Man City ease past Palace, keep title hopes on track (video)

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  • Man City go top of the table
  • Sterling scores twice; 17 PL goals this season
  • 3 defeats in 5 for Palace

Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at Selhurst Park on Sunday to keep their title bid on track.

Two classy goals from Raheem Sterling set them on their way to victory, with Gabriel Jesus grabbing a late goal after Luka Milivojevic had pulled one back for Palace. In the end, Pep Guardiola‘s men won with minimum fuss to put the pressure back on Liverpool, who they have a game in hand of in the Premier League title race.

With the win City momentarily moved back to the top of the table on 83 points, and the reigning PL champs know they will win the title if they win all of their remaining five games. Palace remain in 13th on 39 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

City started brightly and had a big chance to take the lead, with David Silva wriggling away from defenders inside the box and then setting up Sterling who somehow dragged his effort wide.

But Sterling was clinical with his next chance. Kevin De Bruyne played a wonderful ball through to Sterling and he took one touch before clipped a delightful shot into the far top corner to make it 1-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Leroy Sane then dribbled at goal and forced Vicente Guaita into a smart stop at his near post and Aguero smashed a shot over the bar. Palace tried hard to contain City but didn’t have many chances of their own as Benteke, Zaha and Townsend struggled to impact the game.

City looked dangerous on the break throughout the game, and should have been 2-0 up as Ilkay Gundogan clipped a lovely ball over the top but three Man City players got in each others way and De Bruyne’s shot was saved by Guaita.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Guaita then saved as De Bruyne’s cross flicked off Martin Kelly and towards his own goal, but Palace’s goalkeeper reacted well down low. Man City doubled their lead in style, as a flowing move saw Aguero, Silva and Sane combine to set up Sterling as he tapped home to make it 2-0.

But Palace set up a nervous finish for City, as Milivojevic curled home a free kick to make it 2-1 after Cheikhou Kouyate caused havoc in the defensive wall.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Despite that scare, City wrapped up in the win in the 90th minute as De Bruyne launched a counter and set up substitute Gabriel Jesus (who looked to be just offside) to slot home the third.

Job done for Man City.

Watch Live: Crystal Palace v. Brighton

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Crystal Palace host Brighton & Hove Albion (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in a massive rivalry clash to kick off the Premier League action this weekend.

The M23 derby is here.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE

Palace have won three of their last five games, with Wilfried Zaha firing on all cylinders, and Roy Hodgson‘s men can almost see light at the end of the tunnel in their battle against relegation.

Brighton are just three points and two places behind Palace, but Chris Hughton knows his team aren’t in great form and a win in this derby would be hugely important for momentum in the final months of the season.

In team news Palace bring in James McArthur and Andros Townsend for Max Meyer and Cheikhou Kouyate with Vicente Guaita replacing Wayne Hennessey in goal, while Brighton made one change as Florin Andone replaced former Palace striker Glenn Murray in the lineup… but Andone was injured in the warm up and Murray comes back in.


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Salah saves Liverpool blushes in 7-goal thriller (video)

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  • Townsend gives Palace lead
  • Salah, Firmino answer
  • Tomkins levels before Salah scores 2nd
  • Milner sent off

Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool finally overcame game Crystal Palace 4-3 at Anfield on Saturday.

The Premier League leaders extended their table lead to seven points despite going down 1-0 and tossing away a 2-1 lead.

Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane also scored for the Reds, while Palace got goals from Andros Townsend, James Tomkins, and Max Meyer in the loss. The Eagles are just three points clear of the drop after Newcastle and Southampton won their matches.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

We’re telling you that you are reading this one right: Reds center back Joel Matip got to the doorstep on a nice Liverpool combination play, but Palace backstop Julian Speroni defied him with a nice stop.

The goal came at the other end, with Wilfried Zaha‘s dribble into the left of the box allowing for a cutback to Townsend. The former Newcastle and Spurs man knifed the ball past Alisson Becker for a 1-0 lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]  

The Reds answered through Salah, helped plenty by a Palace giveaway that helped the Egyptian one-on-one with an apparently rusty Speroni.

And Firmino turned the first half deficit on its ear when his shot turned off Cheikhou Kouyate to make it 2-1 within eight minutes of halftime.

That wasn’t it, though, as miserable Reds defending allowed Tomkins to put Palace level again! A corner kick cleared Virgil Van Dijk‘s leap but not his English counterpart.

The Reds answered again, Speroni bungling an attempted slap of James Milner‘s cross to the line for Salah to push the final inch.

Milner was sent off in the 89th minute for a last-ditch studs-up tackle, but Mane found Liverpool’s fourth goal despite its status down a man.

Meyer scored a stoppage time goal of his own off a Connor Wickham knock down of an Andros Townsend cross.

Puncheon joins Huddersfield Town on loan

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32-year-old Jason Puncheon has joined Huddersfield Town on loan from Crystal Palace for the remainder of the season, the clubs have announced.

Puncheon will join the 10th club of his career where he will hope to earn more than the eight Premier League minutes he has accumulated with Palace so far this season. Puncheon has been an unused substitute for Crystal Palace 11 times in Premier League play this season, with manager Roy Hodgson instead preferring holding midfielders Luka Milivojevic and Cheikhou Kouyate plus wingers Max Meyer and James McArthur.

Meanwhile, at Huddersfield, David Wagner is struggling with a growing injury list, with midfielders Aaron Mooy, Danny Williams and Abdelhamid Sabiri all sidelined at the moment.

“It is important that our additions in January have the ability to arrive and make an immediate impact in our team, which I’m sure Jason can,” Wagner said to the official club website. “He has played in this division for nearly a decade now and knows what it takes to be successful. As well as being a very good player, he is a great character. He has been the captain of Crystal Palace and is a real leader in the dressing room, which is something we wanted to add too.”

Huddersfield sit bottom of the Premier League with 10 points, four back of 19th-placed Fulham and eight back of safety.

Stubborn Cardiff hold wasteful Crystal Palace

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  • Palace dominate but fail to score
  • Eagles hit woodwork twice
  • Second away point of season for Cardiff
  • Palace has 31 attempts at goal

Crystal Palace somehow failed to beat Cardiff City at Selhurst Park on Boxing Day, as the Eagles hit the woodwork twice but could only draw 0-0 against the Bluebirds.

Andros Townsend and Luka Milivojevic hit the post in either half, while Cardiff occasionally threatened on the break but held on for dear life as Wilfried Zaha led the Palace attack.

With the draw Palace move on to 19 points, while Cardiff have 15 points for the season.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Palace nearly got off to a perfect start as Wilfried Zaha opened up Cardiff’s defense, and teed up Townsend who clipped the ball onto the crossbar.

Cardiff settled down a little and Bobby Reid flicked a header over from close range for the Bluebirds.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Palace continued to knock at the door as Zaha’s cross was pushed out and Max Meyer had two efforts blocked with the Eagles pushing hard for an opener.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

At the start of the second half Palace continued to push forward as Townsend’s cross almost found one of his teammates and soon after Palace should have been ahead.

Meyer’s shot was half cleared and the ball then fell to Cheikhou Kouyate who smashed over from six yards out. Cardiff were lively on the counter but Palace were always the more likely to score.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Meyer drilled over after racing clear, Zaha hit an effort over and James McArthur had a shot blocked. Connor Wickham then turned and fizzed an effort over the bar and then Luka Milivojevic hit the post from a free kick.

Cardiff then had a glorious chance to snatch the win but Kadeem Harris‘ shot was saved by Vicente Guaita after Mamadou Sakho made a mess of his clearance.

Late on Zaha went close again, and Patrick Van Aanholt was also denied, as Palace just couldn’t break through and were left frustrated.