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‘It was really important’ – Pep Guardiola praises Man City’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace

Pep Guardiola praises Man City’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has praised his side’s ‘really important’ victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The Cityzens laboured to a 1-0 win courtesy of Erling Braut Haaland’s second-half penalty that took his tally to 28 Premier League goals this season.

The reigning champions have now closed the gap on title rivals Arsenal at the top of the table, with the Gunners set to face Fulham tomorrow.

Speaking after the match, Guardiola praised Haaland’s composure when taking the spot kick, after missing a couple of chances earlier in the game.

“When he doesn’t score there is pressure,” Guardiola said (via “This guy doesn’t have to feel pressure – he’s having an incredible season so far. He missed a couple of chances in the first half, and I think the penalty was more difficult.

“He’s a young lad, and his personality is that there was no question he was not going to put the ball away [from the spot] – it was great.”

The City manager then admitted that his side’s victory was hard-fought but expected nothing less against a Palace side that are difficult to play against.

“Football is like that,” Guardiola added. “We played incredibly at Nottingham Forest, and we could have won 5-0, but we drew.

“From my experience at Selhurst Park, coming here is always so hard. They are so hard to play against, they are really good. I couldn’t expect to win four or five-zero, but we always struggle to score goals here.

“They defend really well – but in the end, we won the penalty, and with the determination from Erling [Haaland], we won the game, and at this stage of the season, it was really important.”

Two points now separate Guardiola’s side from league leaders Arsenal who, following City’s win, will be itching to restore their five-point lead at the summit.

The title race is poised to go down to the wire, with City looking to retain their crown for the third successive season and Arsenal gunning for glory that has eluded them for two decades.

City will temporarily halt their bid to defend their crown with games against RB Leipzig in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie and Burnley in the FA Cup quarter-final coming up before the international break.

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