BY MATT WOOSNAM
Andros Townsend hailed an “incredible effort” from his Crystal Palace team-mates rather than take all the credit himself despite his stunning volley helping to earn victory over Manchester City.
Townsend smashed an effort in from almost 30 yards as Patrick van Aanholt’s free-kick was not cleared, and he struck a perfect volley which arrowed straight into Ederson’s goal and elated Palace’s travelling supporters.
Goals either side from Jeffrey Schlupp and Luka Milivojevic turned the game on its head after Ilkay Gundogan had put City ahead. Kevin de Bruyne’s overhit cross looped into the net with five minutes to go but Palace held firm.
Townsend played his part in a magnificent team effort, and despite a penchant for superb goals, he conceded this was likely to be his best ever finish.
“I knew I had to hit it early”, he told Crystal Palace TV.
“The way Man City play, if you take a touch it would probably end in a counter attack. The ball dropped nicely for my left foot, I hit it cleanly and the rest is history.”
The 27-year-old almost bagged himself a second after heading Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross against the post but from the resulting scramble Max Meyer won a penalty which was converted by Milivojevic.
“That’s probably the best one. I’ve said in the past I’d like to score more scruffy goals. I’d have been happier if the header went in but unfortunately it didn’t.
“Fortunately Luka scored the penalty a few minutes later so it didn’t mean much. I’m delighted with the goal.
“It was incredible from everyone – from the goalkeeper, the midfield and from Jordan [Ayew] when he came on. It was an incredible effort.
“We knew we would have to ride our luck at times but we did that and got fortunate on a few occasions. But we held out for a much needed three points.”
The former England winger has been deployed as a striker for the majority of the season, but dropped back into a wider role as Roy Hodgson tweaked his formation, and revealed he has enjoyed playing up front.
“I’m enjoying it. I was a lot deeper today and obviously when you come to Manchester City you’re not going to have many opportunities in the final third and you have to do a defensive job. For once this season we’ve taken our chances going forward.”