Plenty of column inches have been devoted to Palace’s 0-0 draw with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side yesterday but no article has captured the spirit of the game better than this piece by The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson.
Whilst the former England gaffer taking Palace from rock bottom after seven games to clear of the relegation zone as the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve has drawn praise from all corners, few if any could have expected he and his Palace players to the first side to end Manchester City’s run of consecutive victories.
A few days on from Newcastle’s incredibly defensive performance at home to the runaway leaders, Hodgson and co. showed the world that there is another way to combat the runaway train that is City, digging in and closing down with every step but looking to hit them on the counter-attack whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Yes, we were penned in for large spells and managed to keep ball just 26% of the time but ask any level-headed away fan and they’ll admit that Roy and the boys tested them like no one else has so far this term. Given the agonising rush of blood which saw Andros Townsend blaze over from mere yards away when left free in the box and Luka Milivojevic’s last-gasp penalty miss it could have been so much more sweet but even so, the whole club deserves immense credit for the manner in which they applied themselves.
Thankfully, the above piece from Wilson taps into the very spirit of the day rather than focusing simply on the game itself. Knowing we were up against it from the very start, fans, players and management staff could be seen pulling in the same direction, leading to a truly special atmosphere throughout the encounter.
I can personally guarantee that you won’t read a better account of yesterday’s clash anywhere.