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Manchester City are closing in on another Premier League title after defeating Crystal Palace 2-0 on Saturday.
Second-half goals from Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres two minutes apart lifted the Sky Blues to an 11th straight league victory away from home.
Pep Guardiola’s side came into this game knowing a win combined with a Manchester United loss tomorrow would be enough to crown them Premier League champions.
As expected, there were wholesale changes in the City starting 11 with Gabriel Jesus, Aguero, Nathan Ake, Ferran Torres, and Raheem Sterling all featuring in this one.
Early on, it was Roy Hodgson’s side who had an excellent opportunity in the 10th minute.
A quick counter from the Eagles caught the Citizens off guard as Andros Townsend floated a cross into the far post towards Christian Benteke.
The Belgian striker got there above Fernandinho but couldn’t find the target.
In the 18th minute, City had their first scoring opportunity.
A lovely ball over the top from Joao Cancelo picked out Sterling in the Palace box.
Last season’s top goalscorer for City weaved his way past the Palace defenders and set himself up for a shot on goal, but Tyrick Mitchell made a vital tackle to deny him.
Both sides appeared content to go into the half tied, as they were both still trying to get a feel for one another.
In the 57th minute, Man City’s Sergio Aguero notched what could be his last goal ever for the club.
Benjamin Mendy did well to play a lovely ball through to the Argentine, who took one touch and, from a tight angle, lifted a great shot over Vicente Guaita to put City in front.
Three minutes later another rarely used City player got his name on the scoresheet.
Some sloppy defending from the Eagles as Ferran Torres picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box, drilling a shot through a crowd of players and into the far bottom corner.
City came close to getting a third in the 62nd minute.
Gabriel Jesus did well to square a ball off to Sterling driving forward, but the Englishman’s effort beat the keeper but not the post, with Torres unable to latch onto the rebound.
From there, the Citizens were in control though they did have a couple of late opportunities to pad their lead.
In the 83rd minute, Oleksandr Zinchenko played a lovely ball to Sterling on the edge of the box, but the City striker couldn’t find his range as his curling effort sailed just wide.
An excellent run from Ferran Torres a minute before injury time forced a good save from Guaita to keep the score respectable.
Aguero met the Spaniard’s low cross, but the Palace keeper did well to cut down the angle and make the stop.
City saw the rest of the match out without any difficulties.
Man of the Match
If this was his last Premier League match with the club, he is going out with a bang.
Sergio Aguero was dynamite today, scoring the winning goal and was a constant threat to score.
The club’s record goalscorer gave us a taste of what he’s still capable of doing.
His dramatic goal against QPR gave this club the title in 2011-12, and his winning goal today might deliver another deliver another championship for the Sky Blues.
He’s the 12th player to have scored in as many as 30 different stadiums in the Premier League.
Kun now has goals at eight different London stadiums in this competition.
Today’s performance could be the last of many memorable moments for Aguero who is leaving at the end of the season.
On a slide
It’s been a while since Palace have been on a slide like they are at the moment.
The Eagles suffered a third consecutive defeat, which is their longest such losing streak in this competition since July 2020.
Man City have entered the Premier League history books with today’s victory.
Their 11th consecutive victory away from home in this competition ties the record set by Chelsea (April- December 2008) and Man City (May- December 2017).
On the Outside, letting in goals
Crystal Palace have had a shaky defence all season, but it’s not just in the dangerous areas where they struggle.
Alongside Sheffield United, they have now conceded the most goals in this league campaign from outside the box with 11.
Reaching a milestone
Pep Guardiola may be without an established number nine upfront, but his side have still managed to find the back of the net multiple times.
The Sky Blues second goal today was the 700th scored in all competitions since the Spaniard took over.
That’s 157 more than any other Premier League side have scored since the summer of 2016.
Following the match, Pep Guardiola praised Aguero but also cautioned there is still work to do.
“What a goal (from Sergio). What an action. What a player. What a man, we are delighted he is back. We will enjoy the last games with him. He showed with the goal what he is. I am in love as a person. He is an incredible guy.
“(The champagne?) It’s in the fridge. We will take a look (at United v Liverpool). It’s PSG now. We need to see what we will do there. But we will take a look.”
City’s focus shifts to the Champions League as they host PSG in the second leg of their semi-final on Tuesday, leading 2-1 on aggregate.
The kickoff from the Etihad is at 8 pm. (JSL).