As one of the biggest players in the history of the Premier League, Patrick Vieira is used to making waves. The Frenchman arrived at Arsenal as a ‘flop’ from AC Milan, before establishing himself as a truly elite midfielder. He became the player that was never truly replaced at the Gunners, and his exit began the slow but significant decline of the Gooners when he left for Italian football in 2005. Since then, Arsenal have never really reached the heights they did when Vieira was a player.
With that in mind, then, it should come as no surprise to Crystal Palace fans that Vieira is having such an impact. Though his team at OGC Nice could be categorised as unsuccessful in the end, he did have some good times there. In New York, too. Back in England, though, he appears to be entirely at home – and at ease – with the demands of the league. So much so that he could have a bigger say on the destination of the Premier League title than most other teams.
Having taken on Liverpool twice already, Palace know the challenges of facing the Anfield outfit. Losing 3-1 and 3-0 to the Reds respectively, Vieira knows how good they are. He has, though, taken 4 points off Manchester City, with a win at the Etihad Stadium and a tough 0-0 draw on Monday night being essential for the title race.
Despite playing for Manchester City in his late career, playing 28 times for them in the Premier League in the 2010-11 season, Vieira appeared nonplussed about who goes on to lift the title at the end of the season.
What did Patrick Vieira say about Manchester City?
As the game against City drew to an end, it was clear that Palace had done enough to earn something from the game. Vieira, though, was clear that alongside Chelsea these two were among the best five teams on the continent. In his post-match interview, Vieira said: "You're looking at the number of players they have in the squad, how they play. They make the game look really easy. It will be a really exciting end of the season for the title."
He did reserve special praise for City, though, adding: "When you play against City you have to concede chances. It’s all about having your luck on the day but also putting in a shift as a team. We did that today. We fought for the luck and we got a point. We’re happy with the performance.”
Speaking about the end result, too, Vieira noted that Palace did not just sit in and hope for the best, adding: "We had some chances. It was that kind of feeling you can score one and win the game 1-0. I’m happy with a draw."
For Palace fans, then, having such a big say on the title race feels pretty good. Though it has historically been Liverpool that the Eagles have struck down, it appears that City now feel equally aggrieved whenever they take on the South London outfit.