Crystal Palace put three goals past defending champion Manchester City, including a stunning volley by Andros Townsend, to win 3-2 on Saturday in the biggest upset of the English Premier League so far.
Man City fell four points behind leader Liverpool with one round to go before the midway stage of the campaign as Townsend scored one of the goals of the season in City’s first league defeat at Etihad Stadium since April.
Palace hadn’t won a league game at City since 1990 and went behind to a header from Ilkay Gundogan in the 27th minute. Fabian Delph curled in a right-footed cross from the left and picked out an unmarked Gundogan, who planted a firm header past Vicente Guaita.
Jeffrey Schlupp equalized for the visitors in the 33rd when he beat Ederson with a low left-footed shot across goal, before a magnificent left-footed shot from Townsend into the top-right corner put Palace ahead two minutes later.
A free-kick won by Wilfried Zaha was lofted into the area and only half cleared by City. Bernardo Silva attempted to head away but the ball dropped invitingly toward Townsend around 30 yards (meters) out and he met it with a ferocious volley that flew into the roof of the net.
Luka Milivojevic converted a penalty in the 51st after a foul by Kyle Walker on Max Meyer as Palace led 3-1.
Palace had a nervous finish after City substitute Kevin De Bruyne made it 3-2 in the 85th with an apparent cross which Guaita couldn’t keep out. Gabriel Jesus headed over the bar as City went close to grabbing a point but Roy Hodgson’s team successfully held out.
The defeat was City’s second in three league games and handed the title initiative to Liverpool. The two teams meet on Jan 3.
Palace’s performance was completely unexpected, the Londoners having lost five of their last six away games and 5-0 on their last two visits to the Etihad.
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