Monday, Monday, Monday and there’s no time to rest. Manchester City have just wrapped up another ferocious comeback against Crystal Palace, and already we’ve turned our attention to Nottingham Forest. But before we hone in on the Tricky Trees, let’s unpack all the latest headlines.
Five Things We Learned: Manchester City 4-2 Crystal Palace (Premier League) - Srinivas Sadhanand - City Xtra
What have we learned from Saturday’s comeback against Palace? Srinivas starts off with a very important fact.
Erling Haaland is a cheat code
Manchester City had never previously come back to win in the Premier League when they entered half time trailing by two goals.
Then again, the Sky Blues have not always boasted a certain Erling Haaland in their ranks and when the 22-year-old is in the kind of mood where he can net a treble from a mere 18 touches, doubt him at your peril.
For his first, the Norwegian’s positioning was textbook as he stood between Palace’s centre-backs to level proceedings from Phil Foden’s inch-perfect cross.
A similar theme of right place at the right time was on show for Haaland’s second as Stones’ scuffed shot found Haaland, who tapped home from close quarters to put City in front.
Haaland saved the best for the closing stages and collected a well-weighted through ball from Ilkay Gundogan to finish past Vicent(e) Guaita with ease to complete his first Manchester City hat-trick.
Manchester City Overcome Odds, Beat Crystal Palace, 4-2: Reaction & Tweets - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue
Pep doesn’t want to rely on comeback’s going forward, but he’s happy with the result.
A really good win as the thorn in Manchester City’s side has been taken out and neutralized. All in no small part thanks to the incredible performance from Erling Haaland.. Add that Pep Guardiola got his moves right and we saw a really good win.
On to the reaction:
Pep Guardiola Reaction
“I had a feeling that we are able in a short time period to put a lot of players and with the mentality we have, we are able to score goals in a few minutes.
“That is good but we have to control better the situations that are uncomfortable.
“Today we were lucky to come back. But what happened in the past normally today we lose the game and the PL doesn’t wait.
“The teams are so strong, so difficult and if you are behind points, you will not come back.”
Manchester City Overcome Odds, Beat Crystal Palace, 4-2: Reaction & Tweets https://t.co/mbdFAiLTcM— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) August 28, 2022
Patrick Vieira explains Crystal Palace’s ‘perfect’ tactics and how Man City broke them down - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News
The former City man knows details a tale of two halves.
Vieira accepted that City’s quality deserved to win the game, although he did offer some insight into how they managed to frustrate the Blues so well in the first half.
“We’re disappointed of course to concede four goals in the second half,” Vieira said. “At the same time, our first half was a perfect one. We didn’t give them space, we worked well, were disciplined, they didn’t find a solution.
“We spent a lot of energy defending in the first half, in the second half we lost physicality, concentration, discipline. We can’t do that against the players they have. The first goal was difficult to build momentum. They’re an experienced team and manage these situations better. We did enough in the first half to get more from the game.”
Crame accentuates the positives in what should be seen as a promising performance for Crystal Palace. Oh yeah... and Haaland is good.
For as good as Palace were in that first 45 minutes, City were better in the second and a combination of pressure and fatigue saw the hosts claw their way back and once they got going it was always going to be difficult to stop them, especially after Tyrik Mitchell left the pitch with an injury making the back line a little lop sided.
You can pick holes in each of the goals conceded and we can all be disappointed at not holding out, but this is one of the best teams in world football right now with arguably the best striker in Haaland who grabbed his first hat-trick in England football after Bernardo Silva had given them a sniff of hope. That is all they needed and from that moment on it was a steam train that just could not be stopped.
This was a Palace side without Wilfried Zaha, but the positive is that we are going toe to toe with these talented sides and giving them more than a game, but the key this season will be beating those sides outside the those big six.
➡️ T E B - M A T C H - R E V I E W ⬅️— The Eagles Beak (@TheEaglesBeak) August 28, 2022
Palace have defending champions worried until Haaland hits top gear
#CPFC Player Ratings
Man of the Match
Erling is ahead of the pace set by current single season record holder Salah.
In comparison to when Mohammed Salah broke the record with 32 goals, after four games the Egyptian only had two Premier League goals, compared to Erling Haaland’s impressive six.
The striker has scored more goals than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues this season, and if he continues this form of six goals every four games, he will surely smash past Mohammed Salah’s record.
Haaland is averaging 1.65 goal per 90 in the Premier League, which is a 59% increase from the his time in Germany. The quality of player behind him is adding to the heights the striker can truly reach in world football.
Kalvin Phillips has already told Pep Guardiola why Man City midfield dilemma isn’t a concern - Alex Brotherton - Manchester Evening News
Phillips had already displayed the whatever it takes attitude when playing for Leeds United.
The issue of squad depth is another dilemma Phillips can help solve. Guardiola likes to work with a trimmed squad, but with just 18 senior outfield players at his disposal, the Blues are just a few injuries away from a crisis.
Midfield is a particularly light area of the squad, but Phillips has made it clear in the past that he is more than willing to play in any position if it is for the good of the team.
“I will play any position the manager asks me,” he said on Amazon Prime. “If he [Bielsa] wants me to play centre-back I will play centre-back, if he wants me to play goalkeeper I’ll play goalkeeper.”
When it comes to attitude, professionalism and versatility, Guardiola has nothing to worry about with his summer signing.
Silva appears to be staying, but Manny looks for a dark cloud behind that silver lining.
It is good news for most City faithful. Many of whom have hoped that the transfer never materialized. That’s mainly because of the importance of the player to the team. For those, this is great news. In fact, it even calls for celebration.
So what could possibly be wrong with this development? What’s the bad news about the midfielder remaining at the Etihad Stadium?
The bad news is the reason for which the Portuguese is staying. Silva is staying at City for another year (or maybe just for another six months) because no one has made an offer. Not because he wants to be here or that the club is ready to do anything to convince him to stay.
The manager made this clear when he addressed reporters ahead of the Crystal Palace game.
“Bernardo Silva will stay at Man City, there are no negotiations,” Guardiola told the media.
“He will stay here. We don’t have any phone call from any club regarding Bernardo Silva. That’s why he will stay. I tell you, he will stay.”
Paul Tierney will be blowing the whistle when City welcome Nottingham Forest to the Etihad.
Paul Tierney will take charge of proceedings at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
The 41 year-old, who was the referee for Chelsea’s clash with Leicester City on Saturday afternoon, has officiated three games so far this season.
Last season, Tierney took charge of 34 matches, showing 119 yellow cards and five red cards.
The referees last game involving Manchester City was in April, when the Blues beat Leeds United 4-0 at Elland Road.
Pep Guardiola ‘granted £100m budget for January deal’ and more Man City transfer rumours - Jack Flintham - Manchester Evening News
And finally... The City board have let Pep know that the resources are available should he want to add to the side in January.
City have been relatively frugal this summer with Erling Haaland, Sergio Gomez, Julian Alvarez, Stefan Ortega and Kalvin Phillips coming in. The costs of these players have been balanced out by the departures of the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
However, this season is unlike any other that has come before it with the World Cup in Qatar set to split the campaign in two from November. As always with a tournament of this magnitude, little known players can rise to prominence with solid performances for their national team.
Should this occur, according to The Sun, Guardiola will not be hamstrung by finances. Their report claims that the City hierarchy have given him significant funds in case there is a player that takes his fancy in Qatar.
That’s it for the headlines, but keep an eye on this space as the build up has already started for Wednesday’s match with Nottingham Forest.