Men's Team

City 4-2 Crystal Palace: Stats of the Match

City 4-2 Crystal Palace: Stats of the Match
Erling Haaland’s first City hat-trick grabbed the headlines from our 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace, but there was a lot more to pick out from the Etihad Stadium’s sunny Saturday.

The Norwegian’s three goals, alongside a Bernardo Silva strike, turned the tables on the Eagles who had led 2-0 at half-time.

In just our second home match since the title clinching victory over Aston Villa that saw us crowned champions on the final day of last season, we had again come from two goals back to claim a win.

That leaves us with 10 points from our first four matches, sitting just behind Arsenal who are the only team still with a 100% record at this stage.

While it was a tense affair and it seemed for a large period of time that it wouldn’t go City’s way, the stats from the match demonstrated our overall dominance.

Pep Guardiola’s side had a whopping 74.3% of possession, taking 18 shots compared to just the two for our visitors. Palace also cleared the ball 27 times, with City having to take drastic action just three times.

We completed 770 passes, compared to just 265 for our opponents and had more than double the amount of touches of the ball they did – 916 to 411.

Bernardo’s brilliance

The bulk of the goals came from Haaland as Pep always knew they would, but it was Bernardo Silva who initially dragged the Blues back into contention.

The Portuguese international started in the midfield, but spent much of his time in the right wing space. His goal in the 53rd minute came from a mazy dribble that started out there and he moved there more formally when Riyad Mahrez was substituted just after the hour.

According to FotMob, he created a total of four chances – which was more than any other player on the pitch. He completed 50 of his 56 attempted passes and his two completed dribbles was more than any other player on the pitch.

As the below Heat Map shows, he was at his most effective down the right.

Cross fit

City have played the most crosses in the league so far, with 94. These crosses can be delivered on the ground or in the air, and much of Pep Guardiola’s system relies on players reaching the byline and picking out a man in the middle.

It can also show that a defending side has opted to go compact, defending within the space of the 18-yard box and surrendering wide areas.

We attempted a total of 29 crosses during Saturday’s match, with Palace retreating further and further towards their own goal as the match wore on.

However, the difference this weekend may well have been the presence of Erling Haaland, who was able to shrug off the physical presence of England defender Marc Guehi and meet a Phil Foden cross with a thumping header to score the equaliser.

Excellent Erling

Our No. 9 is the leading goal scorer in the Premier League at this early stage, with six strikes in his four appearances. His goals have come in a number of ways too; having raced clear of defenders and converted a penalty at West Ham, reacting quickest to a loose ball at Newcastle and a header, tap-in and cool finish from around 12 yards out on Saturday.

The Norwegian is scoring at double the rate of his xG for the season so far, which is 3.0 exactly – showing just how lethal he has been in front of goal. His three goals on Saturday came from an xG of just 1.41 according to FotMob.

He only had 16 touches all match, only Sergio Gomez and Cole Palmer had fewer from a City perspective. That doesn’t matter though, as long as the likes of Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan can find him like they did yesterday.

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