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22 December 2018 Venue Etihad Stadium Attendance

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Match Previews

The Palace Preview: Manchester City

20 December 2018

This Saturday, Crystal Palace head north to Manchester where they will face the current champions of English football and, while the odds may seem stacked strongly against them, the Eagles enjoyed a well-earned draw with Manchester City in the last fixture between the two clubs.

City have had a turbulent time over the course of their history, being founded in 1880 as St Mark's before becoming Manchester City in 1894. Years later, the club enjoyed a remarkable purple patch in the 1960s under the leadership of Joe Mercer and former Palace manager Malcolm Allison. During the time the pair were in charge, the Citizens won the First Division title despite having started the 1967/68 season at 200/1 to win.

More recently, City have won the Premier League three times in their past eight seasons, finishing runners-up twice while winning an FA Cup, three League Cups and two Community Shields. 

And while Palace have struggled of late against such a strong side who have beaten them in 10 of the last 12 meetings, a resolute Eagles team did pull off a 0-0 draw to shock the footballing world back on New Year's Eve 2017. Luka Milivojevic missed a 92nd-minute penalty that day and so the Eagles were unfortunate not to end the year in style with two more surprise points.

Captain Milivojevic went on in the next match to score Palace's winner over Southampton in the 80th minute, his team no doubt boosted by achieving a strong result against such talented opposition just three days before.

Moving forward a year and it is again Milivojevic grabbing the headlines for Palace, and another reason the team will be boosted going into this tough fixture is their pleasing victory over former champions Leicester City last Saturday, won, of course, by the skipper's stunning strike.

Milivojevic's long-range hit secured three points at Selhurst Park for the second game running, the first time all season that the Eagles have won back-to-back home matches. Going forward, then, the question is whether they can carry that form into away matches, though typically the home advantage for Palace arises from their vocal, passionate home support.

And with a sold-out crowd heading to the Etihad Stadium, the Eagles are sure to have their relentless, driven fans carrying them throughout the 90 minutes.

One man no doubt looking to prevent a Palace upset will be Leroy Sane and, while it's hard to pick out a single stand-out talent from the City squad, the German midfielder has been in remarkable form of late, having scored three times and nabbed four assists from just his past five matches. 

It is in defence, though, where the Eagles have been strongest this season, and Palace have kept three clean sheets from their past fives matches including their latest result with Leicester. Strengthened both by the return of James Tomkins and exceptional performance from Man of the Match Martin Kelly, the Palace backline has choices available to them and will be certain to put in a resolute, solid performance on Saturday.

Team News

Return here for full updates both on the Palace and City squad from Hodgson and Pep Guardiola after they deliver their respective pre-match press conferences. The Eagles were without shot-stopper Wayne Hennessey against Leicester and are still monitoring the fitness of forward Connor Wickham, though he is available for selection.

For City, John Stones will be assessed over the week due to a slight knee injury while David Silva remains injured until January. However, Kevin De Bruyne returned to action by playing 15 minutes in the Citizen's win over Everton last Saturday.

Sergio Aguero is likely to be available to play having missed their previous four fixtures. He has been directly involved in five goals in his last fourPremier League games against Palace.

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Match Reports

Report: Manchester City 2-3 Crystal Palace

22 December 2018

Christmas came early for Crystal Palace as they beat Manchester City 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium to record one of their best ever victories in top-flight football.

Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring for City but two goals in two minutes from Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend sent the Eagles into a shock lead over the reigning champions at the break, which was added to by Luka Milivojevic from the penalty spot shortly after play resumed.

There were to be plenty of bitten fingernails in the away end with time ticking away as  a mis-hit Kevin de Bruyne cross flew into the net with five minutes to go, but Roy Hodgson’s team clung on to record their third win in their last five outings.

Almost as was expected the early stages were one-way traffic, and indeed Palace’s first touch came after 70 seconds when Vicente Guaita tipped over a fizzing half-volley by Fabian Delph after City kept possession from kick-off, and then Leroy Sane struck into the side-netting and Bernardo Silva saw a shot blocked from close range.

The ball almost seemed stuck in the Palace half and allowed for further chances as Sane saw a dipping shot held by Guaita, but on 27 minutes the Eagles’ resilience ended when the home side took the lead. Kyle Walker switched play out to Sane on the opposite flank who found Delph, and given plenty of time the left-back whipped a fine delivery into the area that was just begging to be attacked and Gundogan dispatched it into the net with his head.

However if anyone thought that the result was already merely a formality, they were truly mistaken as Hodgson’s team found themselves draw level on 33 minutes. Wilfried Zaha latched onto a long ball and tricked his way past Aymeric Laporte and possession went through Townsend and McArthur before finding its way to Schlupp. He took a touch to put the ball onto his left foot, and then fired accurately past Ederson’s reach into the bottom corner.

And things would get even better for the Eagles as they stunned the home crowd into silence by netting a contender for the Premier League’s Goal of the Season just two minutes later to turn the game on its head. Patrick van Aanholt sent a free-kick into the area which was headed out by Silva, but from 30 yards Townsend wrapped his left boot around the ball and sent it dipping into the top corner to send the visiting supporters crazy.

Shell-shocked City retreated into half-time trailing but a Guardiola pep talk couldn’t inspire them out of their slumber, and on 51 minutes Palace incredibly found a third. Aaron Wan-Bissaka edged down the right and put a low cross into the box which Townsend attacked with his head and struck the post, with the ball rebounding into the path of Max Meyer who was chopped down by Walker. Andre Marriner rightly pointed to the spot, allowing Milivojevic to convert from 12 yards and send his team into dreamland.

In an attempt to try and salvage something from the game, Guardiola sent on Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez but Palace continued to hold firm and only a Gundogan blast that whistled wide was their only scare in the first half of the second 45, however hearts were in mouths when Sane sent a free-kick over the wall on 76 minutes but saw it clatter into the post.

However fortune favoured City with five minutes to go when De Bruyne attempted to send a cross into the area which seemed to be going wide, but saw it fly over Guaita’s head instead and into the net to set up a grandstand finish, and in stoppage-time it looked set that City would equalise when another dangerous De Bruyne delivery found Gabriel Jesus unmarked in the box, but he headed a glorious chance over as the Eagles held on to a famous win.

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi (Aguero 50), Laporte, Stones, Delph (De Bruyne 62), B. Silva, Gundogan, Sterling (Mahrez 69), Sane, Jesus. Subs not used: Muric, Danilo, Zinchenko, Foden.

Palace: Guaita, Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt, McArthur, Milivojevic, Schlupp, Meyer (Puncheon 90), Townsend, Zaha (Ayew 88). Subs not used: Speroni, Ward, Dann, Riedewald, Sørloth.

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Ticket News

TICKETS: Manchester City Sold-Out

6 December 2018

Tickets for Crystal Palace's game against Manchester City on December 22nd have now sold-out for away fans.

The fixture, which will be at the Etihad Stadium, will see Palace travel to Manchester for their first match with City this season.

If you would like to join the waiting list for tickets you can do so by clicking here.

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