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Crystal Palace vs Manchester City. Premier League.

Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace 0

    Manchester City 2

    • S Agüero (57th minute)
    • F Torres (59th minute)

    Crystal Palace 0-2 Man City: Sergio Aguero on target as Man City on brink of Premier League title

    Report and free match highlights as Sergio Aguero scores his second Premier League goal of the season; Ferran Torres follows up 83 seconds later to round off victory; Man City will win the Premier League title on Sunday if Man Utd lose to Liverpool

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City's win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League

    Quickfire goals from Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres have put Manchester City on the brink of the Premier League title after beating Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park.

    Pep Guardiola had made eight changes from the midweek victory at PSG and it showed in the first half as Man City failed to register a shot on target.

    Gabriel Jesus had a goal ruled out for offside, while Crystal Palace also had chances of their own, bettering City's tally for on-target efforts (2) in the opening 45 minutes.

    But 12 minutes after half-time and Man City had their first two shots on target - both of which resulted in goals. The first was an emphatic finish from Aguero (57) into the roof of the net before Torres (59) fired home from the top of the area 83 seconds later to seal the victory.

    It sees City put one hand on the Premier League trophy and they will secure their fifth Premier League title if Manchester United lose against Liverpool on Sunday, live on Sky Sports. For Crystal Palace, it is a third successive league defeat - although all against teams in the top four - and keeps them in 13th place.

    City close in on Premier League title

    Sergio Aguero celebrates  his goal
    Image: Sergio Aguero celebrates his goal during Man City's win at Selhurst Park

    It was a rather tepid start at Selhurst Park, but both sides had openings inside ten minutes. Benjamin Mendy's left-wing cross found Torres in the middle, but his attempted volley was seen behind for a corner. At the other end, Andros Townsend sent a good ball in, but Christian Benteke could only direct his header wide.

    Both teams continued to see half-chances, but the best chance of the half fell to Raheem Sterling in the 17th minute. He made a superb run in behind, beating three Crystal Palace defenders, but Tyrick Mitchell did just enough to put Sterling off, with his eventual effort bouncing wide.

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    But Crystal Palace were hardly being kept quiet. Some more good play from Townsend fed Joel Ward in the area, but Rodri made the block. However, Benteke was lurking with the ball at point-blank range, forcing Ederson to make a vital save at the near post.

    Player ratings

    Crystal Palace: Guaita (6), Ward (6), Kouyate (7), Dann (6), Mitchell (7), Riedewald (6), Milivojevic (7), Eze (7), Townsend (7), Benteke (7), Zaha (7).

    Subs used: Schlupp (6), Mateta (5), Ayew (6).

    Man City: Ederson (6), Cancelo (7), Ake (7), Laporte (7), Mendy (7), Fernandinho (7), Rodri (7), Torres (7), Sterling (7), Jesus (7), Aguero (7).

    Subs used: Zinchenko (6).

    Man of the match: Sergio Aguero.

    Not long before the break, Man City did have the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside. Jesus volleyed home from a lofted Fernandinho cross, but the linesman instantly had his flag raised. VAR checked briefly, but it soon concurred with the on-field decision.

    Man City ultimately ended the first half with no shots on target - the first time in 21 games in all competitions that they have failed to have a shot on target in the first half.

    Team news

    • Crystal Palace made two changes from the side that lost to Leicester. Patrick Van Aanholt and Jordan Ayew dropped to the bench, with Tyrick Mitchell and Andros Townsend into the XI.
    • Pep Guardiola made wholesale changes from the side that beat PSG in the Champions League. Ederson, Joao Cancelo and Rodri are the only three players to keep their spots. Sergio Aguero made only his sixth Premier League start of the season, with Raheem Sterling also in the starting XI.

    The second period began much like the first, but after 12 minutes, Man City scored twice in 83 seconds. Mendy fizzed in a low cross for Aguero, and the striker fired the ball into the roof of the net for only his second Premier League goal of the season.

    Aguero helped set up the second goal too as he found a boost in confidence. It was a wonderful strike from Torres though as he smashed home from the top of the area, beating Vicente Guaita.

    Ferran Torres celebrates after scoring a quickfire second for Man City
    Image: Ferran Torres celebrates after scoring a quickfire second for Man City

    From then on, Man City found their stride as they tripled their first-half tally for shots, registering 15 compared to five. Soon after the second goal, Sterling sent a shot onto the bottom of the post before Benteke blocked an Aymeric Laporte effort behind. Cancelo also curled an effort just wide, as did Sterling, who missed a string of chances in the second half.

    Crystal Palace had a good spell themselves towards the end of the game, but were unable to find a way past the City backline on the cusp of Premier League glory.

    Man of the match - Sergio Aguero

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    Pep Guardiola is thrilled to have Sergio Aguero back in the Manchester City side and among the goals in their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace

    What a return to the Man City starting XI for Aguero. It took him a little while to warm up, but when he got going, he showed why he can still be a vital player for another club when he moves on this summer.

    His goal was superbly taken and he was involved in the build-up for the second too. He had the most shots on target for City (2) and will be hoping to add a few more goals, a Premier League trophy, and a Champions League one before his departure.

    Guardiola said: "The pass from Mendy [for Aguero's goal] was exceptional and after that, the control, the action was class. Sergio has shown again what he has shown all his career, many times - what a goal, what a player, what a man.

    "I'm incredibly delighted that he's back. He spent lots of time injured and in the last week, he has trained really well and he's another weapon that we have next Tuesday for our semi-final."

    What the managers said

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    Roy Hodgson says Wilfried Zaha's performance against Manchester City may have been impacted by a groin issue, which the Crystal Palace star played through

    Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson: "The result does hurt but unfortunately we were playing against a team with so much ability. The first goal is not because we defended really badly, it's just a fantastic pass and shot.

    "I thought our back four were very good. As a group, we did well. Tyrick Mitchell must be very happy with his performance.

    "Wilfried Zaha was complaining a bit before game about his groin. He kept saying he was OK. I am not 100 per cent sure how OK he was. It could be the groin that was bothering him.

    "I thought there were moments in the game where he showed signs of being concerned about it and it might've affected his concentration from time to time, but having said that, I can't point to anything in particular that he didn't do the work or do the job that he should be doing. He got through it very well.

    "Watching them [Man City] as close as I have done these last four years in the league, and seeing the way Pep has worked with this team, I have got to say I don't think I have ever come across a team that good.

    "If you did really twist my arm and give me one team that might give them a good game, I'd say the Ajax team of Johan Cruyff in 1987, with the Van Bastens and Bergkamps.

    "I have often said in the past that was the toughest encounter I faced, Malmo vs Ajax, and in the future I might have to change my mind and put Man City up there instead."

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    Will Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola be watching Super Sunday to see Liverpool can beat Manchester United to seal the Premier League title for his side?

    Man City manager Pep Guardiola: "[I am] so, so pleased. In the first half we struggled a little bit to attack in a better way but with the quality of the players we needed more movement and they did it perfectly in the second half.

    "We were incredibly aggressive. Wow, it was a huge victory and now we can say we just need one step. Hopefully against Chelsea we can do it.

    "Tomorrow, I will take a look at the game [Man Utd vs Liverpool] and what happens, happens but the most important thing is not the fact you need them to be champions and the game is in our hands. If we don't win it tomorrow, we will try to win it next week.

    "We have four games to get two points and four games to be champions."

    Opta stats - Super City

    • Manchester City enjoyed their 11th away Premier League victory in a row, equalling the all-time English top-flight record for consecutive away wins (Chelsea - Apr-Dec 2008 and Man City - May-Dec 2017).
    • Manchester City's second goal of the game was their 700th scored in all competitions under Pep Guardiola, 157 more than any other Premier League side since the Spaniard took over in the summer of 2016.
    • Sergio Aguero became the 12th player to have scored at as many as 30 different stadiums in the Premier League, with the Manchester City striker now netting at eight different London stadiums in the competition (only Wayne Rooney and Nicolas Anelka with more - 9 each).

    What's next?

    Live Premier League

    Live Premier League

    Crystal Palace are back on Sky Sports next Saturday when they travel to Sheffield United in the Premier League; kick-off 3pm. Man City face a huge midweek game when they welcome PSG to the Etihad on Tuesday in their Champions League semi-final second leg. They will then face Chelsea on Saturday in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.

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