Aguero scores as City beat Palace, on brink of title
Manchester City could clinch the Premier League title on Sunday after two goals in the space of 83 seconds saw off a stubborn Crystal Palace.
City will secure a third title in four seasons if second-placed Manchester United lose at home to Liverpool.
After a scrappy first half at Selhurst Park, Sergio Aguero thumped City ahead with a clinical finish before Ferran Torres drilled in a low shot.
That ended the resistance of Palace, who stay in 13th place.
Roy Hodgson’s side had chances in the first half through Christian Benteke, who flicked a header wide and had a close-range shot blocked by City keeper Ederson.
But once City made their breakthrough when Aguero smashed high into the net, quickly followed by Torres’ neat finish, the result was not in doubt.
Now it is a question of when, not if, Guardiola’s side will be crowned champions once again after relinquishing the crown to Liverpool last season.
Aguero inspires City once again
Not for the first time, but perhaps the last, Aguero provided the inspiration for City as they close in on another trophy.
While he might no longer be deemed by Guardiola as a key starter in City’s biggest games, there was a sense of inevitability that Aguero would still have a significant impact in their chase for the Treble as his iconic spell at the club comes towards an end.
The 32-year-old Argentine will leave when his contract expires at the end of the season after playing such a pivotal role in their success since arriving in 2011.
It therefore seemed poignant that he scored the goal which could all but clinch another league title.
Playing slightly deeper behind Gabriel Jesus, Aguero was at the heart of City’s brighter attacking moments in a first half when they lacked quality in the final third of the field.
Yet they had not managed a shot on target until he thumped in the opening goal.
When the ball came into the Palace box from the left, Aguero took a deft touch to create the space in which to blast a powerful shot into the roof of the net.
It was a reminder of the quality he still possesses, which is leaving the leading clubs in the world reportedly eyeing a move for him in the summer.