Fragile Manchester City throw away victory after late

Manchester City threw away a two-goal lead in their final Premier League game before the Club World Cup as Michael Olise struck at the death to earn Crystal Palace a 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s men will jet off to Saudi Arabia in the coming days with a feeling of frustration after failing to see out what appeared to be a routine win against Roy Hodgson’s side.

They were once again forced to make do without 15-goal talisman Erling Haaland, who missed the 3-2 win over Crvena Zvezda midweek with a foot injury, with Julian Alvarez leading the line.

It took a while for City to get into their groove, with Alvarez and Ruben Dias both missing half chances. But Jack Grealish broke the deadlock on 24 minutes after being sent in on goal by Phil Foden, with the $126 million winger making no mistake with the finish.

Rico Lewis of Manchester City celebrates scoringADAM VAUGHANEFE

The goal was checked for a lengthy period by VAR for offside before the referee pointed to the center circle. City were able to breathe a sigh of relief when 18-year-old Rico Lewis doubled their advantage nine minutes into the second half.

Palace breach fragile City defense

Much like a glass house, the City defense looked vulnerable when surrounded as Palace decided to commit more bodies forward. Dean Henderson denied Bernardo Silva with a crucial save and it would prove to be pivotal, as Jean-Philippe Mateta got the visitors back in the game with their first shot on target.

Then, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Palace were awarded a penalty after Foden was penalised by referee Paul Tierney. Up stepped Michael Olise and the young Frenchman looked composed from the spot as he beat Ederson with his spot-kick.

Michael Olise of Crystal Palace scores the 2-2 goal

Michael Olise of Crystal Palace scores the 2-2 goalADAM VAUGHANEFE

Liverpool moving off into the distance

The Etihad was something of a fortress not so long ago after embarking on a run of 15 straight victories at home in the Premier League, now looks an inviting place for teams to get a result. Since their winning run ended, the treble winners have drawn all three of their last matches in front of their own fans – and have just win one from their last six in all competitions.

On Sunday, Liverpool will have a golden opportunity to put six points between themselves and Guardiola’s team if they beat Manchester United. That would represent a considerable distance, even at this early stage in the season, as Guardiola’s attention now turns to their next fixture against Urawa Red Diamonds on December 19.

Source link