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Five things learned as Palace gift Liverpool huge boost with City draw | Football | Sport


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The Premier League title race has taken another huge turn as Manchester City were held to a goalless draw to Crystal Palace, who have handed Liverpool with an excellent opportunity to move within one point of the league leaders.

Manchester City were left to rue missed opportunities as they were held to a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace, opening the door for Liverpool to move within one point at the top of the Premier League.

It was a wasteful first half from City, as Bernardo Silva failed to pounce on a gift from Palace keeper Vicente Guaita, and Aymeric Laporte couldn’t keep his effort down from close range.

It was much the same in the second half, as Bernardo again missed what seemed to be an easy chance, and the woodwork came to the rescue for Palace on two occasions.

It looked as though it was a matter of time until City broke down the home side, but Palace held firm and frustrations began to show as the league leaders failed to keep their cool in the closing stages.

Here Express Sport takes a look at five things we learned as the title race takes yet another twist…

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City haven’t addressed mistakes

City may be hailed for their attacking prowess, and rightly so, but they’re not bulletproof at the back and more sides are finding success in behind the league leaders.

Guardiola’s side are known for their high defensive line, but it can leave them really vulnerable at the back, and they do allow their opposition belief on the counter-attack.

One of City’s main strengths is keeping the ball for lengthy periods, but it’s was highlighted on numerous occasions against Palace that without it they can look weak, as Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise caused problems.

Liverpool will be hoping that City can be exposed between now and the end of the season to keep the Premier League title within touching distance.

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Cancelo underappreciated at left-back

Joao Cancelo is one of the unsung heroes in the City team, and his contribution can go under the radar at times due to the brilliance of those around him.

The Portuguese star adds so much to the City attack, and almost acts like a midfielder at times, and plays a rather similar role to Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool.

Cancelo’s passing is pinpoint, but he is a unique talent as he is a right-footed left-back, meaning that he often has to cut in rather than whipping balls in from the usual position that you’d expect.

But Cancelo makes it look so easy, and almost provided Kevin De Bruyne with a brace at Selhurst Park, and if you take him out of the City team then you’d notice a serious difference.

Viera needs a rethink up top

Patrick Viera has added a further layer to Wilfried Zaha’s game, and Conor Gallagher and Michael Olise continue to star in an advanced role, but the no.9 position remains a concern.

Jean-Philippe Mateta continues to get the nod from Viera, but multiple chances continue to be squandered by the Frenchman.

Palace continue to have Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke on the bench, and a more clinical goal scorer would take the Eagles to the next level.

Viera is clearly trusting that Mateta is his man, but his trust is being put under threat by the Frenchman as chances continue to come and go in big moments, and he wasted big chances against the Premier League leaders.

City need a striker in the summer

Guardiola’s side may be so good that they are top of the Premier League without a recognised striker, but it’s not sustainable in the long-term.

Beliefs that City don’t need a no.9 are a myth, and if they secure Erling Haaland in the summer then surely they will be unstoppable.

City usually score for fun, but it’s worrying sight for the rest of the league that they still miss multiple chances every game, and they’re usually from a central point in the area.

If City were to secure a middle, they would be the complete side, and it has to be an area of priority next summer.

Gallagher sends Southgate another message

Conor Gallagher is without doubt the loan signings of the season, and the young midfielder has become one of the most promising talents in the Premier League since joining Palace.

Gallagher is still yet to play a league game for Chelsea, but another masterclass against City made it seem as though he has been a Premier League regular for years.

After a man-of the-match performance at the Etihad earlier in the season, Gallagher was again causing problems against City, and he has proved that he is the man for the big occasions.

With Southgate soon to announce his next England squad, Gallagher simply has to be included, and at this rate he could even be in contention for the World Cup.

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