Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey turns in 5/10 performance vs. Man City
It was always going to be a tall order for Crystal Palace to get anything at Manchester City. The Eagles went into the clash at the Etihad with no wins in four games and no goals in any of those. Throw into that some injuries to key players and a history of always losing away at City and anything other than a home win was a long shot.
And so it proved to be as Manuel Pellegrini's men ran out comfortable 4-0 winners by the end, although the opening period of the game was pretty even.
Palace played fairly confidently in the first 20 minutes or so and had the first real chance of the game: Damien Delaney rising highest to head a Connor Wickham cross towards goal that Joe Hart somehow clawed away.
Alan Pardew's men rarely manage to win when they go behind but have a good record of getting points when they score first. Had that Delaney header gone in it could have been a very different story.
But Fabian Delph opened the scoring for City and the game swung. It's now five games without a goal and no wins in as many, with the Eagles going through a mini slump. But there's still plenty of time left in the season for them to turn it around.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Wayne Hennessey, 5 -- Manchester City had four shots on target and all four went in, including Delph's early strike which squirmed under Hennessey's body.
DF Joel Ward, 6 -- Struggled against the pace of the City attack and was at fault for the third goal, giving away possession sloppily and then slipping in the box to allow Sergio Aguero to score.
DF Damien Delaney, 6 -- Was unlucky not to open the scoring with a header after only a few minutes that Hart saved well, but couldn't keep Aguero quiet at the other end.
DF Scott Dann, 7 -- Won a fair few headers from corners that could have been goals on other days and didn't struggle with Kelechi Iheanacho as much as Delaney did with Aguero.
DF Pape Souare, 6 -- Prefers attacking to defending but wasn't allowed many opportunities to go forward as much as he likes. Slipped to allow City in to score the fourth but the game was long gone by then.
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MF Joe Ledley, 6 -- Enjoying a recent run back in the team in central midfield and wasn't totally overrun by City's players in the middle. Managed to get in some good tackles.
MF James McArthur, 7 -- Didn't have brilliant games against Chelsea and Aston Villa but was somewhat back to his best at the Etihad thanks to some non-stop energy in the middle.
MF Yohan Cabaye, 6 -- Another far from vintage performance from the usually classy Frenchman. He gave the ball away more than usual and chalked up a silly yellow card for a frustrated foul late on. Could have seen a second yellow shortly after for another bad foul but the referee let him off.
MF Wilfried Zaha, 6 -- Tried his hardest and had more of an impact than at Aston Villa but still couldn't unlock the City defence. Did whip of a couple of great crosses in the first half.
MF Jason Puncheon, 6 -- Still finds some periods of games pass him by but looked to use the ball well when he was in possession.
FW Connor Wickham, 7 -- Palace really do miss the target man when is isn't available and he certainly offers more presence up front, but wasn't offered any clear cut chances and lasted just over an hour before being substituted.
FW Marouane Chamakh, 5 -- Replaced Wickham with half an hour to go but had little impact, aside from two silly dives.
MF Jordon Mutch, NR -- A late sub for McArthur.
MF Lee Chung-yong, NR -- Given a late run out in the place of Zaha.