JOEL Ward admitted he and his fellow Crystal Palace defenders found it hard to mark Manchester City's attacking threat on Saturday, despite the hosts playing without a recognised striker.
Because of injuries to Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic, City were forced to play David Silva and Samir Nasri in advanced positions.
And due to the way the duo float in and around spaces in the final third, they were difficult for the Eagles' rearguard to pick up.
"It was tough because they're very intelligent, they move the ball very quickly and around," said Ward.
"City have world-class players, so they're going to drift in areas where it's tough to pick up and mark.
"You have to stay alert but unfortunately the goals were disappointing to concede.
"It is hard to get the ball off them. We created our fair share of chances, and when Macca's goal did find the back of the net, it was disallowed."
By Mark Ritson (Twitter @MR_LWMedia)