Let’s take a look at the Player Ratings from the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park.
Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres’ second-half strikes moved Manchester City one step closer to the Premier League title.
The runaway Premier League leaders visited Selhurst Park knowing a victory, along with Manchester United losing to Liverpool on Sunday, would seal a seventh league title by the end of the weekend.
With one eye on the second leg clash with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League next week, though, Pep Guardiola made a host of changes to his line-up.
Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne, and Phil Foden all dropped to the bench, and John Stones was suspended.
Even with so many star names absent, however, the quality at Guardiola’s disposal ensured they weren’t missed as the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, and Raheem Sterling returned.
But Crystal Palace were no pushovers. The hosts may not have seen much of the ball, but their resolute defending ensured a goalless first-half in London.
Jesus may have had a goal ruled out for offside, but City struggled before the break. Guardiola’s men had some half chances, but nobody could quite finish them off.
It was the fourth time in five Premier League games the Citizens had failed to score a first-half goal. They also failed to get a single shot on target for the first time in 21 outings across all competitions.
Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City.
The blues are 3 points from glory.
— Manchester City (@CityForWeekend) May 1, 2021
Aguero and Torres strike
Two quick-fire strikes in the second-half, however, ensured all three points.
City had a bright start and finally broke the deadlock before the hour-mark through Aguero. The club’s departing record scorer gave a timely reminder of his quality with a bullet of a finish, with a timely assist from Benjamin Mendy.
Then, in the blink of the eye, the champions-elect struck again to double their lead after Ferran Torres curled a neat finish past Palace keeper Vicente Guaita into the bottom corner of the net.
With a 2-0 advantage, City continued to dominate proceedings and came close to a third goal through Raheem Sterling.
But while the England international couldn’t add to the club’s tally, Guardiola’s men held on to take a convincing win.
Depending on whether Liverpool can defeat second-placed Manchester United on Sunday, they could claim a third Premier League title in four seasons.
Palace, meanwhile, remained in 13th-place in the league standings and 11 points above the relegation zone.
Crystal Palace: Guaita (5); Ward (6), Kouyate (6), Dann (6), Mitchell (7); Riedewald (6), Milivojevic (5), Eze (6); Townsend (6), Benteke (7), Zaha (5).
Bench: Ayew (6), Mateta (6), Schlupp (6).
Manchester City: Ederson (7); Cancelo (8), Ake (7), Laporte (7), Mendy (8); Torres (9), Fernandinho (7), Rodri (8), Sterling (7); Aguero (8); Jesus (6).
Bench: Zinchenko (7).
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