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Crystal Palace vs Manchester City at Selhurst Park

Selhurst Park Referee : David Coote
1st May 2021 12:30 PM (BST)
  • 0 Crystal Palace

  • 2 Manchester City

    • ‘57' Sergio Agüero
    • ‘59' Ferran Torres


Commentary By John Edwards



That's all from me today - you can check out all the match stats and reaction below.

It's impossible to be anything but satisfied after that victory, with Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres' goals meaning we need just one win to be crowned Premier League champions.

We could even claim the title tomorrow if Liverpool beat Manchester United. 🤞

Our attentions now turn to a MASSIVE game on Tuesday as we host Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of our Champions League semi-final.

Kick-off is at 20:00 (UK) and our live coverage will begin around two hours before. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Blues!


Guardiola pleased with Ake

Nathan Ake delivered a solid performance at centre-half after an injury affected season and the boss was particularly pleased with his efforts today.

"He was one of the reasons I am so personally satisfied. I love the nice guys and he is one of the nicest and he struggled a lot this season with injuries. 

"I am pleased for all of us. Defensively he was incredibly focused, defending ball like it was his last in his life. We need him to maintain rhythm and no injuries. I am sure in the end of the season he will help us a lot."


Pep Guardiola - A huge victory

"[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."  


Roy Hodgson: You get undone by City

The home side made life difficult for us today and Roy Hodgson has no complaints about his side's performance or the result against a City sid he is full of admiration for. 

"I can't ask any more of the team and the players. All I can do is congratulate Man City. They made a lot of changes, but they've got such a good squad – they showed just how good their squad is.

"Tactically I don’t think I can fault the players too much, far from it. You get undone with teams like Manchester City. With their technical ability and athleticism, they're always making runs in behind. Of course it's very difficult to keep the ball long enough to ask enough questions."


Pep Guardiola reacts

We'll bring you news from the manager's post-match press conference shortly, but here is what he had to say to BT Sport.

On the performance:

"After the Champions League is always tough but the players who didn't play in Paris speak on the grass and they did it perfectly. In the second half we read perfectly the way we attack and the players made the difference."

On Sergio Aguero:

"What a goal. What an action. What a player. What a man. I am delighted he is back. We will enjoy the last games with him. 

"He showed with the goal what he is. I am in love as a person. He is an incredible guy."

On whether he will watch Manchester United v Liverpool:

"We will take a look. It’s PSG now. We need to see what we will do there. But we will take a look." 


U18s update: City 1-0 Blackburn Rovers

Carlos Vicens' side take a 40th minute lead as Josh Adam opens the scoring three minutes after coming on as a substitute. 


Sergio Aguero - I am ready to play

It was a timely return to the goals for the Argentine ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain.

It's a game every player would love to be involved in and he says he's ready if called upon: 

"Always I am ready. I feel good. My knee is good. I just wait for the opportunity to play.

“Everybody wants to play. We will wait and see…"


Sergio Aguero - I am so happy

One very happy goalscorer!   

"Finally I can play, so I am so happy because I haven’t played 90 mins for a long time. The goal is good because maybe we can win the Premier League. We’ll wait for tomorrow.

Always Mendy tries to pass to me. The only one inside the box. Inside the box I need one touch, or two touches. It’s my job. Finally it’s a goal. I am so happy with that."


Match stats 🔢

🔹 This was our 11th away Premier League victory in a row, equalling the all-time English top-flight record for consecutive away wins.

🔹 Ferran Torres' goal was our 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.

🔹 We had to wait until the 57th minute to register a shot on target (Sergio Aguero’s opener), our longest wait in the Premier League since November 2nd 2019 v Southampton (70th minute).

🔹 Sergio Aguero is 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).


Michael Brown - Perfect performance

A job well done for our former midfielder!

"A controlled performance. We talked about patience. With the games coming next and the changes made, it was perfect."


As it stands

This win moves us 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with four games left to play

That means, if Manchester United lose against Liverpool tomorrow afternoon we will be crowned champions for the third time in four seasons!


Full-time: Crystal Palace 0-2 City

We had to work hard for it, but a professional performance gets the job done at Selhurst Park, where Aguero and Torres were on target with a quickfire double.

We're now one win away from the Premier League title. 


Tight angle

Gabriel Jesus fires over as he tries to dig a shot out near the touchline following a corner.

Sterling's initial effort was blocked into his path but the angle was against the Brazilian who did well to get a shot off under pressure.



Raheem Sterling goes close again as Aguero and Zinchenko combine to set City's No.7 up.

He looks to bend it into the far corner but it rolls agonisingly wide of the post.


Well over

Kouyate picks up a yellow card for a foul 25-yards from goal.

Sterling takes responsibility for the free-kick in the centre of the pitch, but he blazes it clear of the crossbar.



Oh that might have been a third for City as Sterling tries to get on the end of a teasing Cancelo centre.

The right-back curls it in along the floor for his team-mate, who couldn't quick connect with it on the run and Guaita is able to gather it.

The slightest of touches would have taken it past the Palace goalkeeper.


Under pressure

Aguero darts away from Townsend on the left wing and clips the ball into Sterling in the area.

He feints and tries to get a shot off under the watchful eye of several Palace defenders, but Kouyate manages to get his body in the way to make the block.


Just wide!

Wonderful play by City on the counter-attack.

Sterling feeds Torres on the right channel and the Spaniard elects to backheel it into the path of the advancing Cancelo.

The full-back can hit them and he makes a sweet connection with a curling effort that goes just wide of the far post. 

Double matchday

Our Under-18s are also in action today as they remain in the hunt for the U18 Premier League title.

They've just kicked off against Blackburn Rovers and we'll bring you any important updates as they happen.



It's been all City since the goals and Palace will need to do better if they're to get back into this game.

Schlupp tries to inspire the home side with a shot from distance, but it's a weak effort and Ederson makes a comfortable save.



Laporte switches the play with a long ball out to Jesus who drives at Mitchell and gets a shot off, but the young full-back makes a good block before Guaita is called into action.



Zinchenko has gone into midfield alongside Rodrigo and makes an instant impact with a raking pass out to Mendy on the left.

The Frenchman takes the cross on the volley and weights it perfectly into the path of Aguero, but Kouyate makes a well-timed tackle to steal the ball before the Argentine can pull the trigger.



Pep makes his first change of the day as Zinchenko comes on for Fernandinho.

It's the same for Palace as Mateta replaces Benteke in a like for like substitution up front.



It's another opportunity for City as the ball pinballs around the Palace penalty area. 

It drops to Laporte yards from goal and he makes a good connection but Benteke makes a crucial block. 

One way traffic now!


Off the post!

We've found our rhythm now.

Sterling gets clear down the left and drills a low effort towards goal that beats Guaita but cannons back off the foot of the post.


GOAL - TORRES! Crystal Palace 0-2 City

And just like that it's 2-0 as City score twice in 84 seconds!

If Aguero's goal was thunderous then Torres' effort was wonderfully precise as he gathered the ball on the edge of the area and curled a shot between Kouyate's legs and into the bottom left corner.

We've seized control in emphatic fashion.


GOAL - AGUERO! Crytal Palace 0-1 City

What. A. Finish. 

City have done everything but score here so who else to make the breakthrough but our record goalscorer?

Aguero is picked out with a brilliant low cross from Mendy, takes a touch and rifles it into the roof of the net.




Palace win a free-kick on half-way but Kouyate makes a mess of his attempts to play Townsend in down the line with an overhit pass that rolls out of play for a goal kick.


Inches away!

Superb last ditch defending from Dann prevents Jesus from giving City the lead.

Fernandinho arrowed a ball into the path of Torres just outside the right post and the Spaniard elects to guide the ball across goal for Jesus rather than shoot himself.

The Brazilian was waiting to nod it in but Dann made a brilliant recovery to head the ball over the bar.



Yellow card

Milivojevic goes in David Coote's notebook as he stops Torres in his tracks as the Spaniard tries to break clear after Zaha conceded possession. 

Cancelo takes responsibility for the resulting free-kick but it is comfortably cleared by Riedewald.



Fernandinho delivers a crunching tackle on Milivojevic and tries to release Sterling, but Ward steps in to thwart the attack. 

The skipper's certainly leading by example. 💪


Michael Brown: Chances will come

Make changes? Keep things as they are? What should City do to make the breakthrough?

Michael Brown thinks the opportunities will come if we keep plugging away.

"Carry on. The team are controlling the game. More creativity is needed but the more we keep doing it, the opportunity will come. I'd just leave it as is. After 70/80 mins, you can look for changes."


David James - Offside decision was correct

"There was a lot of debate about the offside rule but I think it was right. If I’m Pep, I'm going into the changing room, thinking: 'It's fine. Let's tweak it a little bit. Get Mendy more on the ball, create more opportunities.'"


Michael Brown - As expected

"It was a half which I expected. City control possession and move Palace around. We talked about Palace being organised and hard to beat at times. Creativity wise, would have expected more opportunities at the top of the pitch? No shots on target, 70% possession but how can we be more adventurous? That’s where Pep is very good."


Half-time: Crystal Palace 0-0 City

All square at the break. Gabriel Jesus disallowed effort is the closest either team has come to opening the scoring, but it's been a fairly even game so far.

We've had more of the ball, but we're yet to find our best form in attack.


No room

Mendy and Aguero combine as the Frenchman is released down the left which allows him to turn a low cross into Sterling's path.

He tries to shimmy through several Palace bodies, but is crowded out before he can get a shot away.

The story of the game so far!



Another chance for Palace as Townsend stands over a free-kick deep on the left.

Palace have the height advantage and his curling centre is well struck, but it's far too close to Ederson who claims it comfortably.


Good ball

It's end to end stuff at Selhurst Park as Torres volleys a ball across the six-yard box.

Is an extremely inviting cross and begging to be turned in, but there's nobody there to meet it!



Palace serve City with another warning via the impressive Eze. 

The winger deceives Fernandinho with a smart turn to create a shooting opportunity but drags his 18-yard effort wide of the goal.



City have had everything but the finish so far today.

Another slick moves sees Torres get clear down the right and cut it back to Aguero, but the Argentine is under pressure from  Milivojevic and drives his effort wide of the near post.


Disallowed goal - Gabriel Jesus

City have yet to hit top form here and when we do finally create a clear cut chance, Jesus strayed offside as he volleyed in Fernandinho's cross from six-yards. 

It was marginal, but VAR confirms the assistant referee's original decision.



Palace make use of their height advantage on a free-kick as Dann heads the ball into Benteke's path, who holds off a couple of City defenders before laying it back to Riedewald on the edge of the area.

The midfielder makes a mess of his shot though, sending it well over the bar.



Palace's best move of the game.

The Eagles move the ball around midfield, before Townsend plays the overlapping Ward in behind the City back line.

His cross is turned into Benteke's path by Rodrigo and Ederson makes a smart stop with his legs to deny the Belgian's shot on the turn.



Ward makes a timely intervention as City look to build up some steam with Sterling.

The winger was picked out Torres well timed inside ball but the Palace full-back nipped in to steal the ball before we he could progress into the area.



It's another good move from City as Aguero steps over Mendy's cross and Sterling then slides the Argentine in behind the Palace defence.

He opens his body and tries to roll it into the far corner, but his effort is blocked by the centre-back.

Would have been a great team goal!



The best chance of the game!

Sterling beats three defenders in the box, but delays getting his shot away and when he eventually does, Mitchell came in to put him off.

Looked a certain goal if our No.7 had connected cleanly.



City yet to fully exert control on this contest and, with an Aguero through ball intercepted, Palace break with an attack of their own.

Townsend has plenty of time to pick out Benteke but his cross is off target and floats behind for a goal kick.


High and wide

Both sides enjoy periods of possession before Fernandinho thunders into a challenge which allows City to break.

It's worked wide to Sterling on the left, who cuts inside and tries to bend one into the far corner, but he's well off and it sails wide of the Palace goal.



Palace go straight up the end with a chance of their own as Townsend picks out Benteke in the area.

The Belgian jumps too early though and sends his header well wide.



Torres goes close for City as we show serious attacking intent for the first time.

Mendy checks back onto his right foot and hangs a ball to the back post which the Spaniard meets with a well struck volley, but Mitchell gets his body in the way to deflect it behind for a corner that comes to nothing.



Palace have their first shot of the game as the ball is cut back to Riedwald on the edge of the area, but he drives his effort into a City defender and Ederson grabs the resulting loose ball.


Formation watch

It's a typically fluid approach for City. Aguero, Sterling, Torres and Jesus almost forming a front four on occasion.

At the other end, Fernandinho is sitting deep alongside the centre-backs, which is allowing Cancelo and Mendy to station themselves further forward.



City win a free-kick deep on the right after Zaha palms Cancelo off in the face. 

It's curled in towards Rodrigo at the far post but Ward makes a crucial intervention to head the ball away.


Steady start

Both sides enjoying spells of possession without creating anything of note in the opening exchanges. 

Palace get some joy down the left but their low ball into the box is comfortably intercepted by Laporte and City move forward.



Here we go then, as we bid to make another step forward in a bid to reclaim the Premier League title. 

Eberechi Eze gets us under way in south London. 



Minutes away!

Five minutes until we get under way at Selhurst Park. The players are out on the pitch, so here's a reminder of how the two teams line up.  

CITY: Ederson, Cancelo, Laporte, Ake, Mendy, Fernandinho ©, Rodrigo, Sterling, Torres, Aguero, Jesus

PALACE: Guaita, Ward, Kouyate, Dann, Mitchell, Milivojevic, Riedewald, Eze, Townsend, Benteke, Zaha.


David James: I get excited watching Foden

It's fair to say our former No.1 has been impressed with Philip Walter Foden.

"I don’t often get excited about watching footballers but I get excited watching him.The things he was doing in the cup final were ridiculous."


Stat pack V2 📈

🔹 Crystal Palace have won just two of their 23 Premier League matches against sides at the top of the table (D4, L17), with both of those victories coming against Chelsea.

🔹 Hodgson has never won a Premier League home game against Manchester City as a manager (D3, L3), though he has won three away fixtures against them.


Stat pack 📈

🔹 City have scored a league-high 32 goals away from home this season.

🔹 We have won 10 Premier League away matches in a row, scoring 26 goals and conceding just four.

🔹In all competitions, we have won 18 successive away fixtures (this excludes cup ties at Wembley, since it is a neutral venue).

🔹Raheem Sterling has scored six goals in his past seven league starts against Crystal Palace.

🔹 Gabriel Jesus has 49 goals in 126 Premier League appearances. He could become just the second Brazilian to reach 50 in the competition, emulating Roberto Firmino.


Pep Guardiola: Every player knows what they have to do

Here's what the boss had to say to BT Sport ahead of the game:

On making eight changes:

"When we talk about tactics, we have to talk about the quality of the players. Players have other skills and other talents than others. We have to adapt. The quality of the players are there. The rest is theories. Put the players in the right positions where they feel comfortable to express their quality."

On Crystal Palace:

"Every game was tough. This year, we won but previously, lost and drawn. They have an experienced manager with a lot of personality. Every player knows what they have to do. Two games to be champions. Winning today would be a good step forward."


Talking tactics

The absence of a recognised striker has been a recurring theme this City, but Pep Guardiola has opted for two centre-forwards today.

So, what does that mean for our formation? Here are Club Journalist Neil Leigh's thoughts on how we might shape up:

"It looks as though Guardiola could well alter from his usual 4-3-3 formation at Selhurst Park. It's expected that the boss will opt to deploy a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 line up but as ever with a Pep Guardiola formation, expect fluidity in forward areas

"Skipper Fernandinho will occupy the holding midfield role with Rodrigo likely to be alongside offering protection. Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling are set to offer us width on either flank with the forward thrust provided by Aguero and Jesus.

"However, we’ll have to wait until kick-off to see exactly how we shape up. The beauty of City though is that whatever formation we adopt, the players have the technical quality to shine."


Nathan Ake: We need to score early

Nathan Ake returns at centre-half today as he makes his first appearance for six games and he's just completed his media duties ahead of kick-off.

There is plenty to occupy City's minds at present, what with the second leg of Champions League semi-final to come on Tuesday, but the centre-back insists the team are fully focused ahead of what he expects will be a tough test.

"It’s a tough game here. You always know it will be. Fully focused for sure.

"It’s always difficult, the front three are very good. They are strong on the counter-attack. We need to play our game and get on the scoresheet early."


Crystal Palace team

The Eagles make two changes to the side that lost to Leicester City on Monday evening.

Andros Townsend and Tyrick Mitchell replace Jordan Ayew and Patrick van Aanholt.

XI: Guaita (GK), Ward, Kouyaté, Dann, Mitchell, Riedewald, Milivojevic, Zaha, Eze, Townsend, Benteke.

SUBS: Butland (GK), Van Aanholt, Ayew, Mateta, Schlupp, McCarthy, Batshuayi, Cahill, Kelly.


Team news 🔵📋

Sergio Aguero starts for the first time in eight games as City make eight changes from the midweek win over Paris Saint-Germain.

The Argentine has not featured since the 2-0 win over Leicester at the start of April, but is recalled alongside Gabriel Jesus for this one.

Ederson, Joao Cancelo and Rodrigo are the only men retained from the eleven that started in Paris, as Pep Guardiola rings the changes during this busy period. 

XI: Ederson, Cancelo, Laporte, Ake, Mendy, Fernandinho ©, Rodrigo, Sterling, Torres, Aguero, Jesus

SUBS: Steffen, Walker, Dias, Gundogan, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mahrez, Foden.


We're Not Really Here 📺

Natalie Pike, Michael Brown and David James will be live in five.

Tune in for a City-centric approach to your pre-match build-up!


Form guide 📈

City head into the game having won four of our last five Premier League games, leaving us 10 points clear of second place, Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table.

The hosts come into the clash having won just one of their last seven, including a 2-1 defeat away to Leicester City in their most recent outing.


Head to Head 🆚

🔹 City have won 13 of the previous 17 Premier League meetings between the two sides.

🔹 We have not lost at Selhurst Park since 6 April 2015, when we suffered a 2-1 defeat.

🔹 In the subsequent six matches there, we have won five and drawn once. 


Guardiola: Walker is so important

How good was Kyle Walker on Wednesday night? In fact, how good has Kyle Walker been throughout his City career?

The right-back has been remarkably consistent and he's someone the boss believes has been key to our success.

“The level Kyle has shown with us these four years has been fantastic. He’s another person who has his life calm and in order, he’s such an important player for us

“After four years there are moments when you can be down but last game he showed how important he is.  He has to handle the best strikers in the world, and he can handle it, he can win the duels."


Roy Hodgson: City will be at full-throttle

With this game falling between the first and second leg of our Champions League semi-final, Roy Hodgson admitted he has sympathy for the hectic schedule those clubs still in Europe are under.

However, the Crystal Palace boss is certain he’ll be facing a City side at their maximum today:

“I don’t doubt for one minute we will be facing a full-throttle Manchester City, that they’ve taken their foot off the gas or eye off the ball, to mix metaphors, in any way, shape or form.

“But I can’t deny of course if I was Manchester City’s coach, I would be thinking: ‘Blimey, this game coming up in the middle of what’s going on is not ideal.’ I’m full of admiration for Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, playing these incredibly difficult games in the middle of an important Premier League campaign.”


Guardiola playing down title talk

City need just five points from our remaining five games to be crowned Premier League champions and could seal the title as early as Sunday providing we win today and Manchester United lose to Liverpool tomorrow. 

But Pep Guardiola is not thinking of such permutations, preferring to focus solely on the task in hand.

Here’s what he had to say on the matter at his pre-match press conference.

“Let me try to win at Crystal Palace. Don't ask me what I will feel when I haven't felt it. I am sorry I know you are curious because you anticipate it.

“United are an extraordinary team and we need five points. Tomorrow we have an incredible opportunity to make that step. "When it happens, you can ask me anything you want about my feelings. I can't answer now because I didn't experience it.

“We now need to recover from Paris - it’s our sixth game in a row away. We are tired in many aspects."


Early team news 📋

City will be without John Stones as he serves the second game of a three-match domestic ban for his sending off against Aston Villa. 

The defender is the only expected absentee for Pep Guardiola’s side, but the same cannot be said for Crystal Palace.

James McArthur, Mamadou Sakho, Nathan Ferguson and Connor Wickham all remained sidelined with injury, though Gary Cahill is back in contention after recovering from a minor problem.


We’re Not Really Here

David James and Michael Brown are the guests on this week’s edition of our live matchday show.

They’ll join Natalie Pike in the studio at the Etihad Stadium to provide the usual mix of City focused opinion and analysis throughout the day.

We’re Not Really Here begins at 11.30 (UK) with one hour of pre-match build-up and returns at both half-time and full-time when our guests will be sharing their thoughts on the action. 

And you can watch it all for free right here in our Matchday Centre!


Crystal Palace v City

Good morning! 👋

And welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester City’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace.

Can we follow up Wednesday’s thrilling win over Paris Saint-Germain with a victory which would put us within one win of a third league title in four years?

Kick-off is at 12.30 (UK) and from here on out we’ll have live updates to guide you through the build-up, match action and post-game reaction. 

Stay tuned!

Other games that day

  • Chelsea2
  • Brighton and Hove Albion2
    Leeds United0
  • Everton1
    Aston Villa2
  • Manchester United0
  • Tottenham Hotspur0
    Sheffield United0
  • Newcastle United0

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Manchester United 33 +29 67
3 Leicester City 34 +22 63
4 Chelsea 34 +22 61
5 West Ham United 33 +10 55
6 Liverpool 33 +16 54
7 Tottenham Hotspur 33 +18 53
8 Everton 33 +3 52
9 Aston Villa 33 +10 48
10 Leeds United 34 -2 47
11 Arsenal 33 +7 46
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 33 -13 41
13 Crystal Palace 33 -22 38
14 Brighton and Hove Albion 34 -4 37
15 Southampton 33 -18 37
16 Burnley 33 -15 36
17 Newcastle United 33 -18 36
18 Fulham 34 -20 27
19 West Bromwich Albion 33 -34 25
20 Sheffield United 33 -38 17
Link To Full Table