MANCHESTER CITY 2, CRYSTAL PALACE 2
Manchester City were denied victory after a 90th minute own goal by Fernandinho after Sergio Aguero’s double strike looked to have snatched all three points from a losing position against Crystal Palace.Embed from Getty Images
Aguero scored his 250th and 251st goals of his City career in his 360th appearance to cancel out Cenk Tosun’s first half opener before the own goal left City with just a point to show from their efforts against a highly defensive Palace despite Kevin De Bruyne hitting the bar early on and having a penalty decision overturned by VAR.
City’s profligacy in both penalty areas cost them once again as they peppered Palace with 25 shots and only converted 2 of them into goals.
The result left City 13 points adrift of Liverpool who have two games in hand ahead of the visit of Manchester United tomorrow.
With a game at Sheffield United on the immediate horizon, Pep Guardiola opted for just three changes to the side that beat Aston Villa.
Gabriel Jesus, Rodri, and Riyad Mahrez were benched, with Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, ad Bernardo Silva coming into the side.
And City started like the the losing side, attacking early and putting crosses in from early on but they had problems putting the ball away.
Kevin De Bruyne hit the crossbar with a 30 yard free kick with less than 15 minutes gone. With David Silva’s shot also blocked by Gary Cahill the Blues were wasteful against a Palace side more interested in slowing the game down and time wasting from the start.
And there was a shock on after Cenk Tosun’s header put Crystal Palace into the lead.
James McCarthy’s corner was flicked back across the face of goal for the Turkish striker to head home from 4 yards out 6 minutes from half time.
And Tosun had the ball in the back of the net again shortly after the restart but it was quickly ruled out after a blatant foul on Fernandinho as City reeled.
Bernardo Silva had a shot tipped over by Vincente Guaita while De Bruyne was robbed by Jairo Reidewald just as he ran clear.
But Riedewald was at the centre of controversy again a minute later when Joao Cancelo’s cross seemed to hit his hand after coming off his boot.
Referee Graham Scott signalled for the penalty only for VAR John Brooks to turn it over to sounds of derision from the muted Etihad stadium.
City looked bereft until Gabriel Jesus crossed for Sergio Aguero to volley home from 2 yards out for his 250th goal for City with 8 minutes to go.
City took the lead with 3 minutes to go when one of Benjamin Mendy’s crosses found Aguero 10 yards from goal and he headed past a diving Vincente Guaita to leave the Etihad rocking.
But Guardiola was beside himself on the ground as Fernandinho put through his own goal in the 90th minute after Wilfried Zaha raced past John Stones and cut the ball back with Conor Wickham battling with Fernandinho to reach it.
PLAYER RATINGS – Manchester City 2, Crystal Palace 2
Ederson: 6. No chance with Tosun’s goal but some risky adventures. Saved shots from Tosun and Wilfried Zaha in the second half.
Joao Cancelo: 6. Won his battle against Wilfried Zaha until the very end when the Ivory Coast man created the Palace equaliser.
Fernandinho: 5. Tried long punts into the Palace box. Missed Cenk Tosun in the area for the Palace goal. Own goal right at the end denied City the win.
John Stones: 6. Muscled Zaha off the ball and escaped a penalty claim. Missed the corner to Gary Cahill which ended in a Palace goal. Was too slow to stop Wilfried Zaha from going past him to cut back the all which ended in the equaliser.
Benjamin Mendy: 7. Many attacking crosses from the start but little end product until one cross found Sergio Aguero at the end.
Ilkay Gundogan: 5. Sat deep in front of the back 4 but couldn’t produce much penetration into the packed Palace midfield.
Kevin De Bruyne: 7. Ranged all over the pitch looking for opportunities to hurt Palace. Hit the crossbar with a rocket of a free kick from 30 yards out. Robbed by Jairo Riedwald just as he was about to go clean through in the second half and curled a shot over the bar as City chased a winner.
David Silva: 6. Captain for his 300th Premier League appearance, full of tricks but no end product.
Bernardo Silva: 5. Not much luck with his crosses, swapped flanks with Raheem Sterling. Had a shot charged down by Vincente Guaita as City pressed in the second half.
Raheem Sterling: 5. Shooting boots left at home – ball control poor, shot curled wide when slipped clean through by David Silva.
Sergio Aguero: 8. Feeding on scraps as he found it difficult to escape from Palace defenders until two late strikes put City in a winning position.
Gabriel Jesus (on for David Silva, 62): 7. Switched to the left flank, releasing Raheem Sterling to the right flank. Good touches but blazed over in front of goal. Curling cut back found Sergio Aguero for the equaliser.
Riyad Mahrez (on for Bernardo Silva, 73): 6. Some neat moves but no impact.
Rodrigo (on for Raheem Sterling, 89): No time to mark
GOALS – Manchester City 2, Crystal Palace 2
Man City 0, Crystal Palace 1: 39. Cenk Tosun’s header put Crystal Palace into the lead. James McCarthy’s corner was flicked back across the face of goal for the Turkish striker to head home from 4 yards out.
Man City 1, Crystal Palace 1: 82. Gabriel Jesus crossed for Sergio Aguero to volley home from 2 yards out for his 250th goal for City
Man City 2. Crystal Palace 1: 87. Sergio Aguero’s header put City into the lead from 10 yards after one of Benjamin Mendy’s crosses hit the spot.
Man City 2, Crystal Palace 2: 90. Wilfried Zaha outpaced John Stones and his cross was turned into his own net by Fernandinho under pressure from Conor Wickham
MATCH STATS – Manchester City 2, Crystal Palace 2
Man City: Ederson, Cancelo, Fernandinho, Stones, Mendy, Gundogan, De Bruyne, David Silva (Jesus 62), Bernardo Silva (Mahrez 73), Sterling (Rodrigo 89), Aguero
Man City Subs not used: Bravo, Walker, Otamendi, Foden
Booking: Mendy 58 (foul on Jordan Ayew)
Goals: Aguero 82, 87
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Kelly, Tomkins, Cahill, Riedewald (Ward 88), Zaha, Kouyate, McCarthy, McArthur, J Ayew, Tosun (Wickham 81)
Crystal Palace Subs not used: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Woods, McGregor, Pierrick
Bookings: McArthur 13 (foul on Sergio Aguero); J Ayew 26 (foul on Benjamin Mendy).
Goals: Tosun 39; Fernandinho og 90
Referee: Graham Scott