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June 20 2019 6.22am

Eagles shock not-so-slick City

December 24 2018

Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium

Happy Christmas indeed after a 2-3 away win at the Etihad. Dan Crafter was at the game while Jamesey watched from home.

You may not have heard this, but some funny little team from the slums of Sarth London had the audacity to travel north and defeat the billionaire aristocrats of Manchester City, writes Jamesey. What outrageous cheek the blighters had.

Seriously though, itís not often (if ever) that CPFC are on the front of the sports sections of the Sunday papers and first game on MOTD so letís just luxuriate in it for now.

Leaving aside the barrage of statistics the pundits have thrown at us - number of recent home defeats at the Etihad (hardly any), number of goals by CPFC scored there in recent years (none), etc, etc, it would have been a rash punter who bet on an away win for the Eagles.

Itís certainly not a time to be negative after such a terrific result but the first 25 minutes made for quite a depressing picture.

The Londoners hardly had a sniff of the ball at all and when they did, managed to give it back again quite quickly. If it had been a childrenís game one could almost have heard the cries of ďitís just not fair. Give us the ball backĒ.

When Cityís Gundogan nodded in the inevitable opening goal after 27 minutes, one was almost grateful Palace had held out for so long.

That, however, was where the predicted story changed.

A few minutes later, Jeffrey Schlupp ran down the left of the field and struck a nicely angled shot into the corner of Edersonís goal, followed a couple of minutes later by Andros Townsendís thunderbolt from way outside the box. That goal must be a contender for Goal of Whatever-you-want this season.

The world was going mad. Crystal Palace were leading 2-1.

The TV camera caught the look of utter disbelief on the face of Roy Hodgson. But even better was to come.

As one might expect, City still dominated possession but the Eagles were resolute and after Max Meyer was brought down in the area, Luka Milivojevic banged in the resulting penalty and it was 3-1.

Needless to say we would be made to sweat and Kevin de Bruyne made it 3-2 with five minutes of normal time remaining.

I was unable to watch the time-added-on and had to leave the room.

But the Eagles held out for what will be a famous victory and, in the miserable, cold rain of a Manchester evening the season was looking far, far brighter after that.

A Christmas Cracker

My son and I had been to previous away games just before Christmas and I fancied a day out in Manchester this year, writes Dan Crafter.

We both boarded the train at sunny Euston with no expectancy from the game and were therefore very relaxed. The train was a mix of people who were either making their way to visit families for Christmas, fans going to Stoke, or fans going to Manchester.

We arrived to rainfall in Manchester and headed straight to the ground by foot. After warming up in the back of the stand with pies, beverages and Palace songs we made our way out to our seats for the start of the match. After no mention of Sergio Aguero or Kevin De Bruyne in the starting line up the mood amongst the Palace fans was fairly optimistic in terms of damage limitation from free-scoring City.

Kick-off then and City start the stronger of the teams with referee Andre Marriner really endearing himself to the Palace fans after giving City an ill-deserved corner and then bowing to their fans.

Delph tests Guaita with a peach of a shot although the latter makes a smart save. Mamadou Sakho then gives the ball away resulting in Sane hitting the side netting. Then the inevitable; Gundogan scores after some neat play from City leaves him free to head in.

Ok, here we go.....but no! Schlupp neatly drives it across the keeper after some good hold up play from Wilfried Zaha and a clear foul on James McArthur. 1-1 and the Palace fans are in good voice!

Some more good interplay by Palace results in a half clearance by Bernardo Silva and then...a Christmas Cracker! What a strike from Townsend, the Star Man playing on the right. Ederson couldn't get anywhere near it. 2-1 Palace and we are now in full voice in the away end.

The whistle blows for half time and us Palace fans are in need of a break.

A good start from Palace in the second half leads to Aaron Wan-Bissaka crossing to Townsend whose header hits the post, falls to Max Meyer who is then tripped by Walker. Penalty!

Milivojevic fires his penalty just inside the right post. 3-1 and now the Palace fans are going berserk!

City then pour forward with 22 minutes to go. Gundogan shoots wide. City hit the post with a free kick from Sane and then De Bruyne hits a cross shot which unfortunately evades Guaita.

3-2 Palace on 85 minutes. My heart is in my mouth! Can Palace hold out?

Yes they can! Pure joy and pride from the travelling Palace fans. It had been 28 years since Palace had won away at City and my word, what an early Christmas present from Roy's Boys!

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