Manchester City 2 Crystal Palace 3: Townsend wonderstrike stuns Guardiola's men

Adjust Comment Print

Townsend's incredible 30-yard strike put Palace 2-1 up at the Etihad Stadium with Roy Hodgson's side eventually coming through 3-2 to inflict a first home defeat on City in the Premier League this season.

Manchester City were not at their best in the opening stages of the game, but took the lead through Ilkay Gundogan after 27 minutes.

Aguero, who replaced Nicolas Otamendi as Guardiola chased the game at 2-1, and De Bruyne started the midweek Carabao Cup triumph at Leicester City following recent lay-offs, while Guardiola watched John Stones turn in a mixed performance at the base of his midfield in Fernandinho's injury-enforced absence.

A key figure in City's record-breaking Premier League campaign last season and England's run to the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals, Walker looked to be running on empty as he was at fault for the two avoidable Palace goals.

The fear for Pep Guardiola however will be how Crystal Palace made so much of their rare ventures forward.

Townsend will rightfully hog the headlines but Wan-Bissaka did much to enhance his burgeoning reputation, keeping the in-form Sane on a short leash and making a succession of courageous challenges.

City could only claw one goal back through Kevin De Bruyne five minutes from time to ensure Liverpool will be four points clear at the top of the pile at Christmas.

But Palace trailed for just six minutes as they surprised City by pushing back.

One social media user even went as far as to claim they would name their newborn baby after the player should Palace win the game. Subs: Aguero 5, De Bruyne 7, Mahrez 5.

The defeat was City's second in three league games and handed the title initiative to Liverpool.

He said: "The third goal, the penalty, was really tough for us".

And City were hit for six three minutes later when Andros Townsend scored a contender for goal of the season.

"When you have a lot of games, everyone has to play".

De Bruyne's freak goal then set nerves jangling and Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus spurned free-headed chances for Palace to hold on.

The early signs suggested that it would be another comfortable afternoon for City, who had won 10 of their last 12 Premier League matches against Palace overall and 10 in a row on home soil in all competitions ahead of this latest tussle.