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Football news - Andros Townsend wonder-goal helps Crystal Palace stun Manchester City

Townsend wonder-goal helps Palace stun City

22/12/2018 at 16:52Updated 22/12/2018 at 17:37

Premier League, Etihad Stadium - Manchester City 2 (Gundogan 27, De Bruyne 85) Crystal Palace 3 (Schlupp 33, Townsend 35, Milivojević 51)

Andros Townsend scored a spectacular volley as Crystal Palace came from behind to stun Manchester City 3-2 at home, to leave the reigning champions four points behind leaders Liverpool.

The start of the game looked routine for the home side, who welcomed back John Stones and Raheem Sterling into the side, as they created a string of chances and took a deserved lead through Ilkay Gundogan.

But the game took a dramatic twist. First Jeffrey Schlupp, back from suspension, equalised from the edge of the box before Townsend scored a Christmas cracker of a strike from around 30 yards which flew into the top corner.

Pep Guardiola threw on Sergio Aguero but the Eagles increased their lead when Kyle Walker conceded a penalty for bringing down Max Meyer and Luka Milivojevic converted the spot-kick for his fifth of the season.

Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez came on for the latter stages with City throwing the kitchen sink at the visitors but it was not their day with Leroy Sane’s free-kick hitting the post.

De Bruyne set up a grandstand finish when his cross flew into the net but Palace defended brilliantly to cling on and climb to 15th in the table and condemn City to their first home defeat of the season in the league.

Crystal Palace's English defender James Tomkins (2L) celebrates after the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 22, 20

Crystal Palace's English defender James Tomkins (2L) celebrates after the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 22, 20Getty Images

TALKING POINT

Should the Goal of the Season prize be posted to Townsend for an early Christmas present?

It was the purest of long-range volleys from the winger, Paul Scholes-like. It is going to take something incredibly special to top that this season or any other season for that matter. Townsend’s goal is going to be replayed for years to come in arguably the best game of the season so far.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace): The 27-year-old is known for scoring belting goals after cutting inside but this volley tops the lot which stunned the stadium into silence. The midfielder was also involved in the incident for the penalty and performed well as a right-back in the closing stages.

Crystal Palace's English midfielder Andros Townsend (R) celebrates scoring their second goal to take the lead 1-2 with Crystal Palace's English midfielder Aaron Wan-Bissaka (L) and Crystal Palace's Serbian midfielder Luka Milivojevic (L)

Crystal Palace's English midfielder Andros Townsend (R) celebrates scoring their second goal to take the lead 1-2 with Crystal Palace's English midfielder Aaron Wan-Bissaka (L) and Crystal Palace's Serbian midfielder Luka Milivojevic (L)Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

MANCHESTER CITY: Ederson 5, Walker 3, Stones 6, Laporte 5, Otamendi 5, Delph 7, Gundogan 8, Sane 5, Sterling 4, Bernardo 5, Jesus 6. Subs: Aguero 5, De Bruyne 7, Mahrez 5.

CRYSTAL PALACE: Guaita 7, Wan-Bissaka 8, Tomkins 7, Sakho 9, van Aanholt 7, McArthur 6, Milovojevic 8, Schlupp 8, Meyer 6, Townsend 10, Zaha 7. Subs: Ayew n/a.

KEY MOMENTS:

18’ - STERLING MISS! From Bernardo's cross, Sterling volley goes across goal when it looked like a gift-wrapped chance to score, it actually falls to Bernardo's whose effort is blocked off the line.

27’ - GOAL FOR CITY! Gundogan times his run into the box brilliantly and heads it in from Delph's cross.

33’ - GOAL FOR PALACE! Brilliant work from Zaha, the ball eventually comes to Schlupp whose shot goes through Walker's legs and flies into the bottom corner.

35’ - STUNNING GOAL FROM PALACE! Townsend with an incredible volley into the top corner from 30 yards with his left foot from Bernardo's headed clearance.

51’ – PALACE SCORE A PENALTY! Townsend's header hits the post and Walker slides in on Meyer and the ref points to the spot. Milovojevic fires the ball into the corner to give Palace a 3-1 lead.

Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) celebrates against Manchester City

Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) celebrates against Manchester CityGetty Images

75’ - LUCKY BOY: Van Aanholt is lucky to escape a red for a horror challenge on de Bruyne. He gets a booking.

85’ - GOAL FOR CITY! De Bruyne's looping cross from Bernardo's layoff swerves in off the post, a complete fluke. Game on.

90’+3 - JESUS MISS! De Bruyne's pinpoint cross finds an unmarked Jesus but his header goes over. What a miss!

KEY STATS

  • Ten of Andros Townsend's 17 Premier League goals have been scored from outside the box.
  • Manchester City have failed to keep a clean sheet in their past eight games in all competitions.
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