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The title race is wide open as Silva, De Bruyne and Mahrez are all agonizingly close

WE HAVE taken off.

If there was any doubt about the odds of a damn good title race, they were blown to pieces in deep south London.

Jack Grealish thought he tricked Bernardo Silva but the Portuguese turned it wide

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Jack Grealish thought he tricked Bernardo Silva but the Portuguese turned it widePhoto credit: Reuters
Pep Guardiola knows it's hot to keep City's Premier League crown

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Pep Guardiola knows it’s hot to keep City’s Premier League crownCredit: PA

And now, unbelievably, considering the gap at any point, the title is in Liverpool’s hands.

You don’t have to worry about the goal difference.

Simply win their remaining games, including the trip to the Etihad on April 10, and Jurgen Klopp’s team will lead Manchester City to the title.

Despite Liverpool’s fine form, no one can say they definitely saw this coming.

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But a month after losing at home to Spurs, City have had another little wobble against an incredibly hard-working Palace side.

There’s obviously a heck of a lot to play with. City’s squad is still better than Liverpool’s.

But… how could Pep Guardiola regret this result.

Most of the time Guardiola stood in his technical area and seemed reasonably calm.

When he panicked, he did a good job of hiding it.

Guardiola also refused to make any substitutions, despite his side failing to capitalize on their chances, which was odd.

Perhaps he was hoping that one of City’s supremely talented players would pull off a win as usual, but it didn’t happen.

Bernardo Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte and Joao Cancelo all had chances.

Many of them. Including a great one in stoppage time.

Now Liverpool have to play their part against Arsenal on Wednesday.

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City wasted so many chances in the first half and you just thought they would finally do it and win 3-0.

Guardiola’s side also made silly mistakes early on with Laptore and Kyle Walker but they got away with it.

As the errors continued, Palace keeper Vicente Guaita flicked Kevin de Bruyne’s shot in the direction of Bernardo Silva, but he too wasn’t as sharp as usual and his first touch was too heavy and went wide.

Predictably, City shifted up a gear, albeit roughly third. They created enough chances but weren’t disciplined enough.

After Phil Foden’s wobble shot deflected for a corner, Cancelo’s long-range shot smashed the post and the rebound landed on the wrong player as Laporte fired a first shot into the Holmesdale Road stands.

Riyad Mahrez, with 13 goals in his last 14 city games, shot straight at Guaita from an area he would expect to score from.

Mahrez then delivered another wild finish just before half-time, certainly for his high standards.

Perhaps Guardiola wasn’t happy with what he saw, but City came out early in the second half, about a good minute ahead of referee Martin Atkinson and Palace, who hadn’t created too much.

But just after the second half they were given one of those rare opportunities you have to take against City.

Vicente Guaita was at his best as the Eagles battled hard

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Vicente Guaita was at his best as the Eagles battled hardPhoto credit: Rex
Rodri's frustration grew during a tense second half at Selhurst Park

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Rodri’s frustration grew during a tense second half at Selhurst ParkPhoto credit: Reuters

Cheikhou Kouyate messed up his angles and didn’t realize he was in such a good position, but deflected a header wide.

Jack Grealish, who had a quiet game down the left, showed real determination and speed to catch Conor Gallagher, who was leading a home break.

However, Grealish caught up with his man, fouled his man and was booked by Atkinson.

The England international then sarcastically applauded the decision in what is always a dangerous game, but Grealish got away with it.

But Grealish redeemed himself with a moment of class, which resulted in a move that resulted in De Bruyne firing at the far post from a tight angle and Mahrez’s follower being knocked over by Guaita.

Then, from just two yards out, Silva somehow managed to turn Grealish’s cross wide when it looked pretty much impossible not to score.

As City’s frustration grew, Rodri started a brawl as he gestured for Kouyate to get off the ground as he writhed in pain after making no contact.

Substitute Odsonne Edouard caused some panic in the visitors’ defense but caught the ball between his feet as he threatened to score a late winner

Laporte missed a good chance early in the five extra mixes when he completely botched a header from De Bruyne’s free-kick.

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In the end, the city statistics show 74 percent possession, 18 shots and four on target.

The decisive factor, however, is no goals – and a point.

Manchester City knew how important three points would have been

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Manchester City knew how important three points would have beenPhoto credit: Getty
Patrick Vieira and Conor Gallagher beamed full-time

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Patrick Vieira and Conor Gallagher beamed full-timePhoto credit: Reuters
Guardiola did not turn to his bench, although he did not find a breakthrough

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Guardiola did not turn to his bench, although he did not find a breakthroughPhoto credit: AFP

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17949001/crystal-palace-man-city-title-race-open/ The title race is wide open as Silva, De Bruyne and Mahrez are all agonizingly close

Ashley

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