Thursday 22 February 2018

Ederson urges City team-mates to begin new winning run

Ederson acknowledged the resilience of Palace, but felt City were still the better side. Photo: Reuters/John Sibley
Ederson acknowledged the resilience of Palace, but felt City were still the better side. Photo: Reuters/John Sibley

Andy Hampson

Goalkeeper Ederson urged Manchester City to launch a new winning run after seeing their 18-game victory streak come to an end at Crystal Palace.

The Premier League leaders dropped points for only the second time this season as they were held to a goalless draw at Selhurst Park on New Year's Eve.

It might have been worse for City had Ederson not saved a late penalty from Luka Milivojevic and the Brazilian has urged his team-mates to redouble efforts.

City are soon back in action as they host Watford tonight.

Ederson said: "Heads up, let's keep working, thinking about the next game. We are having an amazing season and we can't complain. We will try to react well and win the next game. Then we must react to that and keep focused for the rest of the season."

Ederson denied Milivojevic from the spot with his feet and helped launch a breakaway, but the game was to end without score.

"I was just thinking about defending and saving the goal," said Ederson of the penalty. "It was the crunch time at the end of the game, 0-0. I knew how important it was.

"Obviously I am really happy to save the penalty and generate a counter-attack. Unluckily we didn't score."

Ederson acknowledged the resilience of Palace, but felt City were still the better side.

He said: "In the circumstances, it's good to have a point, but if you see the overall match it is not a good point. I think we deserved to win.

"Obviously we faced a really good team, they defended really well, but, overall, I think we deserved the win."

With a healthy lead at the top of the table, City can afford the odd slip-up, but of greater cost to them were injuries to Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne.

Striker Jesus could be out for up to two months with a knee injury, while De Bruyne is being assessed after being stretchered off with his knee in a brace.

Watford defender Daryl Janmaat has no doubts City will be crowned Premier League champions this season.

The Hornets hope to put a dismal end to 2017 behind them at the Etihad Stadium but Janmaat knows it will be tough against a side he believes are good enough to remain unbeaten throughout the campaign.

"If there's a team who can do it, it's them because they show every week they are too strong for every team," the Dutchman said.

"I think they have the best players in the league, almost in every position.

"They have a really good manager, they are unbelievable at the moment.

"They're winning nearly every game, with so much ball possession. They're so dominant. They're the best team in the league at the moment and they will be the champions."

Watford have lost their way after an impressive start to the season under head coach Marco Silva, closing out the year in disappointing fashion by conceding two late goals to lose 2-1 at home to Swansea on Saturday.

When asked how Watford will stop City tonight, Janmaat said: "It's a good question. Nobody can answer that question because everybody is losing against them.

"There's always a way to find a result, maybe they get a bad day. I think they played on the 31st as well so we have to go there to try to get a result."

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