Hodgson proud of Palace players despite defeat to Manchester City

The Eagles managed to keep out the Premier League champions for 39 minutes before City struck twice in 90 seconds.

By Press Association Published: 20 October 2019 - 11.05am

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Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson was proud of his players after their 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.

The home side managed to keep out the Premier League champions for 39 minutes before City struck twice in 90 seconds to put the game beyond the Eagles.

Gabriel Jesus hit his 50th goal for the club before David Silva finished off following a clever scooped flick over the top from Raheem Sterling to double his side’s lead.

City were short of options at centre-back with John Stones only recently back from injury and Nicolas Otamendi unavailable after picking up a knock while on international duty with Argentina, midfielders Rodri and Fernandinho had to slot in.

When asked whether Palace could have done more against City with their injury problems, Hodgson said: “If you take great chances against them and push a lot of players forward they punish you on the counter-attack.

“I don’t know if we could have done a lot more with the players that we had to play against them than we did. I’m quite proud of the players, despite the coming out two-nil down after half-time.

“The way they went about their business, and the way they worked so hard to keep going and even create a few chances which they did at the end.

“I don’t know if I could have asked the players for any more than they’ve given us today.”

Hodgson was not short of his own defensive problems, with Martin Kelly and Vicente Guaita both ruled out with groin problems.

The Palace boss said it would have been a risk to play Guaita, and Kelly’s problem occurred in training but is not expected to be long-term.

When asked about City’s injuries in defence, Pep Guardiola said he expected England centre-back Stones to return soon, but added the club were aware of their injury problems.

“We know the situation that we have,” Guardiola said after the game.

The manager paid tribute to his makeshift defence, adding: “Normally with the centre midfielders is quicker, is faster, is a little bit better, and thank you so much to both of them because it is not easy playing positions with strikers that Crystal Palace have with (Wilfried) Zaha, (Jordan) Ayew, (Christian) Benteke and at the end (Andros) Townsend, so they did really well.”