De Bruyne Inspires Man City To Beat Crystal Palace

Kevin De Bruyne scored twice in a 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace, bringing Manchester City level with Premier League leaders Liverpool.

City had fallen down after only three minutes at Selhurst Park, but De Bruyne spearheaded the comeback, looping in a masterpiece to level.

Rico Lewis put the visitors ahead early in the second half, before De Bruyne set up Erling Haaland to break his goal drought.

Manchester City’s Norwegian striker #09 Erling Haaland (C) fights for the ball with Crystal Palace’s Danish defender #16 Joachim Andersen (R) during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park in south London on April 6, 2024. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP)


And the Belgian capped off a fantastic performance by scoring his 100th City goal.

Pep Guardiola’s decision to rest De Bruyne and Haaland for Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over Aston Villa paid off, as his team is on track to defend the treble they won last season.

Guardiola reshuffled his squad just three days before City’s Champions League quarter-finals match against Real Madrid.

Phil Foden, who scored a hat-trick against Villa, was benched alongside Manuel Akanji, Bernardo Silva, and Jeremy Doku.

On paper, City appeared to be strengthened by the additions of John Stones and Oscar Bobb to De Bruyne and Haaland.

However, it was a blunder by the ring-rusty Stones that gave Palace the perfect start after only three minutes.

Stones was making his return after being injured on England duty last month, but Adam Wharton pounced on a poor pass, allowing Jean-Philippe Mateta to score off the post.

The goal jolted City from their slumber, with De Bruyne at the center of the majority of their most dangerous attacks.

Only Dean Henderson’s stunning stop prevented Rodri from responding quickly.

However, the visitors equalized after 10 minutes of falling behind as De Bruyne curled a spectacular strike into the top corner.

Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder #17 Kevin De Bruyne (L) celebrates with Manchester City’s Norwegian striker #09 Erling Haaland after scoring his team fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park in south London on April 6, 2024. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP)

Haaland had not scored in his previous five games for club or country, and he missed a superb De Bruyne through ball as Henderson saved a one-on-one opportunity.

Palace, on the other hand, had a chance to go ahead before the break when Jordan Ayew hit the crossbar following a rare Rodri error.

There was no doubt about the outcome as Lewis scored on some sloppy Palace defending from Jack Grealish’s deflected cross at the 47th minute.

Grealish’s season has been regularly disrupted by injury, but his return to fitness and form might be critical in City’s bid to retain the Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup.

He was also involved in his team’s third goal, when Grealish picked out De Bruyne’s cross, which was tapped in by Haaland for a much-needed goal for the Norwegian.

Haaland currently has 30 goals in all competitions this season, but he had failed to score in 12 of his previous 17 appearances since returning from a two-month absence due to a foot injury.

After curling one in with his right foot, De Bruyne hammered in a piledriver with his left to reach 100 goals in 372 games since joining City in 2015.

At that time, City appeared poised to win by the four-goal margin required to surpass Liverpool on goal difference.

But it was Palace who scored the game’s sixth and final goal, as Odsonne Edouard converted Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross.

City moves two points clear of Arsenal, who can take the lead later on Saturday when they host Brighton.

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