Crystal Palace lack pride in 5-0 humiliation at Manchester City
Crystal Palace capitulated with little more than a whimper on Saturday, losing to Manchester City 5-0 thanks to a second half performance that lacked any of the characteristics previously exhibited in the recent wins.
Wilfried Zaha was arguably the only player on the pitch who didn't show Manchester City the respect the rest of his teammates gave them.
You can mitigate Palace's lack of defensive depth, but the lack of backbone or pride in this performance was concerning. The final two goals were essentially walk-ins for City, as Palace just allowed them to clear paths to goal. It was a deeply concerning performance given that the danger of relegation still looms.
Manager rating out of 10
4 -- Sam Allardyce went with an unfamiliar five at the back at the beginning of the game, a tactic which handed City their early goal. Palace recovered well in the first half but the second was shambolic and the manager must take some blame for that.
Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Wayne Hennessey, 4 -- With City having a clear path to goal, it's fair to say that few of the goals were his fault, except for the third which was the result of a poor attempt at a save. There's still an underlying issue with how he fails to impose himself.
DF Patrick van Aanholt, 3 -- Poor in defence, poor in attack. Lacked composure on the ball and repeatedly handed City possession.
DF Jeffrey Schlupp, 4 -- Chosen initially in a back three then moved to a centre-back role, neither of which he was truly comfortable in. It showed.
DF Martin Kelly, 4 -- A really poor header gave City an early score and Kelly was also responsible for marking Vincent Kompany when the centre-back scored the second. A poor performance.
DF Joel Ward, 3 -- Leroy Sane is not an easy opponent, and Ward had a torrid time against him.
MF Luka Milivojevic, 5 -- Completely overrun in midfield. Was, alongside Zaha, Palace's best player.
MF James McArthur, 3 -- Does not look match fit, and his decision making showed it too. Spent much of the game chasing shadows.
MF Jason Puncheon, 3 -- His worst performance in a long time. Palace's strong midfield core collapsed and Puncheon was part of that problem. Poor passes and a lack of energy hurt Palace.
FW Wilfried Zaha, 6 -- The only truly positive performer. Showed a lot of intent going forward, and was the only player to really have a go at City.
FW Christian Benteke, 4 -- Marked out of the game by Nicolas Otamendi. Some deft touches provided opportunities for others, and his header in the first half forced a good save, but he didn't build on that.
FW Andros Townsend, 5 -- Was partially to blame for the first goal, but despite carrying an Achilles' injury, he did well in the first half. Subbed off midway through the second half, presumably to save him for Sunday's crunch match versus Hull City.
FW Lee Chung-Yong, 4 -- Brought on for Townsend but really didn't make an impact.
MF Mathieu Flamini, N/R -- On for Milivojevic, but like Lee he barely made an impact. He did however nearly score from a deflected shot at 3-0 down.
DF Damien Delaney, N/R -- Brought on late for Kelly.
Robert Sutherland is ESPN FC's Crystal Palace blogger. You can follow him on Twitter @RoDuSu.