Crystal Palace vs Man City: Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres goals push Man City close to Premier League crown

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Crystal Palace vs Man City: Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres goals push Man City close to Premier League crown

1 May 2021

Wia dis foto come from, EPA

Manchester City fit win di Premier League title on Sunday after two goals in di space of 83 seconds help dem win stubborn Crystal Palace.

City go secure a third title in four seasons if second-placed Manchester United lose for home against Liverpool.

After scrappy first half for Selhurst Park, Sergio Aguero thumped City ahead with clinical finish before Ferran Torres score from low shot.

That end di resistance of Palace, wey dey 13th place.

Roy Hodgson side get chances for di first half through Christian Benteke, wey flicked im header wide and bin get close-range shot wey City keeper Ederson block.

But once City make their breakthrough when Aguero smash high into di net, plus another goal quickly follow by Torres neat finish, di result no come dey in doubt.

Now di question na when, not if, Guardiola side go dey crowned champions once again after dem bin see Liverpool take their crown last season.

Wia dis foto come from, PA Media Wetin we call dis foto, Sergio Aguero, wey never score for Selhurst Park, become di 12th player to score for 30 or more different stadiums for Premier League

City round off wonderful week

As far as weeks for world of football dey go, City don enjoy one wey fit no dey even more perfect.

Starting on Sunday when dem win di Carabao Cup final against Tottenham, and e continue on Wednesday with di impressive victory over Paris St-Germain for Champions League semi-final first leg, Guardiola squad perfectly round off a pivotal week.

With di second leg wey dey come up on Tuesday, Guardiola shuffle e team as im make eight changes and dem initially no show any rhythm against a Palace side wey look solid.

After Jesus see di ref rule out im close-range finish for offside, City go into di break wit no shot on target for di first half for di first time in 21 matches.

Patience and second-half improvement wey serve as di key to City win for Paris prove imsef again.

Guardiola demeanour bin dey buoyant and relaxed after im secure vital win, afta im don dey able to rest key players and seemingly avoid picking up any injuries.

Premier League: Manchester City on brink of securing title as Sergio Aguero, Ferran Torres help beat Crystal Palace-Sports News , Firstpost

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Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City: Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres strike for champions-in-waiting

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The machine, the beautiful, relentless, ruthless Manchester City football machine, rolled on to the brink of new glories in south London on Saturday.

From Wembley to the Parc des Princes to Selhurst Park, they are sweeping all before them as their season heads towards a rousing finale. This victory against Crystal Palace meant they might not have to kick another ball to clinch a third Premier League title in four years.

If Manchester United lose to Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, City will have won the crown with four games to spare and nobody will say they did not deserve it.

Manchester City placed one hand on the Premier League trophy after two second half goals saw them beat Crystal Palace

Sergio Aguero smashed City into the lead just before the hour mark to send the champions-in-waiting on their way to the win

Ferran Torres (right) then doubled City’s advantage less than two minutes later after capitalising on some chaos to drill home

MATCH FACTS Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Kouyate, Dann, Mitchell, Milivojevic, Riedewald (Schlupp 59), Eze, Townsend (Ayew 82), Benteke (Mateta 67), Zaha Substitutes: Butland, van Aanholt, McCarthy, Batshuayi, Cahill, Kelly Booked: Milivojevic, Kouyate Manager: Roy Hodgson Manchester City: Ederson, Cancelo, Laporte, Ake, Mendy, Rodri, Fernandinho (Zinchenko 67), Torres, Jesus, Aguero, Sterling Substitutes: Walker, Dias, Gundogan, Steffen, de Bruyne, Silva, Mahrez, Foden Goals: Aguero 57, Torres 59 Manager: Pep Guardiola Advertisement

In this strange season, distorted by Covid-19 and its tragedies and its testing, the wonder of some of City’s football has provided at least some distraction amid all the suffering and the worry.

They have been the class of the field, just as Liverpool were last season, and whether their title win is decided on Sunday or next weekend, it has reconfirmed them as the best team of this era after the interregnum of Jurgen Klopp and his side.

‘City never stop,’ Klopp said on Friday. ‘That is clear. They did not stop and they will not stop.’

They started slowly against Palace just as they had against PSG in Paris on Wednesday but just as they rallied to overwhelm Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and the rest, so they moved into another gear after half-time against Roy Hodgson’s team.

They exploded into action and Palace simply could not cope. It was why Hodgson had said before the game that he was approaching it with ‘extreme trepidation’.

The celebrations from City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, and the substitutes in the stands showed how close they are to adding a trophy to the Carabao Cup they won last Sunday by beating Spurs at Wembley. If they successfully negotiate the second leg of their Champions League semi-final with PSG on Tuesday, a treble will be in their sights.

Their 2-0 over Palace was secured with two goals in 83 seconds from Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres but they could have scored five in the 20 minutes after the interval.

A floated pass forward was taken down expertly by Aguero with his first touch, before his second saw him smash into the net

Torres wheeled away after fizzing his goal into the far corner with City piling all the pressure on neighbours United on Sunday

Pep Guardiola celebrated exuberantly in his dugout after watching Torres drill his team into a commanding lead in the capital

Aguero’s finish, a masterpiece of opportunism and class, was a reminder of what he has achieved at City and what the club will be missing when he moves on at the end of the season. Torres’s goal was a reminder of how bright City’s future is.

Aguero’s goal seemed apt. It was his famous last-gasp strike against QPR that brought City their first top-flight title for 44 years in 2012 and now he may have scored one of the goals that has brought them another.

No wonder Guardiola was unabashed in his admiration for the club’s record goalscorer. ‘What a goal, what an action, what a man,’ he said. ‘I am in love as a person.’

To add to City’s contentment, their victory was their 11th straight away league win, which equalled a top-flight record. Since drawing at Old Trafford on December 12, Guardiola’s team have won top-flight matches at Southampton, Chelsea, West Brom, Burnley, Liverpool, Everton, Arsenal, Fulham, Leicester and Aston Villa and by an aggregate score of 26-4.

City’s squad is so deep and so packed with talent that it is difficult to identify Guardiola’s preferred starting team but hard though it is to think of Raheem Sterling and Aguero as reserves, it felt as if he picked what was effectively a second XI here. There were eight changes from the team that beat PSG, which meant Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden and Ruben Dias were on the bench, rested so they could be fresh for PSG’s visit.

City dominated possession in the early stages but Palace looked more likely to make a breakthrough when they attacked.

Gabriel Jesus looked to have fired City into the lead midway through the first half but had strayed offside before his strike

Jesus guided a neat half-volley above Vicente Guaita from close range but the timing of his run forward left him frustrated

Aguero was recalled for the champions-in-waiting but initially looked off-colour after squandering several good openings

Christian Benteke should have done better with a header from a pinpoint Andros Townsend cross and City, like many sides before them, seemed uneasy when they tried to cope with the pace and direct running of Wilfried Zaha.

Still, it was City who should have scored first. For all the intricacy of their play, it was a long ball forward from Aymeric Laporte that unlocked the Palace defence and allowed Sterling to sneak in behind it.

Sterling danced past two challenges and just when it seemed he was about to apply the finishing touch, Tyrick Mitchell did enough to make him hurry his shot and it flew well wide.

Ten minutes later, Palace put together the best move to that point and nearly scored themselves.

Townsend and Joel Ward worked the ball down the right with a series of one-touch passes that freed Ward to run to the goal line.

He could not find a team-mate with his pull-back but when it broke loose, Benteke turned and tried to force it past Ederson from close range only to be denied by the goalkeeper’s legs.

City thought they had scored 10 minutes before the interval when Gabriel Jesus lashed a cross from Fernandinho into the roof of the net but he had strayed yards offside.

In fact, the half-time whistle marked the first time in 21 games in all competitions that City had failed to have a shot on target in the first half.

Raheem Sterling tried to work his way through before scoring but his finishing touch was found wanting despite the fine play

Wilfried Zaha was left dumbfounded after being penalised in the first-half as Palace tried to match a rampant City toe-to-toe

The hosts kept a compact shape when City came forward and Sterling found himself isolated outside of the box all too often

Guardiola cut an irritated figure on the touchline before City’s two-goal salvo all but wrapped up the title for his high-flyers

They looked as if they were going to put that right seven minutes into the second half when Fernandinho drilled a brilliant pass to the edge of the six-yard box where Torres controlled it.

Torres eschewed the chance to shoot and lobbed the ball across goal toward Gabriel Jesus. But Scott Dann got there before him and headed it over the bar.

It was only a momentary reprieve. Five minutes later, Benjamin Mendy curled in a low pass towards Aguero as he ran forward towards the edge of the box. Aguero controlled it with his right foot. The ball bounced up and when it dropped, Aguero hit it on the half-volley and smashed an unstoppable drive high past Vicente Guaita and into the roof of the net.

Less than two minutes later, City doubled their lead. Torres hit a curling shot through the legs of Cheikhou Kouyate and beyond the right hand of the diving Guaita. There were roars of celebration from the ranks of City substitutes in the front rows of the stand.

Sterling hit the base of the post with a low left-foot shot and Guaita produced a stunning close-range save from Laporte to stop City stretching their lead further.

They were making chances at will and Joao Cancelo should have rounded off a fine counter-attack when Torres backheeled the ball into his path but he lifted his shot just too high.

Palace full back Tyrick Mitchell caught the eye during the lunchtime kick-off and defended well against waves of City attacks

Christian Benteke (pictured battling with Rodri) proved a nuisance for City’s backline and had been a physical outlet up front

Re-live all the drama from Selhurst Park with live coverage from Sportsmail’s DANIEL DAVIS below…