Summer signing Erling Haaland was the Manchester City hero as his hat-trick helped the defending Premier League champions fight back from 2-0 down to claim an emphatic victory to maintain their unbeaten record so far this season. An John Stones own goal and Joachim Andersen had put the Eagles in a commanding position before Bernardo Silva started the second half comeback.
John Stones put the ball into his own net from an Ebere Eze free-kick to give the visitors the advantage. Things went from bad to worse for City just fifteen minutes later, as Joachim Andersen doubled Palace’s lead with a towering header from a corner.
Going down by two goals yet again meant that City had been behind by that margin in four of their last six league games. Crucially, however, the Citizens had not lost any of those previous matches.
Then, early on into the second half, they had a goal back courtesy of Bernardo Silva, who finished low into the net from the edge of the area. The comeback was on.
City completed the comeback ten minutes later, as Haaland took his first chance of the game to head in Phil Foden’s cross beyond Vicente Guaita at the far post. The Norwegian then had his brace in the 70th minute, as he scored an easy-tap in after some slick one-touch play in the box to put his side in front.
Haaland then capped off a superb afternoon at the Etihad Stadium for his side with his third of the game in the 81st minute, as he latched onto a through pass by Ilkay Gundogan to finish well into the corner to secure a famous hat-trick for City in just his fifth competitive match for his new club.
TALKING POINT – CITY TURN ON THE STYLE IN SECOND HALF TO SEAL FAMOUS COMEBACK WIN
It was a case of deja vu for Manchester City in the first half, as Crystal Palace’s two-goal lead surely brought back flashbacks of last season’s defeat to the Eagles at the Etihad Stadium. City had their moments in the first half, but Palace remained resolute off the ball in their structured shape.
The second half proved to be the turning point, as Pep Guardola’s side started to stretch Palace’s wing-backs and get crosses into the box. Bernardo Silva’s performance should not go amiss either, as his ability to glide past defenders with his close control was a joy to watch at times. Once Palace’s rearguard was breached, it was a matter of when, not if, for Manchester City in terms of their comeback, and the goals began to flow. Never write off the defending champions.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – ERLING HAALAND
Erling Haaland – Manchester CityErling Haaland – Manchester City
After a fairly underwhelming first half for the striker, which saw him register just one attempt at goal (which was off target), the 22-year-old showed just how much of a penalty box poacher he is in the second period, with a superb 19-minute treble to help his side seal a comeback victory.
He demonstrated how good he is in the air, with a thumping header for his first. Then, for the second, it was an easy tap in from a few yards out – which is meat and drink for a forward like him. He then showed just how good his turn of pace is in behind and the strength he has to hold off defenders for his third and final goal. City again have a number nine that will pounce at any given opportunity once the creativity in the team is flowing. A superb second-half performance from the Norwegian.