Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce was far from impressed with his defence after “gifting” Manchester City a 5-0 Premier League victory at the Etihad Stadium.
City tightened their grip on a top-four spot with the convincing win and goals from David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Otamendi saw them home.
The victory lifted City above Liverpool into third in the table on goal difference while Palace, despite looking likely to survive, still have work to do to make their top-flight place certain after being outplayed and have now suffered three defeats on the bounce.
Allardyce told Sky Sports 1: “It could have been 1-1 at half-time with the chances we carved out so we did recover really well from what was a bad goal from our point of view.
“But it doesn’t matter what system you pick or play if you make mistakes like we made today. Systems mean nothing and all five of the goals were avoidable from our point of view. And when you play Manchester City you accept that you might lose some of the time because of the brilliant talent.
“But we didn’t have to make them produce their brilliant talent today, we gifted them five goals. So we are where we are and were punished severely by Manchester City’s talents by giving them easy opportunities to score and they punished us heavily for that.
“I didn’t think the lads were comfortable playing in a back five so we went back to a four and we got better from that point of view going forward, playing some good counter-attacking football but our final-third play today let us down as well as our defending.
“So both ends of the pitch today were very poor from where we’ve got recently and we deserved to get punished like we did.
“Our strength has come from our good solid defensive unit and today that was in tatters by the end sadly.”
But the former England boss has called on his side to roll up their sleeves on get on with the job of securing their Premier League future.
“It’s in our hands and we’ve got to do it ourself. We’ve got to man enough, brave enough and capable enough to do it ourself.
“To even leave ourself in this position now, three defeats on the trot – all you had to do was keep getting the draw, keep getting the points and we’ve not done that.
“It could have been achieved against Tottenham but wasn’t, gifted the points in the end to Burnley by not staying in the game at 1-0 and then today… Today we just didn’t deserve anything and Manchester City got the right result.”