Palace Stun Man City with Late Penalty Drama

Palace Stun Man City with Late Penalty Drama

Manchester City’s defense of the Premier League title faced another setback when Crystal Palace mounted a comeback from a two-goal deficit, securing a 2-2 draw with Michael Olise’s late penalty on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s team initially took control with Jack Grealish opening the scoring in the first half and Rico Lewis extending the lead after the break. However, the champions faltered in the second half at the Etihad Stadium. Jean-Philippe Mateta narrowed the gap in the closing stages, and Olise converted a crucial penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

This result marks the fifth instance in six league games where Pep Guardiola’s men have dropped points, having previously drawn with Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham, and suffered a defeat to Aston Villa before a 2-1 win at Luton last Sunday.

Heading to Saudi Arabia for the Club World Cup, this was City’s last match, leaving them fourth in the table, trailing leaders Liverpool by three points. The latter hosts Manchester United on Sunday.

While City’s quest for an unprecedented fourth successive title is in jeopardy, Guardiola will likely remind his players of their comeback from an eight-point deficit against Arsenal late in the previous season.

Playing without the injured Erling Haaland once again, City dominated the early stages. Dean Henderson, the Palace goalkeeper, made a crucial save from a fifth-minute Julian Alvarez header.

City broke the deadlock in the 24th minute when Phil Foden set up Grealish, who calmly slotted past Henderson for his third goal in as many league games, with the effort confirmed after an extensive VAR check for offside.

Although City had the ball in the net again early in the second half, the goal was disallowed due to offside against Rodri. Lewis secured City’s second in the 54th minute, with the 19-year-old’s first Premier League goal confirmed after a VAR review.

City appeared to be in control, but Palace mounted a comeback in the 76th minute when a long ball found Jeffrey Schlupp, who set up Mateta to slide home, unsettling Guardiola’s team.

In stoppage time, City fans’ anxieties came to fruition as Foden fouled Mateta in the box. Referee Paul Tierney pointed to the spot, and Olise calmly dispatched the penalty past Ederson.