Kevin De Bruyne was stretchered off as Manchester City lost its 18-game winning streak to a determined Crystal Palace team. 

By 90Min
December 31, 2017

Manchester City's 18-game Premier League winning run came to an end on Sunday afternoon as they were held to a goalless draw by a dogged Crystal Palace in south London. 

Despite, as expected, the visitors seeing the vast majority of possession and creating a large amount of opportunities, the plaudits belonged to the Eagles' defence, whose heroics stopped the Citizens from finding the back of the net for the first time this season. 

The hosts now become only the second side in the English top-flight to claim a single point from the north west giants this term, which could have been three had Luka Milivojevic converted a last-minute penalty.

However, maybe more troubling for Pep Guardiola was witnessing star Kevin De Bruyne stretchered off in injury time with his leg in a brace after a horrifically mistimed challenge from Jason Puncheon as the visitors looked to break from the saved spot kick. 

But as it was the spoils were shared, with the result reducing City's gap at the top to 14 points whereas Palace climbed out of the bottom three once again with the point. 

It was a frantic opening inside an electric Selhurst Park, with both sides fashioning clear-cut opportunities in the first 10 minutes. 

Bernardo Silva flashed wide and Gabriel Jesus saw his attempt smothered well by Wayne Hennessey with less five gone before a calamitous defensive mix up between Citizens custodian Ederson and center-back Eliaquim Mangala at the other end afforded Christian Benteke a chance at goal with only the defender to beat. 

It looked as though the 27-year-old frontman was to put the Eagles into a shock lead, but the Belgium international could not guide his attempt around the closing Frenchman, who did well to obstruct the effort and guide it away to safety. 

But the opening relentless tempo was momentarily quashed as Scott Dann was stretchered off after what looked like a serious collision of knees with City attacker Kevin De Bruyne as the 26-year-old skipped past the Liverpudlian on the edge of the area. 

The Englishman's demise then set the trend for the following few moments, as Jesus, who seemed to overstretch after losing his footing earlier in the tie, was forced from the field of play minutes later whilst limping and in tears. 

The reaction portrayed a similar picture to that of the Brazilian after he was condemned to a long-term layoff during the second month of his Premier League career earlier this year, which ruled him out for 13 top-flight games. 

Following the duo of extended stoppages, the fast-paced nature of the clash continued, but aside from Sergio Aguero, who replaced Jesus, rattling the post from a deflected effort shortly after being introduced, it was Wilfried Zaha who looked the brightest spark, with any positivity in Palace's game channeled through the 25-year-old. 

However, neither side was able to create a substantial opening in the remaining moments leaving the scores goalless at half-time. 

After the break, City was finally able to produce a more cohesive display to that of their fractured first 45, which saw several misplaced passes and a couple of on-field spats, and the visitors almost found the breakthrough 10 minutes in as Ilkay Gundogan whipped his attempt from range just past Hennessey's right-hand upright. 

As the clock ticked on, Pep Guardiola's side continued to turn the screw, with the Palace shot-stopper forced into two smart saves courtesy of an Aguero header and a venomous Leroy Sane half-volley from close range within five minutes of one another to keep his side level. 

But despite soaking what seemed endless pressure at the other end, the Eagles had arguably the best chance of the afternoon in open play as the game entered its final quarter of an hour. 

Benteke did well to hold up play just outside the area before feeding Zaha on the right-hand side, whose low cross found an unmarked Andros Townsend around six yards out with the goal gaping. 

But the Englishman could do nothing but balloon his attempt over the crossbar, much to the shock, disappointment and displeasure of boss Roy Hodgson on the sidelines. 

However, as the clock hit 90, substitute Raheem Sterling was penalized by referee John Moss for allegedly taking down Zaha inside the area. 

On reflection, the decision looked soft, and City will have felt justice was served as Ederson came to his side's rescue to deny Luka Milivojevic from 12 yards with what was a poor spot kick.

But the drama was not over, as after the following counterattack both De Bruyne and Jason Puncheon left the field on stretchers courtesy of a simply horrendous, and unpunished, tackle from the Croydon-born attacker to halt the charge. 

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)