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Pep won’t pop champagne but ‘put it in the fridge’ as Man City on precipice

Goals from Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres lifted Manchester City past Crystal Palace and within three points of their fifth Premier League title.

“We can start to think about it, to put [the champagne] in the fridge - not yet, but it is time to put it in the fridge.”

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City is three points gained or three Manchester United points dropped from winning its third title in four seasons following a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Palace 0-2 Man City ]

The Catalan hero made loads of changes in preparation for the Champions League semifinal second leg versus Paris Saint-Germain at midweek after City took a 2-1 lead home from Paris.

“After the Champions League, it’s always tough,” Guardiola said. “The players who didn’t play in Paris spoke on the grass and they did it perfectly.”

Nathan Ake played for just the second time since a hamstring injury cost him the first three months of 2021, while Benjamin Mendy set up Aguero’s goal and Ferran Torres also scored. It’s food for thought as Guardiola plots his best path through PSG.

Guardiola was asked about Aguero, who is navigating the end of his time at City well while playing less than ever.

Guardiola says he is continuously impressed by the humility of the Argentine, who could join Lionel Messi somewhere next season.

“What a goal, what an action, what a player, what a man,” Guardiola said, via the Manchester Evening News. “He’s going to enjoy the last games. He showed with his goal what he has been and what he is. I’m in love as a person so he’s an incredible guy. In those circumstances, players with less quality than him are sometimes more uncomfortable for us than huge players like him. What a goal.”

Guardiola does a nice job understanding the end of a legendary player’s run with teams, as we saw with David Silva last season. It, of course, helps when there is the potential for several trophies at the end of that final voyage.

Follow @NicholasMendola