A back-and-forth tussle between the champions and Chelsea was ultimately settled from the penalty spot as Palmer netted to ensure the points were shared. Erling Haaland had previously grabbed a brace for City, with Manuel Akanji and Rodri also on the scoresheet, while Thiago Silva, Sterling, Nicolas Jackson and Palmer were on target for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Palmer’s dramatic penalty was a fitting end to a pulsating encounter in which Chelsea more than held their own and registered 17 shots compared to City’s 15, with eight yellow cards handed out, in addition to several on-field fracas.
Despite the high-octane stuff on shown in west London, both Sterling and Palmer were calm as they spoke to Sky Sports after the game. “Yeah, [It was] very strange,” Palmer admitted.
“That’s the first time I’ve played against City since I left but I have the utmost respect for the club that I spent 15 years at. It was nice to see some friends - unlucky not to get the win but it was a great game.
“I was excited before the game to see some faces and show what I can do. It was a great game and we went behind a few times and bounced back.”
The decision to award the injury-time penalty resulted in some scuffles between the opposition players, and a drawn-out wait for before Palmer’s tense kick.
“A long time waiting but I felt confident - had a few penalties recently," said the 21-year-old. "Just keep calm, it was the 90-something minute and I kept focused. I’m not going to say I work on them because I don’t, I just trust in my natural ability and thankfully it went in.”
Like Palmer, Sterling didn’t celebrate excessively when he scored a back-post tap in, in the 37th minute, to sort of goal that was common practice during his time in Manchester.
"I scored and obviously it’s a good feeling and you don’t try to overdo it,” he explained. “I had a great time at City and people know what I can do and with the foundation that manager has laid here… just go out and perform. I think the team is building and it’s good to be a part of it.
“I think it was a good game. We wanted to win the game and continue from the win against Tottenham last week. That’s how we went out there and what we did. We fought when we went behind, that shows the mentality of us,” he added.