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A hard-fought but ultimately comfortable victory – their 19th in a row away from home – over a keen but limited Crystal Palace moved City within touching distance of the title. Palace held firm for almost an hour. City swooped to score twice in two minutes and, slightly belatedly, nature had taken its course.
City's trip to South London was sandwiched between two Champions League encounters with Paris St-Germain. City's stygian squad depth means rotation rather than tinkering or resting and City manager Pep Guardiola rotated extensively. John Stones was suspended, but only Ederson, Joao Cancelo and Rodrigo were retained from Wednesday's other starters in Paris. Guardiola fielded a team packed with multi-taskers who changed positions and formation as the situation demanded, but this was overwhelmingly a line-up unaccustomed to each other. In a frustrating first half, it showed.
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