Crystal Palace thrash Man City in Pep’s 200th game in charge
Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace earned a stunning 2-0 win at Man City as Wilfried Zaha and Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher spoiled the party in Pep Guardiola’s 200th Premier League game in charge at Etihad.
City endured a first home league defeat of the season and had center-back Aymeric Laporte sent off, the defender having earlier committed the error that gifted Zaha his sixth-minute opening goal – his 50th in the league for Palace.
The Spaniard, Laporte struggled to deal with the Eagles’ star forward and was caught out again in first-half stoppage time, denying Zaha a goalscoring opportunity as the last man with a poor challenge and being shown a direct red card.
Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher put the result beyond doubt with two minutes of normal time left to play, emphatically finishing off a counter-attack after good work from Zaha and youngster Michael Olise.
Zaha gave Palace a shock early lead as Gallagher – who has had an impressive season with Palace so far caught Laporte on the ball at the back before finding the Ivory Coast forward, who scuffed a low shot beyond Ederson and into the bottom-right corner.
City struggled to find their way for most of the first half and Laporte’s afternoon went from bad to worse just before the break as the center-back was shown a straight red card for putting Zaha down as the Eagles forward was set to go clean through on goal.
The hosts thought they had drawn level on the hour mark as substitute John Stones – just a minute after his introduction – picked out Phil Foden with a terrific raking pass and the 21-year-old clipped a ball to the back post where Jesus squeezed home from a tight angle, but the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside after a VAR check.
City pushed for an equalizer in the remaining half-hour, but Palace remained resolute and stung the hosts in the 88th minute. Zaha held the ball in the box before squaring to Olise, who laid it off for Gallagher with one touch, allowing the midfielder to thump into the top-right corner and ensure Guardiola’s landmark game ended with the Spanish boss empty-handed for once.
Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Newcastle United means the early leaders, Blues are now on 25 points, five clear of third-placed City after this surprise defeat.
Guardiola’s men were unbeaten in eight Premier League games winning six and drawing two, including a win at Chelsea, since an opening loss to Tottenham, but have now suffered their second league defeat of the season.
In nine appearances in the Premier League this season, Palace midfielder Gallagher has now been directly involved in five goals scoring three goals and assisting two, already surpassing his total tally from last season in 30 games with West Brom (two goals, two assists).
The Chelsea loanee has become a real threat in the final third and produced an impressive performance to help the Eagles to an unlikely three points.
Man City will be back in action in the middle of the week when they welcome Club Brugge to the Etihad Stadium in Champions League action on Wednesday, while Palace hosts Wolves next Saturday in a Premier League clash.