Manchester City were held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday night, giving hope to chasing Liverpool in the Premier League title race.

The result means City’s lead over second-place Liverpool stands at four points, with Jurgen Klopp’s side playing their game in hand against Arsenal on March 16.

With nearest challengers Liverpool having cut the gap to three points with their victory at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday – their eighth successive league win to remain in City’s rear-view mirror – the onus was the champions to respond.

“Luck doesn’t exist in football,” Guardiola said after the match. “We have to score goals and we didn’t do it.

“We played to score goals and concede few. We struggled a little bit. The team that was there today, was there before and will be there in the next game. I am very pleased with the performance and the way we played.”

The Premier League leaders dominated possession in the first half, but Palace defended well when needed and left Pep Guardiola’s side with nothing to show for it as the opening 45 minutes ended goalless.

Kevin De Bruyne hit the post shortly before the hour mark and Riyad Mahrez forced a save on his shot from the subsequent rebound as the visitors kept up the pressure on Palace.

City had another great chance in the 71st minute as Jack Grealish sent the ball right across the front of goal for a waiting Bernardo Silva, but he was only able to get a toe on the pass and it skittered past the far post from very close range.

The last side to stop City scoring in the Premier League was Palace in October, and another shutout was looking more likely as chances continued to come and go for City.

Guardiola’s men threw everything at Palace late on, but Palace dug in and held on as they stretched their unbeaten run to five games in all competitions to stay 11th. Those watching on Merseyside will have celebrated this result more than anyone else.

“When you play against City you have to concede chances,” Palace manager Patrick Vieira said. “It’s all about having your luck on the day, but also putting in a shift as a team.

“We did that today. We fought for the luck and we got a point. We’re happy with the performance.”

Man City host Liverpool on April 10 in a match that could go a long way to deciding who will lift the 2021-22 Premier League trophy.


Courtesy: ESPN

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