Crystal Palace's Glenn Murray and Jason Puncheon put a dent on Manchester City's title defense. City lost 2-1 to Palace which was their third straight defeat away from home.
Manuel Pellegrini's men now are nine points behind Chelsea having played a match more, and they will head to Sunday's derby with Manchester United in fourth and a point behind their archrivals. City was in the hunt to defend their title, but with those defeats it now seems that their best hope is to try and secure an automatic berth in the Champions League group stages.
As a result, Liverpool and Tottenham will be eyeing the fourth spot if City continue their dismal form.
Alan Pardew's men showed signs of threat right from the start when they were easily cutting through City's defense. Glenn Murray's right footed shot in the bottom corner following a corner in the 34th minute left Pellegrini's men in complete disarray. Murray also claimed the freekick from Fernandinho right after the start of the second half. Puncheon converted the freekick into the goal leaving City's title dream in tatters.
City had most of the possession and their players were lurking around Palace's penalty box but only few of their shots tested the Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni. Yaya Toure's left footed curler from outside the box found the net in the 78th minute. That halved the deficit but they could not find an equaliser.
"I'm not talking about the title, I'm just trying to win our games and we will see at the end of the season," said Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini. "Every time you drop points it is a big blow but we must try to play in the way we did today because normally we win the game."
On the other hand, Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew expressed his delight: "We had to lean on our character tonight, we've got some good professionals in this group and that showed.
"[It] was about the resilience, the character, and it was a shame we didn't have enough offensive moments, but it's a great result for the club, our fans were terrific."