Josh fails to take his chance in bore draw
HIGH-FLYING Preston were held in a game of few clearcut chances.
But the draw extends Preston’s unbeaten run to six Championship games and they were the side who came closest to breaking the deadlock with opportunities wasted either side of half-time.
Millwall, seeking their first away win at this level in 12 attempts dating back to February 2015, had the first chance after 13 minutes as George Saville’s shot was parried by Chris Maxwell before Steve Morison blazed over from 12 yards.
But they rarely threatened again.
North End boss Alex Neil said: “I thought it was a hard-fought game and I didn’t think there were a huge amount of chances for either side.
“There was one great opportunity and we had it.
“It is probably one of those games if you win 1-0 you are happy the game is done and you have the points.
“Millwall were always going to come and make it difficult. Any game they have lost this year has been by one goal.
“The last thing we could do was to get complacent.
“It was a tough game and Millwall made it that way.”
The first half saw a number of fouls from both sides which broke up any pattern of the game.
After 25 minutes a set-piece broke to Daniel Johnson but he skied his volley high into the Millwall fans.
On the stroke of half-time, Johnson slipped a pass through for Sean Maguire inside the area but he sliced the ball into the side-netting from eight yards.
The best move of the match came from the hosts after 53 minutes when Johnson slid Tom Barkhuizen in and his low cross found Josh Harrop with an open goal but the forward could not get enough contact as he lunged at the ball from three yards.
Millwall boss Neil Harris said: “I was really pleased with a point and delighted with a clean sheet.
“I’ve got to be honest with you, we weren’t great today and from the first moment didn’t look like ourselves really.”
JUST another In-Sane day at the Etihad.
Sergio Aguero ticked one more goal off the hitman chart to leave him two goals away from becoming Manchester City’s most lethal striker.
And Pep Guardiola’s manic marauders went goal-mad once more with another famous five – this time against Crystal Palace.
That is now 22 goals in City’s last five matches.
And there is more. City are now unbeaten in 14 Premier League games as Raheem Sterling poached a double with man-of-the-match Leroy Sane, Aguero and substitute Fabian Delph completing the rout.
Guardiola, though, was not a happy bunny at half-time, kicking a chair on the way down the tunnel.
Was it in frustration? “No, it’s because I don’t like the chair,” said the City boss – who also urged a ballboy to get the ball back into play quicker.
“I got really angry. We started good but after that we forgot that the ball should be moved. Nothing is quicker than the ball and we train every day for that. In the second half we moved the ball quicker.”
Spare a thought, though, for pointless Palace and boss Roy Hodgson. After holding out for an initial 44 minutes it finished as a pounding, not helped by the fact that they have gone 540 minutes without a league goal.
By the end, Hodgson was reaching for the medication and said: “We kept them at bay
YES SER: Aguero stoops to head another goal ■
AB FAB: Delph completes the rout with City’s fifth