Sterling Brace Helps City Triumph Over Palace
Manchester City battled past a late scare to gather all three points at Selhurst Park in their quest for retaining the Premier League trophy. Ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Chelsea, City had to make sure that they marched on in the title race. A win over Crystal Palace was imperative to ensure they held their fate in their own hands. A brace from Raheem Sterling and a late goal from substitute Gabriel Jesus handed the win to the Citizens. The win puts all the pressure on the Reds because another slip up against Chelsea would just be haunting premonition of the past. Pep Guardiola’s side however, resisted the pressure and notched a crucial away win.
Dominant Sterling and Co.
Raheem Sterling has been on inspired form lately and he carried that through into this game as well. Despite missing a sitter early on, he made amends by finishing a through ball from Kevin De Bruyne brilliantly. He then slid home his second from a Leroy Sane cross in the second half. City bossed the game in general keeping a very high tempo, quick passing and pressing. They had 20 total attempts on goal and 72 percent possession.
Kevin De Bruyne Masterclass
Kevin De Bruyne not only set up goals for Sterling and Jesus, but he was also at the center of everything City conjured up. He boasted a pass success rate of 90%. Additionally, he was also superb defensively. KDB constantly tracked back to win possession, play out from the back and got stuck into tackles. He neutralized the threat of Wilfried Zaha multiple times by dispossessing him and even blocking one of his attempts on goal. He won 9 duels and made 3 out 5 tackles successfully as well.
Luka Milivojevic scored an emphatic free kick for Palace 9 minutes from time. This set up a nervy finish for the reigning champs because Crystal Palace have infamously caused quite a few problems for City in the past. Also, they have had major roles to play in title races where Liverpool and City are involved. However, KDB’s great assist to Jesus after a scintillating City counter eased the tensions and City keep marching on. They now sit on top of the table provisionally with 83 points as well as a better goal difference than Liverpool. Its over to the Reds now in this terrific race to the finish.
Photo credit to Manchester City via Twitter