Man City beat Palace to close on title

Sergio Aguero scores for Manchester City
Club record scorer Aguero scored his 258th goal for Manchester City

Manchester City could clinch the Premier League title on Sunday after two goals in the space of 83 seconds saw off a stubborn Crystal Palace.

City will secure a third title in four seasons if second-placed Manchester United lose at home to Liverpool.

After a scrappy first half at Selhurst Park, Sergio Aguero thumped City ahead with a clinical finish before Ferran Torres drilled in a low shot.

That ended the resistance of Palace, who stay in 13th place.

Roy Hodgson’s side had chances in the first half through Christian Benteke, who flicked a header wide and had a close-range shot blocked by City keeper Ederson.

But once City made their breakthrough when Aguero smashed high into the net, quickly followed by Torres’ neat finish, the result was not in doubt.

Now it is a question of when, not if, Guardiola’s side will be crowned champions once again after relinquishing the crown to Liverpool last season.

Aguero inspires City once again

Not for the first time, but perhaps the last, Aguero provided the inspiration for City as they close in on another trophy.

While he might no longer be deemed by Guardiola as a key starter in City’s biggest games, there was a sense of inevitability that Aguero would still have a significant impact in their chase for the Treble as his iconic spell at the club comes towards an end.

The 32-year-old Argentine will leave when his contract expires at the end of the season after playing such a pivotal role in their success since arriving in 2011.

It therefore seemed poignant that he scored the goal which could all but clinch another league title.

Playing slightly deeper behind Gabriel Jesus, Aguero was at the heart of City’s brighter attacking moments in a first half when they lacked quality in the final third of the field.

Yet they had not managed a shot on target until he thumped in the opening goal.

When the ball came into the Palace box from the left, Aguero took a deft touch to create the space in which to blast a powerful shot into the roof of the net.

It was a reminder of the quality he still possesses, which is leaving the leading clubs in the world reportedly eyeing a move for him in the summer.

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero, who had never scored at Selhurst Park, became the 12th player to score at 30 or more different stadiums in the Premier League

Why City are enjoying their travels – stats of the day

  • Crystal Palace have suffered three consecutive Premier League defeats for the first time since July 2020 (a run of seven)
  • Manchester City enjoyed their 11th away league victory in a row, equalling the English top-flight record for consecutive away wins – Chelsea (Apr-Dec 2008) and City (May-Dec 2017)
  • No team have conceded more Premier League goals from outside the box this season than Palace (11, level with Sheffield United)
  • City’s second goal was their 700th in all competitions under Pep Guardiola, 157 more than any other Premier League side since he took over in 2016
  • City had to wait until the 57th minute to register a shot on target, their longest wait in the Premier League since November 2019 v Southampton (70th minute)
  • Raheem Sterling has failed to score and registered only one assist in his past 11 appearances in all competitions for City, after netting six and assisting two in the previous nine

What’s next?

Palace travel to relegated Sheffield United on 8 May (15:00 BST).

City turn their attention to Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Paris St-Germain (20:00), before hosting Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday (17:30).

More to follow.

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Crystal Palace

  1. Squad number31Player nameGuaita

  2. Squad number2Player nameWard

  3. Squad number8Player nameKouyaté

  4. Squad number6Player nameDann

  5. Squad number27Player nameMitchell

  6. Squad number44Player nameRiedewald

  7. Squad number4Player nameMilivojevic

  8. Squad number25Player nameEze

  9. Squad number10Player nameTownsend

  10. Squad number20Player nameBenteke

  11. Squad number11Player nameZaha

  1. Squad number9Player nameJ Ayew

  2. Squad number14Player nameMateta

  3. Squad number15Player nameSchlupp

Manchester City

  1. Squad number11Player nameZinchenko

Line-ups

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Guaita
  • 2Ward
  • 8KouyatéBooked at 81mins
  • 6Dann
  • 27Mitchell
  • 44RiedewaldSubstituted forSchluppat 59′minutes
  • 4MilivojevicBooked at 49mins
  • 25Eze
  • 10TownsendSubstituted forJ Ayewat 82′minutes
  • 20BentekeSubstituted forMatetaat 67′minutes
  • 11Zaha

Substitutes

  • 1Butland
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 9J Ayew
  • 14Mateta
  • 15Schlupp
  • 22McCarthy
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 24Cahill
  • 34Kelly

Man City

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 31Ederson
  • 27Cancelo
  • 6Aké
  • 14Laporte
  • 22Mendy
  • 21Torres
  • 25FernandinhoSubstituted forZinchenkoat 67′minutes
  • 16Rodri
  • 7Sterling
  • 10Agüero
  • 9Gabriel Jesus

Substitutes

  • 2Walker
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 8Gündogan
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 26Mahrez
  • 47Foden

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