Manchester City kept their Premier League title aspirations alive as they secured a slender 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday evening at Selhurst Park. Erling Haaland secured the three points for the defending Champions in a tight, scrappy affair from the penalty spot in the 78th minute.

The result means that Pep Guardiola’s side trail league leaders Arsenal by just two points having played an extra game.

CITY Dominate Possession

The visitors dominated possession from the start as Palace were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure, determined to hurt their opponents on the break. City should have taken the lead in the 28th minute when after Nathan Ake played in Haaland from the left wing with a low cross but the Norwegian striker blazed over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Haaland scores crucial goal

Patrick Vieira’s side were well organized at the back as they kept City at bay, restricting them away from goal and carving up any clear-cut opportunities. After the break, Vicente Guaita kept out Phil Foden’s free kick in the 56th minute as Palace found chances and any opportunities of their own hard to come by.

As the game looked certain to head towards a draw, City were awarded a penalty with just 13 minutes left. The hosts lost their concentration while defending a corner from which Jack Grealish played into the path of Ilkay Gundogan and the German was brought down by Micheal Olise.

Haaland stepped up and made no mistake to send Guaita the wrong way to score his 28th goal of the season, 5 of which have come from the spot.

Palace didn’t have the resources to trouble Ederson in the City goal after falling behind as Guardiola’s side ran down the clock to secure three crucial points away from home. Guardiola’s men will now shift focus to their second leg Champions League last 16 tie against RB Leipzig on Tuesday night.

For Palace, it’s back to the drawing board as they stay 12th without having a win in their last five games, and sit 4 points away from a relegation spot.

Photo Credit: Imago / PA Images