EPL-leading Man City feels heat in draw with Crystal Palace

Posted January 02, 2018

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wouldn't completely close the door on a January move for Alexis Sanchez, and again called on referees to protect players after Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne were injured in Sunday's draw at Crystal Palace.

Initial suspicions were that it could be a cruciate knee injury, similar to those suffered by team-mates Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan, and he is reported to have left Selhurst Park on crutches.

De Bruyne was stretchered off after a strong tackle from Palace's Jason Puncheon, who was booked and was also taken off on a stretcher.

De Bruyne was carried off on a stretcher in injury time, moments after Ederson's penalty save, and was helped along the touchline by two members of City's medical staff after the final whistle. "Today we were not lucky", he said.

Guardiola said the midfielder was "lucky" it was not more serious but didn't give any more details.

"Maybe Arsene [Wenger] is anxious about that but I tell him many times that 2004 run is for him", he said. "Protect them, that's all I can say", he said.

"After an effort like this you'd wish we could make the changes Manchester City feel they can always make when you look at the quality of the players they have who aren't playing". "Referees have to protect the players, that is all I ask".

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"Wilf did brilliantly to provoke it, but we didn't take advantage", Hodgson said. There is one line but where you go beyond it, that is risky. We had problems in the game, but the second half was much better.

Manchester City's record-breaking winning run in the Premier League has come to an end.

The injury to Jesus could prompt City to bring forward plans to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, with the current necessity for firepower likely to outweigh the determination to wait until the summer to sign the Chilean on a free transfer. "My feeling now is Alexis is an Arsenal player". In two days, we have another game (at home to Watford).

And Zaha hopes the point against City can be the springboard Palace need to climb away from trouble in 2018.

Crystal Palace have only lost one of their last 10 Premier League games (W3 D6), having lost 13 of their 16 before this run.

Yet after being so impressive for so long, the draw at Crystal Palace offered proof that City can be stopped.

The league leaders will play Watford next on Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium.