Manchester City’s unbeaten streak at the Etihad Stadium remains intact as they secured a hard-fought draw against Crystal Palace. Despite taking an early lead and dominating the majority of the match, City were unable to hold on to their advantage, conceding a late penalty that resulted in a 2-2 draw.
The match marked City’s 29th consecutive unbeaten game at home, a remarkable feat that highlights their dominance on their own turf. However, it also highlighted their recent struggles, as they have now gone three games without a victory at home for the first time since 2016.
Crystal Palace, who had a mixed record in their previous visits to the Etihad Stadium, started the game positively. They managed to contain City’s forward line, even without talisman Erling Haaland. However, City soon began to assert their authority and create opportunities.
Jack Grealish opened the scoring for City with a clinical finish into the bottom corner, assisted by his England teammate Phil Foden. The goal showcased the chemistry between the two players and would have pleased national team manager Gareth Southgate, who was watching from the stands.
City continued to press forward, with Joško Gvardiol coming close to doubling their lead. However, Crystal Palace’s defense held firm, denying the Croatian forward. The visitors struggled to create chances until just before half-time when Jean-Philippe Mateta was brought down by City goalkeeper Ederson, resulting in a yellow card for the Brazilian shot-stopper.
After the break, City maintained their dominance and thought they had extended their lead through Julián Álvarez’s free-kick. However, the goal was disallowed due to an offside decision against Rodri. Nevertheless, City’s persistence paid off as Rico Lewis capitalized on a loose ball in the box to score his first Premier League goal, giving City a two-goal cushion.
With their comfortable lead, City looked set for another victory. However, Crystal Palace had other plans. A long ball over the City defense allowed Jeffrey Schlupp to set up Mateta for an easy tap-in, bringing the visitors back into the game.
As the match entered stoppage time, City’s hopes of victory were dashed when Foden fouled Mateta in the box, resulting in a penalty for Crystal Palace. Michael Olise stepped up and calmly converted the spot-kick, securing a memorable point for the Eagles.
Although disappointed with the draw, City’s unbeaten home record remains intact. Their dominance at the Etihad Stadium this season, with eight wins and two draws, is a testament to their strength as a team. However, they will need to address their recent struggles and regain their winning form if they want to maintain their position at the top of the Premier League table.
Overall, Manchester City’s draw against Crystal Palace showcased their resilience and the quality of their squad. Despite the disappointment of dropping points, they remain a formidable force at home and will undoubtedly bounce back in their quest for silverware.