BY SAM SMITH
Crystal Palace made ‘blatant mistakes’ in their 4-0 defeat against Manchester City, according to boss Roy Hodgson.
A brace from John Stones and stunners by Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling ensured a heavy defeat for the Eagles at the Etihad Stadium.
Hodgson was unhappy with his side’s performance.
“The first half, we did very well. They had a lot of the ball, which we knew they would have. I don’t think they created that many chances and we were holding our own very well,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.
“But I’m afraid we made some quite blatant mistakes in the second half, often playing the ball back too much to the goalkeeper, and it cost us. The goals they scored were fantastic goals but if we could have done what we did in the first half, we could have made it that bit harder and not lost by such a big margin.
“It’s another defeat which is hard to take because I cannot fault the players on their effort and I cannot fault them on their attempts to try to keep this very good team at bay. But we gave away the goal chances a little bit too easily in the second half.
“All goals are preventable if you analyse them, and that’s what our job is to do. Gundogan’s strike right in the joint [of the posts] and Raheem’s right at the end is in the joint, they are excellent strikes.
“But there are three goals from corner kicks, that’s not really like us. It’s not really like us to surrender the ball, as we did on a few occasions to give them those corner kicks and to give them those chances.
“We’re all so, so disappointed. I can accept losing here because they are a very good team and, normally speaking, teams who come here do lose. I’m disappointed to lose by such a big margin.”
Palace have suffered some heavy defeats this season. This was their second 4-0 loss of the campaign following a result by the same scoreline at Chelsea. There was also the 7-0 reverse at home to Liverpool.
The South Londoners have conceded more goals than bottom-placed Sheffield United – who have five points and are likely to go down as one of the worst teams in Premier League history. They also have the same goal difference as 18th-placed Fulham.
Hodgson continued: “Our goal difference is not that good these days and our goals conceded column is not that good, but it has all come in a few games. We’ve had two fours, a three and a seven.
“Those four games are the ones that have really put our goals against column where it is. The other 15 games, we actually have quite a good defensive record. The fact is, it’s 19 games that count, those four games do count, and that will count against us in terms of the goal count at the end of the season. Goal difference at the end of the season is worth a point.”
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