• Wednesday, 12 May 2021

City beats Palace 2-0, moves closer to clinching PL title

Published Date : May 1, 2021
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, centre, is congratulated by teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park in London, England, Saturday, May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Clive Rose/Pool)

LONDON (AP) — Manchester City moved within three points of reclaiming the Premier League title by beating Crystal Palace 2-0 on Saturday thanks to goals from Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres, players at the opposite ends of their careers at the club.

Aguero, who is leaving City at the end of the season after 10 years, scored his record-extending 258th goal for the club by controlling a pass from Benjamin Mendy and powering a shot off his laces into the roof of the net in the 57th minute.

Just 84 seconds later, Torres scored the 10th goal of the 21-year-old Spain winger’s debut season at City by curling home a low, left-footed finish from the edge of the area.

It was a one-two blow by Pep Guardiola’s heavily rotated team — due to the game coming between the two legs of the Champions League semifinal against Paris Saint-Germain — which took a while to get going at Selhurst Park but has left City on the brink of the title.

It could even be clinched as early as Sunday, if second-place Manchester United loses at home to Liverpool.

If United wins or draws at Old Trafford, the next opportunity to secure a third league crown in four years will come next Saturday when City hosts Chelsea.

The depth of Guardiola’s resources was highlighted by the fact that he rested most of his key players for the Palace game — Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Ruben Dias, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden were among the unused substitutes — but could still name a front four of Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Torres.

None of them will likely start against PSG on Tuesday, with City going into the game leading 2-1 from Wednesday’s first leg.

It was the latest leg of Aguero’s farewell tour and he moved onto 182 Premier League goals, five behind third-place Andy Cole on the all-time list, with his first ever at Selhurst Park.

Torres’ goal was City’s 700th in Guardiola’s 288-game tenure.

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