Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira said his side lost their “physicality” in the second half as Manchester City fought back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 at The Etihad.
John Stones own goal and a Joachim Andersen header had Palace dreaming of a repeat of last season’s 2-0 win. Palace were good value for their half-time lead after a clinical first-half showing. But after Bernardo Silva pulled one back eight minutes into the second half, the compactness Palace had showed disappeared.
Erling Haaland then took over as his first home goals for City came in a hurry – three in the space of 20 minutes to make it six in his first four Premier League matches.
Vieira was happy with his side’s performance, despite their second-half collapse.
Vieira said: “It is a tough place to come to play. We did really well in the first half and managed to score those two goals. And we knew it would be a different City team in the second half.
“We conceded too early then momentum was on their side and it was hard to deal with. We were a little less aggressive in the second half, maybe because we ran a lot in the first half. It was difficult for us.
“Of course you have regrets because you are hoping to get something from the game. I am really pleased and happy with the players.
“We want to compete. We did well against Arsenal, Villa and Spurs and in the cup game. Today we knew how tough it would be. We put our sleeves up and worked well as a team but in the second half it was a bit too much.
Vieira: City went to a ‘different level’
“Collectively they went to a different level in the second half that we couldn’t cope with.
“I’m disappointed to concede four goals but at the same time our first half was a perfect one because we didn’t give them much space, we worked hard and we worked well. We made it really difficult.
“We spent a lot of energy defending in the first half and in the second half we lost a bit of physicality and concentration and discipline and we can’t do that against this team and these players.”
Palace could have been 3-0 up with half an hour gone when Odsonne Edouard deflected an Ederson clearance into the path of Jordan Ayew. He in turn scored. The ball had been fully released by the City keeper, but the officials determined Ederson had been impeded and awarded a free-kick.
“From where I was I couldn’t see it, so it would be difficult for me to comment,” Vieira said.