Like Liverpool the year before, Manchester City’s title aspirations for this season have seemingly been ended at Selhurst Park. A 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace means that Manuel Pellegrini’s side now sit nine points, and three places, behind leaders Chelsea with just seven games to go.
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(Video) Yaya Toure goal v Crystal Palace keeps Manchester City in game
(Video) Jason Puncheon goal doubles Crystal Palace lead over Man City: Joe Hart possibly at fault
The first chance of the game came in the first two minutes. Former Manchester United man Wilfried Zaha failed to keep his effort down with the goal practically at his mercy.
And the away side looked like they had been woken up by the let-off, as they dominated the rest of the half. They were unable to find the back of the net however. The closest they came was when Sergio Aguero hit the post.
Then there was controversy as three claims for offside were turned down before Glenn Murray was able to tap into an empty net from a few yards ten minutes before half-time.
Astonishingly, it was Palace that doubled their lead three minutes after the interval. Fernandinho stupidly gave away a free-kick in a dangerous position, and Jason Puncheon was more than happy to take advantage. The midfielder curled a wonderful effort over the wall, and into the bottom corner. It seemed at that point that it was already game over, not just for the match, but for City’s season.
If Man City were angry about the first goal being allowed, it was nothing compared to a penalty shout midway through the second-half. The goalscorer, Murray appeared to stop the ball with his hand, but referee, Michael Oliver was unmoved by the protests.
With fifteen minutes to go, Yaya Toure set up a tense finish when his powerful effort from the edge of the box curled past Julian Speroni, and into the far corner. But that was as good as it got for City, who will now be looking over their shoulder, and wondering whether they are under pressure to secure a place in the top four.