Today is a baseball holiday, but Palace and Man City was on in the background. Here's how it went down.
Crystal Palace 2-1 Manchester City
Everybody's favorite (well, my favorite at least) scrappy little club with bonkers support is at it again. Them and their thieving points from teams fighting for the title.
Glen Murray competed a nice string of almost offside passes in the 32nd to put Palace in front despite being outpossessed 70-30 at the time. They carried that lead on into halftime, too. Things went from worse to worse for City after the break. Just two minutes in, Jason Puncheon punched in a free kick from about ten yards outside the penalty area to make it 2-0 to the underdogs. Yaya Toure bent one in from outside the box in the 78th to make the ending interesting. but it wasn't enough, despite City's 74-26 advantage in possession.
The result was not without it's controversy, however. There were many claims for handball after a shot was blocked in the box by Palace's defenders. They claims were valid, as it appeared the ball struck an outstretched arm.
Regardless the Eagles unexpectedly took all three points.
Palace essentially employed the now tried and true strategy for defeating Manchester City. City's emphasis on attack often leaves them open at the back and vulnerable to counterattacks. Both of Palace's goals came from counters. First, Murray's tap in was the end result of some slick passing in transition through City's ragged defense. The second came when Murray drew a foul while trying to run over City's back line. Both were symptoms of City perhaps overemphasizing their attack.
The result means City falls to fourth in the table, still with a firm grip on a Champions League spot, but nowhere near their repeat title aspirations. Arsenal holds on to second position, while Manchester United sits in third.
As far as Palace is concerned, they will make more progress towards their highest ever Premier League finish. This season was already their first back to back stay in the top flight, now they will surly hang around for a third season.