Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City – Football Match Report – March 11, 2023

Manchester City needed a second-half penalty from striker Erling Haaland to break the resistance of a stubborn Crystal Palace and earn a 1-0 Premier League win at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

The win put City on 61 points after 27 games, two behind leaders Arsenal, who play Fulham on Sunday, and 12 ahead of third-placed Manchester United.

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The visitors got off to a quick start, with midfielder Rodri volleying a powerful shot straight at keeper Vicente Guaita in the third minute and Jack Grealish narrowly missing a shot, but as the home side ramped up their defence, City found it difficult to break them.

In a show of frustration, Haaland hit a shot on target from a very tight angle just before the half-hour mark and then blasted the rebound wide as his side dominated possession.

City had an excellent chance early in the second half when Jack Grealish was fouled on the edge of the box, but Guaita made a tremendous save to ward off Phil Foden’s free-kick.

City got even closer after the hour mark when substitute Julian Alvarez turned Bernardo Silva’s ball brilliantly on the edge of the box but his shot went over the bar and the goal was at his mercy.

With Palace occasionally stretching six defenders over their backs and using their forwards to clog up the middle, Haaland was repeatedly forced off and City had to constantly recycle the ball as they sought space to play.

City’s breakthrough finally came when captain Ilkay Gündogan was turned on his head by Michael Olise in the penalty area after a clumsy late tackle.

Undeterred by his long periods without the ball, Haaland stepped forward and hammered home the keeper’s left-hand free-kick in the 78th minute to score his 28th goal of the season in the league and his 34th in all competitions.

With Palace failing to score in their third consecutive Premier League game, an animated Haaland celebrated with the traveling fans at the final whistle after a frustrating evening finally ended well.

“It’s okay, we have to play in different ways. People are adapting to us as a team and how we play because it’s been four Premier Leagues (titles) in the last five years,” Haaland told Sky Sports.

“What can I do? There’s nothing I can do about what they’re doing, we just have to try and do our best and perform,” he added.

After an electrifying start to the season, the 22-year-old Norwegian has had to work harder to convert his scoring chances as teams get better at knocking him out, but he’s enjoying the challenge.

“I enjoy it, this is England, it’s what I’ve looked at all my life. I enjoy every single second that I’m there. It’s good to be in the thick of things,” he said. Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City – Football Match Report – March 11, 2023

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