Home Sports Football Manchester City edge Crystal Palace to keep title hunt alive

Manchester City edge Crystal Palace to keep title hunt alive


Manchester City maintained their title challenge in ruthless fashion as “incredible” Kevin de Bruyne claimed his 100th goal for the club in a comeback 4-2 victory at Crystal Palace.

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In an entertaining encounter, Palace stunned City with an early opener from Jean-Philippe Mateta, before De Bruyne’s wonderful finish pulled the visitors level in the first half.

Mateta raced on to a pass from Adam Wharton and slotted the ball inside the far corner in only the third minute as noise erupted from the stands at Selhurst Park.

But De Bruyne’s curling effort was a sublime equaliser just 10 minutes later and, with a starring role for the rest of the game, City boss Pep Guardiola said their success was thanks to his “incredible” qualities.

“For many years he has been one of the best players for our club,” Guardiola said.

“What he has done in England has been unbelievable. Many goals, assists and consistency. We had four or five months without him and now we need him at the end of the season.

“I think he likes to score goals but I don’t know if he enjoys it more to make an assist. He is so generous with that – but he has to continue.”

Palace’s Jordan Ayew also struck the crossbar as Oliver Glasner’s side showed plenty of attacking threat but they were undone in the second half.

Having earlier made a crucial stop to deny Erling Haaland finishing off a clever De Bruyne through-ball, Palace goalkeeper Dean Henderson was unable to block Rico Lewis’ strike within two minutes of the second half.

The defending champions then took control as De Bruyne teed up Haaland again and this time the Norwegian striker finished, before the Belgian added a fourth – marking his century of goals for City since joining in 2015 – with a ferocious first-time shot.

Substitute Odsonne Edouard slotted in a late consolation for Palace but this was another crucial victory for Guardiola’s side in an enthralling three-way title race.

City moved level on points with leaders Liverpool, who visit Manchester United on Sunday, while Arsenal face Brighton later on Saturday.


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