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Crystal Palace vs Manchester City
 0 - 2 
Thu Aug 27 20:00:00 BST 2009
Selhurst Park
Darren Deadman

Palace bowed out of the Carling Cup after a spirited performance against the megastars from Manchester.

Goals from Shaun Wright-Phillips and Carlos Tevez proved the difference as Mark Hughes' side claimed a 2-0 win.

Palace never looked in awe of their megastar opponents and chose instead to push forward instead of sitting back and inviting the City attack.

Robinho, Wright-Phillips, Tevez and Adebayor only managed to show glimpses of what they are capable of as Palace closed down quickly and hounded their every touch.

While Barry and Ireland were limited to only sideways passing,

Tevez threatened early on to do what Newcastle did on Saturday by scoring early on, but when faced with only Speroni to beat he fired over from 15 yards.

Clint Hill then had a super chance to put Palace into a lead when he met a cross to the back post but his header was straight into Shay Given's arms, while Darren Ambrose tested the City keeper with a shot low down to his right.


But unquestionably the star of the early stages was Victor Moses. The tricky winger had Micah Richards in all sorts of problems on the right flank, using his characteristic twists and turns to escape the England international at every opportunity.

On 13 he managed to slip by him and fizz a low ball right across the six yard box but there was noone there and it was deflected out of play. From the resulting corner Given saved well from a looping Palace header.

Freddie Sears

The crowd were superb throughout the half and created an intimidating atmosphere. But they could have been sent into raptures on 24 minutes when Freddie Sears slipped in behind the City defence and fired a decent shot at goal. Unfortunately the angle was always against him and Given blocked.

As the half wore on City began to impose themselves on the game but never really found a way through the Palace defence and, with numbers forward Ambrose almost caught them on the break. Picking the ball up 30 yards out he took a couple of touches before thumping a drive over the bar.

City forced Speroni into a save when Adebayor found himself in enough space 25 yards out to curl one at goal, while the Palace keeper had to be at his best to deny Tevez from a close angle on 35 minutes..

With three minutes to go before the break Alassane N'Diaye won a super header to play in Sears but Given came out quickly to close him down.

As the referee blew his half time whistle the Eagles filed into the dressing room to rapturous applause from the Selhurst crowd.

But whatever Hughes said to his players in the dressing room had an immediate affect as City took the lead within five minutes of the re-start.

Robinho was allowed to drift into midfield and lay it off to Ireland, who thought about shooting at first but then laid it on to an onrushing and unmarked Wright-Phillips to lash home.

Adebayor should have made it two soon after when he was put through one-on-one Speroni, but as he opened his body to put the ball to his left, Speroni managed to pull off a magnificent left handed save.

The City onslaught continued when Wright-Phillips should really have added to his and his side's tally when he was brilliantly found by Robinho with a slick reverse ball, but his chipped effort cannoned off the cross bar.

Palace responded with a self-worked N'Diaye effort from 20 yards when he pulled it down and aimed a tame volley that Given comfortably saved, while Ambrose came closest when Danns played a super low cross to him but the ball slipped through his legs.

Arguably though Palace should have equalised on 68 minutes when Clyne was brilliantly played in by Jose Fonte with a ball inside Wayne Bridge.

The young Palace right-back - who had a solid game against Robinho - then pulled the ball back to Moses who, from ten yards out blasted wastefully over the bar.  

Ultimately though City were able to add to their lead on 71 minutes when Tevez had a simple header from a Wright-Phillips corner.

Derry saw a fierce drive wide five minutes later, while Tevez forced a decent save out of Speroni with four minutes left.

Substitute Ryan Smith then did well on the left flank to escape his marker and player the ball into the box where Derry followed it in with a fierce drive past the post.

There was still time for a moment of controversy at the end of the game when Bridge appeared to handle in the box, but Mr Deadman waved it away instantly and blew up soon after.

So Palace are out of the Carling Cup, but there were plenty of positives to take from a spirited and impressive Eagles performance.

It is now back to earth with an away fixture at London Road to play Peterborough on Bank Holiday Monday. For travel information to London Road click here.

The Neil Warnock post match conference will be available tonight only on Palace Player .

Attendance: 14, 725

Neil named Victor Moses and Nathaniel Clyne in the starting line-up, while Julian Speroni returned to the first eleven after recovering from a throat injury.

As for Man City, with most expecting a weaker side to be named by Mark Hughes, he instead fielded what many regard as their strongest eleven.

Palace: 1. Julian Speroni, 2. Nathaniel Clyne, 3. Clint Hill, 4. Shaun Derry (Cpt), 5. Paddy McCarthy, 6. Jose Fonte, 7. Darren Ambrose (29. Ryan Smith, 72), 8. Neil Danns, 11. Victor Moses (10. Nick Carle, 80), 16. Freddie Sears (14. Sean Scannell, 72), 33. Alassane N'Diaye

Subs: , 12. Darryl Flahavan, , 17. Matt Lawrence, 19. Alan Lee, 20. Danny Butterfield,

Man City: 1. Shay Given, 2. Micah Richards, 3. Wayne Bridge, 7. Stephen Ireland, 8. Shaun Wright-Phillips, 10. Robinho(39. Craig Bellamy, 72), 18. Gareth Barry, 19. Joleon Lescott, 25. Emmanuel Adebayor, 28. Kolo Toure (Cpt), 32. Carlos Tevez (34. Nigel De Jong, 90)

Subs: 4. Nedum Onuoha, 5. Pablo Zabaleta, 12. Stuart Taylor, 17. Martin Petrov, 40. Vladimir Weiss


Jose Fonte
Palace bow out of the Carling Cup after spirited performance against Man City.
 Match Information
  Crystal Palace Manchester City
Goals : 0 2
Possession : 41% 59%
Shots On Target : 10 7
Shots Off Target : 5 4
Corners : 4 10
Fouls : 9 8
Most Fouls : Derry (4) Barry (2)
Yellow Cards : 0 1
Red Cards : 0 0
Scorers :
Wright-Phillips 50
Tevez 71
Full Match Stats
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