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November 24 2020 3.58am

Palace 2 - 1 Manchester City

Sat Dec 8 2001 - League

Trevor Francis celebrated his first win in charge of Crystal Palace as the Eagles got back in the promotion race with a 2-1 win over Manchester City at Selhurst Park.

After being on the wrong end of some Manchester City pressure for the first 30 minutes, Palace then took the lead.

Hayden Mullins' free-kick was flicked on by Symons onto Dougie Freedman, who slipped the ball passed former Palace keeper Carlo Nash for his 15th goal of the season.

On the stroke of half-time, Jovan Kirovski scored a second for Palace when he stabbed home Simon Rodger's left-wing cross from close range despite the valiant attempt by Nash in trying to scoop it back.

But Palace were unable to build on their two-goal lead and after 68 minutes, City got back into the game when Shaun Goater scored from a rebound after Alex Kolinko had initially saved Shaun Wright-Phillips' initial shot.

Kolinko, in for the injured Matt Clarke, then made an outstanding save to stop Goater equalising five minutes from the end and Palace picked up some vital three points.

Man of the Match: Christian Edwards - Had his best game in a Palace shirt and kept Huckerby quiet.

Chant of the Match: "Feed the Doug and he will score!"

Post match comments:

Trevor Francis praised his hard-working side after the 2-1 win.

He said: "The effort we put in is certainly an improvement on last week. I think the lads have come off the field knowing they have played a hard game.

"It's the first time for me to be two-up up at half-time against Manchester City, but they pulled one back and it was very difficult for us to hold on. But it was a very welcome win."

Kit Symons had an impressive debut for Palace after his 400,000 move from Fulham on Friday.

Francis said: "We saw Kit on Friday morning and then had probably longest training session any player here can remember on the eve of a match.

"We were doing a lot of work on set pieces involving Kit, and it was encouraging to see that he got that important flick-on for our first and crucial goal.

"I was pleased with him and the other defender I brought in, Christian Edwards. We looked more solid than in the previous game I watched.

"Our confidence had been sapped by our run of defeats, but the win over City was a welcome victory and will help us enormously."

Kevin Keegan said: "I'm very disappointed not to get anything out of it but football goes like that sometimes.

"We had some long spells on the ball but it never came to anything. We came out in the second half and got a goal but we go away with nothing."

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Match Stats

Ground: Selhurst Park (Attendance: 22080)

Palace: Kolinko, Smith(Austin 58), Symons, Mullins, Edwards, Rodger, Riihilahti, Gray, Kirovski(Thomson 70), Freedman, Morrison (Kabba 77).

Subs not used: Black, Cronin.

Goalscorers: Freedman 31, Kirovski 45.

Manchester City: Nash, Dunne, Wiekens (Negouai 65), Mettomo, Tiatto, Horlock, Berkovic, Benarbia, Wright-Phillips, Goater, Huckerby.

Subs not used: Weaver, Ritchie, Killen, Granville.

Goalscorer: Goater 68.

Referee: Bill Jordan (Tring)

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