Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 23, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications

FINALLY a few seconds of calm descended, Selhurst Park took a collective breath and tried to digest the chaos and Pep Guardiola settled into the Crystal Palace dug-out beside Roy Hodgson. From their perch, the scene must have resembled something akin to a landscape of New Year’s revelry. Bodies were scattered; first-aiders were scrambling, arguments were spiralling out of control and emotions were raging. veryone, apparently, was tired and suffering from fatigue. Kevin De Bruyne, arguably the best player in the Premier League this season, was sprawled in agony on the turf having been felled by Jason Puncheon who was also hurt. Both players would be carried off. Puncheon had been so desperate to stop De Bruyne breaking on Crystal Palace after Ederson saved a penalty in stoppage time to deny Palace a famous triumph. City had disputed the decision by referee Jon Moss who ruled Wilfried Zaha had been nudged from behind by his pursuer, Raheem Sterling. It was, it must be said, a soft penalty. Zaha smiled and clenched his fists in front of the Holmesdale Stand when it was awarded and the home crowd roared in expectation. They might have known better having witnessed the farce which unfolded when they won a penalty in the closing minutes of a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth, earlier in the month. On that occasion, Christian Benteke demanded the ball from regular penalty taker Luka Milivojevic and promptly missed. This time, Benteke stepped aside and Milivojevic stepped forward to aim his spot-kick down the centre of the goal. Ederson dived to his right and saved with his feet and City sprang into attack, Puncheon hacked at De Bruyne but it was Martin Kelly who halted the counter-attack with a foul, 30 yards nearer the Palace goal. Referee Moss was brandishing yellow cards and trying to recapture some order as City’s players celebrated what they claimed to be justice. On the touchline, Guardiola and Hodgson, calm within the storm, struck up a civil conversation.

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