Manchester City faced a major setback in their title defense as Crystal Palace, led by a late surge, managed to salvage a dramatic 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium. The initial lead for City, with goals from Jack Grealish and Rico Lewis, seemed secure until Jean-Philippe Mateta pulled one back for Palace. The real twist came in stoppage time when Phil Foden’s challenge on Mateta resulted in a penalty, converted by Michael Olise, leaving City with a third consecutive home draw.
Despite City’s control for much of the game, Roy Hodgson’s gameplan, known for making it difficult for City, proved effective once again. Grealish’s first-half goal and Lewis’s strike after the break had City seemingly cruising, but Mateta’s goal and Olise’s late penalty turned the tables.
Palace’s elation marked a stark contrast to City’s agony, especially after last week’s stoppage-time loss to Liverpool. The draw leaves City in fourth place, three points behind leaders Liverpool. City’s struggles to finish off opponents were evident once more, emphasizing the need for improvement in their title defense campaign.