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Benjamin Mendy has taken a magnanimous stance following Manchester City’s shock 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday and said the result is an example of why football is beautiful.
Cenk Tosun scored his first Palace goal to put the Eagles ahead at the Etihad Stadium, and Fernandinho’s own goal sealed an unlikely draw after Sergio Aguero’s brace temporarily put City in front.
Mendy, 25, told reporters after the game: “Football is like this—that’s why it’s beautiful. At the end of the game, we are all angry and sad. I think we deserved more.”
Wilfried Zaha forced the 90th-minute equaliser via Fernandinho, leaving Pep Guardiola’s side 13 points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool having played two games more than the Reds:
Roy Hodgson’s side are ninth and 18 points below City in the standings, emerging with a share of the spoils in Manchester after scoring with two of their three attempts on target. The Citizens had 25 shots at goal compared to Palace’s five, finishing with more than 70 percent of possession.
It’s not the first time in the past two campaigns that the Eagles have shown courage to earn points against the odds in Manchester:
The draw is an even more impressive result for Palace considering the south Londoners travelled with an extensive injury list. Hodgson was missing a raft of first-string players in Luka Milivojevic, Patrick van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho, Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke, Jeffrey Schlupp and Max Meyer.
City led for three minutes following Aguero’s second strike before being pegged back again, and Mendy added:
“We were winning the game. The emotion was crazy.
“The feeling, the atmosphere… we believed we could score.
“In football, you have to be focused until the end. For one or two seconds, we were not ready and anything can happen. We tried to play like Man City play. We drew and we need to forget the game and look forward.”
The Athletic’s Sam Lee praised Mendy in particular before the French left-back assisted Aguero for his second goal of the afternoon:
Palace have now drawn six of their past nine games and are unbeaten in five top-flight outings, posting a salary bill that would pale in comparison to Saturday’s opponents.
Mendy can perhaps afford to look philosophically upon the defeat considering City’s Premier League title looks to be on its way to Liverpool, but Guardiola may still demand a less forgiving outlook in the future.