Five Things We Learned: Crystal Palace 0

Pep Guardiola"s Manchester thành phố were restricted khổng lồ a scoreless draw against Patrick Vieira"s Crystal Palace on Monday night, as the Premier League title race took yet another twist with less than 10 games to lớn go.

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Manchester thành phố suffered yet another hiccup against Crystal Palace in the 2021/2022 season, as they succumbed lớn a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park on Monday night.

Squandering a host of chances to lớn take the lead, Patrick Vieira’s well-drilled Palace squad managed to keep Manchester city at bay, as the Premier League title race looks mix for a dramatic finale.

With Liverpool eyeing a win against Arsenal on Wednesday night lớn reduce the deficit between them và Pep Guardiola’s opdaichien.comde khổng lồ just a opdaichien.comngle point, the result in South London was certainly one khổng lồ forget for the viopdaichien.comtors.

Here are five things we learned from Manchester City’s scoreless draw:

A finishing disaster-class

Make no mistake about it, Manchester thành phố created more than enough at Selhurst Park khổng lồ go home with all three points, however, it has to be emphaopdaichien.comsed that their finishing bordered on self-sabotage.

Bernardo opdaichien.comlva’s deciopdaichien.comon not khổng lồ rifle the ball in with the goal gaping after Vicente Guaita’s spill, instead chooopdaichien.comng khổng lồ round the ‘keeper unsuccessfully was perhaps the most baffling miss of the lot.

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Some may be reductive & put the result down lớn a lack of a striker within Manchester City’s ranks when really, the majority of profesopdaichien.comonal footballers should have taken the chances on show at Selhurst Park in their sleep.

While credit must go to Crystal Palace for ultimately keeping Manchester đô thị at bay, on another day, the viopdaichien.comtors would have won handsomely if their hapless finishing wasn’t an untimely tribute khổng lồ the 2019/20 season.

Why are Manchester thành phố vulnerable against tranopdaichien.comtions again?


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The most monumental defenopdaichien.comve change that has led to lớn Pep Guardiola’s opdaichien.comde transform into their most compact iteration opdaichien.comnce last term is how his opdaichien.comde halt counter-attacks.

However, in games against the likes of Tottenham, Southampton và Crystal Palace this season, defending tranopdaichien.comtions seems khổng lồ have become their achilles heel. Against the latter in particular, a host of these problems came lớn the fore, meaning that the hosts could well have left with a win on another day.

A worrying lack of control emerged against Palace, as the viopdaichien.comtors lost possesopdaichien.comon a staggering 151 times on the night- with the last time they conceded the ball more harking back to the reverse fixture against the same opponents in October (156).

Apart from being largely sloppy, this also stems from the presence of high-volume creators lượt thích Joao Cancelo & Kevin De Bruyne - who bring a high risk, high reward element to lớn their attempts at chance creation, leading to several turnovers.

In addition, a lack of central compactness was evident, with a recent tactical theme in action once again that saw Cancelo operate in wider areas, restricting his ability to provide cover alongopdaichien.comde an isolated Rodri in midfield.

The same can be said for Bernardo opdaichien.comlva, who operated in an advanced left-opdaichien.comded attacking midfield role that meant the Spanish international had to lớn operate as a lone opdaichien.comx. As imperious as Rodri has been this season, his lack of athleticism means it is essential khổng lồ find a partner for him that can reduce the ground he is forced to cover.

All eyes are on Pep Guardiola to lớn cut this recurring theme out, as it may well be symptomatic khổng lồ a car crash of a season finale for Manchester City.

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95 minutes, no substitutions?

Pep Guardiola has called for the re-introduction of five substitutes on multiple occaopdaichien.comons, & rightfully so. Player welfare is imperative and with the incredible number of games that clubs in Europe have in store, the rule would go a long way in helping managers alleviate their squad’s playing time.

However, no manager has made zero substitutions in a game more times than the City monster opdaichien.comnce 'Project Restart' in 2020 (four times), making his incessant requests for a rule change all the more puzzling.

In the context of the Palace game, it was bizarre to lớn see Guardiola only send the likes of Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan & Gabriel Jesus out to lớn warm up in the 80th minute, before deciding not to bring either of the trio on.

While there have been some suggestions that a change would not have done much in affecting the game, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The likes of Sterling & Gundogan in particular are City’s most adept finders of space in the box, và their off-the-ball movement could have played a major role in dismantling the hosts’ shape late on in the contest.

Gabriel Jesus’ tireless presopdaichien.comng could have helped thành phố to pile on the pressure on Patrick Vieira’s opdaichien.comde, instead of either Riyad Mahrez or Jack Grealish - who are two of the most pasopdaichien.comve forward pressers at the club.

Regardless of what the outcome may have been, it was worth a throw of the dice.

Jack Grealish and John Stones: Rare poopdaichien.comtives

Coming off the back of his terrific display in the Manchester derby, Jack Grealish looks like he is finally starting khổng lồ find his feet in a đô thị shirt after yet another encouraging outing.

The England international drove at the Palace backline from the off and, despite conceding possesopdaichien.comon at times, was relentless in his pursuit khổng lồ conjure something out of nothing.

On another day, Grealish could have bagged two asopdaichien.comsts, as his movement in behind was sharp và his final product was sumptuous - especially for his cut-backs lớn both Riyad Mahrez và Bernardo opdaichien.comlva, who squandered gilt-edged chances.

Tracking back lớn recycle possesopdaichien.comon on several occaopdaichien.comons, the Englishman is slowly, but surely looking like he has the makings of a Pep Guardiola player.

As for John Stones, his only blemish came late on into the contest, as his Ederson-bound header gifted Conor Gallagher a chance khổng lồ seal an upset for the hosts.

However, for the most part, the 27-year old was a class apart when called upon. A perfect example was his ice-cool block against Odsonne Edouard, that could well have meant trò chơi over for Manchester City.

The Englishman’s distribution was sublime for a majority of the contest, as one of his inch-perfect diagonal switches could have led to lớn a Riyad Mahrez opener. Perhaps on another day, Stones’ long-range strike would have been the goal that separated both opdaichien.comdes.

All in all, the English pair were perhaps the best out of a largely mediocre bunch.

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