It was exactly 28 years to the day since Palace last won away to Manchester City and they got the advantage in this one during the first half when Andros Townsend fired home from 30 yards out to put the Eagles 2-1 ahead on 35 minutes.
“I knew I had to take it first time because the way Manchester City press, if you take a touch it would have probably ended in a counter attack and I hit it clean so as soon as it left my foot I knew it had a very good chance of going in. It was a big moment in the game and gave us a big lift when playing such a good side. Having watched it back it was definitely the best goal of my career, given the circumstances and the opposition I think it is probably the best side I have played in my career, you couldn’t get near them at times so to score against these, away from home, is certainly the best for me.
“We knew we had to ride our luck at times but to come here and score three goals and get maximum points is an incredible achievement for us,” said Townsend as he reflected on the result which was only the third home league defeat suffered by Pep Guardiola since taking over in 2016.
“It was incredible from every single player on the pitch; we knew if we were going to win today it wouldn’t be a pretty one. We wouldn’t have the majority of possession and create loads of chances. We worked tirelessly during the week on how we were going to stop their incredible players and we did it to a tee and I would say it was a deserved result in terms of a team coming here sticking to a game plan so in that sense was a well-earned victory for us.”
Townsend could have added to his account as he saw his header from Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross hit the woodwork but the missed chance was soon made up for as Luka Milivojevic converted his penalty to extend the advantage.
“I don’t normally get many with my head, that would of only been the second headed goal of my career, so that would have been nice but thankfully we got the penalty very soon after and we got the goal and that is the main thing. It was a good all round performance from us. If you look at the stats it shows 22% possession and people would think we held on but as I say we followed the game plan and you can’t do any more than that.”
Milivojevic missed a penalty in the home game almost a year ago against City but Townsend is not surprised how the Serbian has continued in fine form from the spot in the year that has followed.
“Luka doesn’t let it affect him and he has scored many penalties after that but I know that this one will have meant a lot to him in what turned out to be a winning goal. I’m happy for Luka, he has been playing well this season and scoring goals but we need now to follow it up with a good performance against Cardiff on Boxing Day.”
Two home games now to come for the Palace side in the next week and the feeling in the visitors dressing room after the game was same again needed as the festive matches continue.
“It is important now for the group not to get carried away and not to read all the headlines and focus on the game against Cardiff, the gaffer has said if we lose that one this result will mean nothing. So we need to enjoy tonight and then focus and get ready for the games coming up.”
Watch the post match reaction now or if viewing on the app go to Palace TV.