Manchester City have closed the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal to just two points after securing a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace on Saturday evening. The Citizens knew that a victory at Selhurst Park would put them within touching distance of the Gunners, and they managed to get the job done thanks to a late penalty from Erling Haaland. The Norwegian striker calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner, sending Vicente Guaita the wrong way and sparking wild celebrations from the City squad. Haaland’s goal took his tally for the season to an impressive 34 from just 35 games in all competitions.
City had looked like they were heading for a frustrating stalemate, but a moment of madness from Michael Olise led to the penalty that decided the game. The former Reading man brought down Ilkay Gundogan inside the box, reacting rashly after the German midfielder picked up the ball from a corner. Haaland made no mistake from the spot, and City held on for a crucial three points.
For Arsenal, the result will be a warning not to take their foot off the gas. Mikel Arteta’s side face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday, and they will be under pressure to get a win and restore their five-point lead at the top of the table.
The result may not be good news for former City man Patrick Vieira, who is under pressure at Selhurst Park. The Palace boss is worried that the Eagles might be dragged into a relegation battle, and defeat against City means that they sit in 12th spot on 27 points, four ahead of the bottom three. Palace have won just six top-flight games all season, and they are without a league win since New Year’s Eve.
Overall, it was a hard-fought victory for City, who will be pleased to have closed the gap on Arsenal. Pep Guardiola’s side have been in excellent form in recent weeks, and they will be hoping to maintain their momentum as they look to defend their Premier League title. With Haaland in such scintillating form, they will feel confident of achieving their goals this season.