Haaland penalty breaks Crystal Palace resistance as Manchester City march on

 Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland

Manchester City moved within two points of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Erling Haaland's second-half penalty was the difference between the two sides after Michael Olise felled Ilkay Gundogan inside the box.

City were wasteful from open play, but Haaland's 28th Premier League goal of the season ensured his side picked up maximum points at Selhurst Park.

Pep Guardiola's team are now within touching distance of first-placed Arsenal, who face Fulham on Sunday.

This was a 10th match without a win for Palace, who are only four points clear of the relegation zone.

Manchester City
Manchester City

City made a bright start in Saturday's late kick-off in south London, with Rodri forcing an early save from Vicente Guaita.

Jack Grealish fired wide after a mazy run from the left, while Haaland missed a glaring chance from close range shortly before the half-hour mark.

Wilfried Zaha had an effort deflected wide on a rare Palace breakaway, as the hosts struggled to get up the pitch.

But Patrick Vieira's men defended with plenty of grit and resolve, and for long spells City were unable to find a way through.

Julian Alvarez should have done better with a right-footed shot after cleverly rolling Luka Milivojevic, who struggled all afternoon at the base of the Palace midfield.

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Palace seemed to grow in confidence as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes, but Olise's trip on Gundogan ultimately proved costly.

Haaland made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Guaita the wrong way before sliding in front of the away fans in celebration.

Palace pushed forward late on in search of an equaliser, but Wilfried Zaha's cut-back evaded everyone inside the box.

The hosts ended the match without a shot on target to their name, while they are still without a win in 2023.

As for City, this victory piles the pressure on Arsenal ahead of their trip to Craven Cottage on Sunday.