Published: Sun, December 23, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Cardiff City 1 Manchester United 5: Solskjaer era starts with a bang

Cardiff City 1 Manchester United 5: Solskjaer era starts with a bang

City were surprisingly beaten for the first time at home in the Premier League this season and will spend Christmas four points behind leaders Liverpool in the table.

Two defeats in three games for City, who lost at Chelsea a fortnight ago, have given Juergen Klopp's Liverpool the upper hand in the title race and turned the January 3 clash between the sides at the Etihad into a real showdown.

"Imperative is the next game, the problem is when you think about the future and are not in the present", he said. We are used to seeing teams crumble after going behind against this City team, who were the only top-flight side not to drop any points from a winning position home or away in 2018-19 - until Saturday. "We have lost but we are only looking at ourselves game to game", said City captain Fabian Delph.

The City fans were still on their feet singing "stand up for the champions" until just before Jeffrey Schlupp equalised from the edge of the box, and that setback was still sinking in when Townsend's sensational volley sent shockwaves through the stadium soon afterwards.

City promptly got the game started with the referee indicating that time had been added on for the short delay but it was not enough for the hosts as they slumped to a 3-2 defeat.

He described Townsend's goal as "magnificent".

Manchester City lost at Etihad Stadium for the first time since April
CLIVE BRUNSKILL GETTY IMAGESManchester City lost at Etihad Stadium for the first time since April

Valuable minutes wasted in a close, close game.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson hailed his side's performance, saying the result was more than he could have hoped for.

City had led through Ilkay Gundogan but two goals in three minutes overturned the scores at Palace led 2-1 at the break. We put in six or seven players with fresh legs.

"The first time they passed halfway - it was wow, a goal", Guardiola said.

"We had just made some changes and chose to play with two strikers to try to get back in the game, then straight away we give away a penalty and a third goal", he added.

He is right - there are still five months of the campaign remaining - but while this home defeat was damaging, if City lose their next game at the Etihad then it will be a lot more decisive. It was a very good day's work and three fantastic points.

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