On Saturday, Erling Haaland’s penalty kick was the difference in a hard-fought 1-0 victory for Manchester City against Crystal Palace. This victory allowed Manchester City to get within two points of the Premier League leaders, Arsenal.
In a rain-soaked Selhurst Park, the team coached by Pep Guardiola had difficulty breaking through Palace’s defence until Haaland scored from the penalty spot with 12 minutes remaining in regulation. That was enough for Haaland to score his 34th goal in all competitions since joining City from Borussia Dortmund a year ago, and it was enough for City to win their fifth consecutive league game.
After maintaining the pressure on Arsenal, the defending champions will now be hoping that Mikel Arteta’s team will make a mistake when they play their game in hand away to Fulham on Sunday.
“Obviously, Arsenal is having a phenomenal run right now. Nevertheless, we are in this position “Guardiola stated.
“This was a normal winter game, and it was a tough one; yet, we were in the game the whole time, and we eventually won it.”
Even though City wasn’t playing at their most fluid level, the hard-fought win was necessary in order to prevent Arsenal from pulling farther ahead in the championship chase.
“From what I’ve seen on our previous visits, the situation is consistently difficult. Since we always want to score more goals, we always have a lot of trouble “Guardiola stated.
“Everything was to my satisfaction. It will not be simple since they have six players defending inside the box, and Erling will have two people marking him. It was a test of one’s capacity for patience.”
Now, Haaland and the rest of his teammates will turn their attention to the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 match against Leipzig, which will take place on Tuesday in Manchester. The tie now stands at 1-1.
Palace is now the team in the Premier League with the longest active winless run. They have played 10 games in 2023 and have not won a single one of them, which is a terrible streak that has left them just four points above the zone that denotes the relegation zone.
Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker were both placed on the bench by Pep Guardiola. Walker’s banishment came only a few days after the inquiry into claims that the England defender indecently exposed himself in a pub was opened by the authorities.
Rodri’s powerful volley was saved by Palace’s Vicente Guaita as City got off to a good start in the game.
Jeffrey Schlupp was able to prevent Ruben Dias from putting away the loose ball by blocking his shot, and Jack Grealish’s subsequent shooting went just wide of the goal.
When Phil Foden recklessly gave up control of the ball, City were in danger of being caught off guard when Wilfried Zaha’s effort was blocked by Manuel Akanji, who had to run back to his position.