed in Wilfried Zaha who found the bottom corner of Ederson’s goal. Poor from the centre back and the keeper hardly covered himself in glory. City were a goal down.
Overall, it was a poor start from City and Palace were pushing for goals whenever they saw the chance. City looked shaky ever since the goal was conceded.
Of course, being a goal up so early allowed Palace to pull out their book of tricks. As early as the 20-minute mark they were timewasting at every opportunity. Andre Marriner of course just allowing it to happen with impunity.
City fashioned a good chance after half an hour. Some nice work from Jack Grealish and Rodri teed up Gabriel Jesus but ultimately it ended in a Palace goal kick. Hardly an exhibition half from Manchester City.
The City fans periodically tried to remind the officials during the first half that time-wasting is actually against the rules. Andre Marriner was having none of that though. Absolutely disgraceful officiating as we expect here in the Premier League.
Gifting Palace a goal wasn’t enough for Aymeric Laporte though, he decided to make matters worse by getting himself sent off. He brought down Wilfried Zaha as the last man and Andre Marriner finally found his cards and whistle and City were down to ten men.
City ended the half a goal down, a man down, and to say they were playing poorly would be an understatement. It was a horrendous half of football.
Pep made no changes at the half, but Zinchenko, Raheem Sterling and Nathan Ake were soon warming up alongside the pitch. Pep seemingly happy with just the three defenders on the pitch.
City had a couple of shots at Vicente Guaita’s goal early on in the second half. Rodri and Joao Cancelo tried their luck, but nothing troubled the Palace keeper. In the 55th minute, Phil Foden fired a lovely ball across the box but there was nobody there to meet it. It’s almost like this City side is crying out for a striker. Almost.
Wilfried Zaha appeared to fire Palace into a two-goal lead on the hour mark. Ederson again nowhere near saving it. Thankfully for City though, this time it was ruled offside. Pep took the opportunity here to replace Kevin De Bruyne with John Stones.
Almost immediately City went up the other end and Phil Foden provided Gabriel Jesus with a lovely ball and the Brazilian scored for City. Unfortunately for City, Phil Foden was ruled offside in the build-up and the goal was ruled out.
City could have had a penalty on the 70th minute mark, but Andre Marriner is fully against City today for whatever reason. The offside call on Foden was very tight, even though there was supposed to be doubt given in the favour of the attackers this season and the penalty decision here was just too obvious to ignore. He did though,
Ederson made a save in the 75th minute to deny Conor Gallagher. Pep then swapped out Joao Cancelo for Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish for Raheem Sterling. Last roll of the dice.
The Palace goalkeeper was finally booked in the 85th minute. He was allowed a full hour of timewasting before Andre Marriner decided that was enough damage to City and carded him. Yeah, thanks for that Andre.
In the 88th minute, Palace wrapped up the win. Conor Gallagher grabbed a goal on the break and it was all over.
Up next for Manchester City is the visit of Club Brugge to the Eithad on Wednesday, November 3rd at 20:00.
I have little issue with the cards City received overall. Laporte especially was just terrible. However, why is it that referees can watch blatant time-wasting tactics for nearly an entire match and suddenly forget where his cards are? Why is it one rule for Palace and another for City? It feels like we’re being cheated. Mainly because we are. The offside and the penalty on Foden the clear examples. Absolutely embarrassing officiating from him.
THE STRIKER ISSUE
When we beat a side by a few goals, like against Brighton when we won away 1-4, nobody cares about the striker issue. In tight games like this though, and against Southampton, that massive gap in City’s arsenal is all the more apparent. We needed a striker out there today. Phil Foden is City’s top scorer in the league this season with three goals. It’s not good enough for a title charge, and it won’t be.
MAN OF THE MATCH
I debated even including this section. It was a shambles from top to bottom. For the sake of a little bit of positivity, however, I will award it to Gabriel Jesus. He was far from the worst player out there today, and even though Foden was offside, Jesus took his goal well at least. Yeah. That’s the highlight from today.
EDERSON – 2
CANCELO – 6
DIAS – 6
LAPORTE – 0
WALKER – 6
RODRI – 6
DE BRUYNE – 5
BERNARDO – 5
FODEN – 5
JESUS – 7
GREALISH – 5
Subs: Stones – 6, Mahrez – 6, Sterling – 6
Written by: @CityReportBen
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