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City clinch a hard-fought 1-0 win against Crystal Palace with Haaland’s match-winning penalty

City clinch a hard-fought 1-0 win against Crystal Palace with Haaland's match-winning penalty

Manchester City secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in a Premier League clash, thanks to Erling Haaland’s second-half penalty.

The match was characterized by a series of missed opportunities until Ilkay Gundogan was fouled by Michael Olise in the 75th minute, allowing Haaland to score his 28th Premier League goal of the season.

Pep Guardiola’s men have now won five of their last six league games, moving them to within two points of leaders Arsenal. Guardiola has an excellent record at Selhurst Park, having won five of his seven trips there and drawing the other two.

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City started strongly in the rain, with Rodrigo forcing Vicente Guaita into his first save just two minutes into the game. The hosts eventually found their footing and had their first chance when Wilfried Zaha shot at Manuel Akanji, who made an impressive block. Despite City dominating possession throughout the first half, they struggled to create chances against a determined Palace side.

Erling Haaland celebrating his match winning goal against Crystal Palace

Erling Haaland celebrating his match winning goal against Crystal Palace

In the second half, City continued to dominate, and Julian Alvarez’s introduction just before the hour mark injected creativity into the game. The crucial moment came with 15 minutes to go when Gundogan was fouled by Olise, resulting in Haaland scoring the decisive penalty.

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Ilkay Gundogan was named Man of the Match for his crucial link-up between defence and attack, while John Stones was exceptional in his return from injury, playing the hybrid full-back/midfield role. City’s 19th win of the season leaves them with 60 points, 11 matches to go.

City’s next game is against RB Leipzig at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, while their next Premier League game is against Liverpool on April 1st after an FA Cup quarter-final clash against Burnley.

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